On Photographing Fitness

Fitness Bodyscapes: An Uphill Battle. Photo by Alina Oswald.

Fitness Photography

With all the cooking and eating this holiday season, well, every holiday season, fitness is not often on our minds. It reemerges only after the holidays, usually when the bitter cold (minus the holiday cheer) settles in.

I know, I know, it’s a good idea to stay fit throughout the year, but I’m not the one who hits the gym on a regular basis or stays in shape for that matter. Losing a few stubborn pounds is always at the top of my list of New Year’s resolutions. But I do love photographing fitness.

Here are a few images:

Here are a few things to consider when photographing fitness:

– photograph fitness portraits and editorials in studio and/or on location (that’s a given)

– for ad campaigns, you might need a larger studio or, better yet, photograph in a gym

– use side lighting to help define the body shapes and scapes of your subjects

– adjust your photographic voice to match or best help define the voice, and style of your subject–the personal trainer, gym instructor, etc. For example, there’s a mood and look associated with a yoga class, which is different than the mood or look associated with an extreme sports type of training.

– take action shots, too, especially when photographing on location

– you can also photograph before/after portraits of people taking the fitness classes, to show their progress

– take it a step further, if possible, and go beyond the basic fitness photographs and capture what ‘fitness’ ‘sports’ symbolize beyond the ideas of staying in shape, and living a healthy life; for example, capture sports as a unifying voice, as a way to bring people together and fight for a cause

Uphill Battle. (Bodyscapes. A closer look.) Photo by Alina Oswald.

A few notes on how I took the Uphill Battle image, for those who might wonder:

To start with, this was a fun photo shoot. For this particular image, I had my model spray perfumed mist on himself (not many choices here, other than water), and he was a good sport and didn’t hesitate to give it a try. I had to rotate the image, in post, to come up with the final image. What body part is shown in the image? I’ll let you guess.

After all, it’s always an uphill battle.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Alina Oswald


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