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Do your first fitness photo shoot

I am going to show you five of my favourite fitness photo shoots by my go-to photographers.

Then I will give you some top tips on how to be the star of your own photo shoot. You can read the whole lot (yes please) or you can skip right now to learn how to organise and produce your own shoot.

I hope that you find some inspiration and give it a go. (Go on, you know you want to)

Don't let lack of confidence hold you back

Have you ever scrolled through your social media or flicked through a magazine and thought that's just not me? All these picture prefect women with perfect lives, perfect bodies living their best life that don't bear any relation to you or your life but are held up as ideals?

I know I have.

We do not want to be represented as middle-aged frumps between youth and decrepitude but as vibrant, healthy, sexy women with important things to say and do. And if we don't feel like that all the time we can certainly create the illusion for ourselves, crafted and curated to represent how we would like to be.

Let's take our power back and show how we want to be seen.

portrait of women on a flat sandy beach with blue sky behind her. Model in kneeling with upraised arm holding some black fabric that is blowing in the wind

Photo by Lisa Salt

Self indulgence or Self Expression...

I don't care...I love it!

One of the ways that I try to make myself feel good is to indulge in a photo shoot. I find it a fulfilling tool to raise my self esteem, celebrate who I am and to express my creativity.

It's not just the end result that I find satisfying, it's the whole creative process and collaboration with my photographer to create something unique and individual to me. I can create different aspects of myself through the stylistic choices of location, clothing and make-up.

And I love it. I unapologetically love the whole process. Of course that doesn't mean that I am not bricking it before the shoot (which I inevitably am), it still fills me with nervous butterflies every time I am heading to the studio or location with my bag full of outfits.


The Sporty/ Fitness Portrait Shoot

Perfect as a starter photoshoot. No pressure to get specialised clothing, hair or make-up (unless you want to)

If you are nervous about doing your first shoot, and want to keep it as simple as possible you can get some strong images just wearing your gym gear and a photographer with a vision. You can even shoot it at the gym for an easy location shoot, but make sure you have permission from the gym and don't mind having regulars check out your moves.

Striking fitness portrait of woman holding a rope

by: Max Ellis at Max Photographic

I love this image, it's dramatic and tongue in cheek. A fitness style shoot is an easy shoot to do, it's high in energy and low in preparation.

The Editorial Shoot

The High End Editorial is the ultimate shoot. Lots of preparation, a swanky wardrobe and your best poker face can get you some images worthy of any glossy mag.

Woman wearing a black evening dress posing in a street

by Lisa Salt

An Editorial tends to be a bit artsy, and can be either a studio or location shoot. It's definitely a shoot to show off your best outfits and more creative side. You can literally become another character if you wish, or create a themed shoot to represent your own private fantasy.

The Boudoir Shoot

This shoot can be a great fun experience, go as saucy, or demure as you feel comfortable with.

woman laughing. She is wearing an evening gown and sat on a chaise long

by Susan Grace Hinman

Gone are the days when a scantily clad shoot is the province of the male gaze, sisters are literally doing it for themselves! If you have a cracking secret lingerie collection here is the place to feel confident in your sexiness. It can take a little while to shed the shyness, but pick the right photographer (and maybe some Dutch courage) and you are in safe hands.

The Boss Lady Shoot

Great for a pared back no nonsense shoot. Simple, strong and stunning.

bold portrait of a business woman wearing a sharp suit and heelssat on a chair

If you want something simple, classic and no fuss...or perhaps you need a killer headshot for your business get your sharpest suit, and team it with clean make up and a plain backdrop. Easy peasy.

The Location Shoot

There's a lot to organise, but you can get some stunning shots with great drama.

Pick a location that you love, or suits the mood you are creating and use pose and wardrobe to make your statement.

woman kneeling on a sandy beach

I have to be honest, I was not in a great mood as I headed to this confidence was at a real low. Several times in the car I felt like pulling the plug and I am so glad I didn't because the photographer managed to deliver some stunning shots.

How to Organise your own photoshoot

Find a great photographer

I find most of my photographers by recommendation or hunting on Instagram. Do your homework on your photographer wish-list, find out their fee's, ask them how they work and give them an idea of what you want to achieve.

If their style suits what you imagine your end product to be or if you want to experiment let them know how you are feeling. A good photographer should be able to guide you to get the results you want.

Set a realistic date and preparation period

Your preparation period will vary according to your goals and timescale. The more complicated your shoot the more time it will take to gather your resources. If you are also trying to slim down or get more into shape for your shoot you will also need to prepare your body. This is where I come in!

If you are prepping for a shoot we will need to look at your exercise and food plan for the time period you are prepping for to make sure you are in tip top condition and mentally prepared to go for it.

Organise your make-up artist

I like a bit of pampering on a shoot, so if you can budget for a make up artist you can leave one thing off your to-do list, sit back and relax. Depending on which photographer you have decided to work with they might have a list of local or preferred artists so it is always worth asking if you are not sure where to start your search for a make up artist.

You can of course do your own make-up if you are a dab hand and enjoy it.

Gather your wardrobe and props

I like to do a mood board to focus the shoot concept, so I have some guard rails and don't go mad buying random things for the shoot. Define your idea's and only get props and wardrobe that supports that goal. Make sure your clothes and props are clean and ready and pack your bag the night before. I also take my favourite perfume to help me get in the mood and pack my lunch so I am not caught short for something to eat.

Then....Just do it!

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