Whether you’re becoming stage or photo shoot ready, you’ll need to follow this advice in order to get optimum aesthetic results.
Together with professional coaches, nutritionists, tanning, hair and make up experts, I have created a fool-proof guide to preparing yourself to look the absolute best.
Your first photo shoot can bring out your nerves, however – I am experienced and confident in my abilities to make my clients look as great as possible. By following these simple steps, you will ensure that the day of your shoot will go smoothly.
When choosing a gym environment, the first thing to consider before choosing your gym location is whether or not the gym owners are going to be okay with it. Most owners allow shoots as they understand the promotion it can offer to their gym, however more commercial gyms can be less lenient so always check with the owner beforehand.
A professional photographer will always be able to manipulate the lighting in any setting but if you can choose a gym with high ceilings, it will always work in your favour, this is because down-lighting creates more definition.
Clients often worry that they will have to practice posing before a shoot. As a professional photographer, my job is to guide my clients and advise them on the best poses to suit their shape. I usually do this on the day of the shoot and pride myself on finding the perfect poses for each individual. I would never expect a client to do anything they’re uncomfortable with and will always ensure I choose the most flattering poses for their figure.
Some clients may have seen an image online that they would like to replicate. I am more than happy to try new styles of posing, however I will always be honest with you in what looks good and what doesn’t. I’m here to make you look the best you can.
I cannot express the importance of tanning before a photo shoot. If you’re light skinned, during a shoot, the white lights will blow out your skin. When the skin is tanned, it creates shadows and definition therefore bringing out the best of your features.
While a regular spray tan is fine, if you want the best from your shoot I would strongly recommend a professional fitness tan. These tans are used for stage and create the most definition, the tanners are experts in the fitness industry and will be able to give you top advice on getting the best from your tan such as exfoliating.
Hair & Make Up
This stands for men too. If you have worked hard on your body for the shoot, don’t let your hair or make up let you down. Visit your local salon and speak to a professional about what look suits your face shape the best.
Females in particular, make up can be very important. I would always recommend the light/neutral look. Dark eye make up can create shadows under the eyes! Heavy make up can look oily/shiny on photos so try to stick to matte tones.
On some images, depending on the lighting, body hair can make the skin appear dirty. Ensure your skin looks its best before a shoot by removing unwanted body hair. I always recommend waxing as shaving can irritate the skin making it look bumpy or sore.
Clients always ask me what they should wear for a shoot. If we are shooting at a gym location, it is always best to wear what is most comfortable. Vests are an essential for both sexes, they allow you to show your arms and relax your stomach for ultimate upper body shots.
For women, I tend to recommend hot pants for showing off your glutes and legs – they’re usually a lot more flattering on the stomach too as leggings are often too tight around the stomach. You want to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible in your clothes. Feeling uncomfortable will show through in your images.
For men I recommend loose/baggy shorts for upper body shots and tighter smaller shorts for leg shots.
Some men and women who have competed may wish to do some posing shots in their stage wear. I always advise clients what looks best on them but I’m happy to shoot imagines in whatever you feel comfortable wearing.
Clients often make the mistake of working too hard before a photo shoot. They don’t realise that the shoot itself can be like a workout. To get pumped up I always recommend a maximum of 10 minutes exercise before, just enough to get the blood pumping!
Food & Drinks on the day
Before a shoot I would always recommend avoiding heavy meals and instead bring along light bites or nibbles. Rice cakes with either honey, jam or peanut butter are perfect. Some people even use pre-workout to appear more vascular, just make sure you avoid pre-workouts that make you sweat out as this can ruin tan/make up.
Before a shoot, I always chat to my clients and try to relax them. If you bring an attitude or ego to a shoot, it will reflect in the images, you should always try to get yourself into the right mind frame so that you’re excited for the shoot rather than uptight and rigid.
My most common feedback from shoots is that I made the client feel at ease. I love being able to get to know someone before a shoot, it not only makes things easier for the both of us but it gives me more ideas of the individuals personality – this is great for putting a unique spin on the clients photos and capturing an insight into the real them.
Maybe you’re a little quirky, into hardcore rock or a happy/bubbly person. Whatever your personality, I always try my best to capture a spark of it in your images.