How to Prepare for a Successful Fitness Photo Shoot

fitness photo shoot Aug 10, 2021

You have the business plan, the clientele, and the love for fitness. Now, all your business needs is that final piece of the puzzle: a terrific photoshoot. 

Yep, you read that right: a photoshoot. We live in a visual world and that means brand photography is an indispensable asset to your fitness or health company. Brand photography shows off your personality, helps potential clients or patients “see” themselves in your studio, and gets you noticed.

Stock photographs are a great resource when you are first starting out, but to really take your business to the next level, a well-planned photoshoot can refresh your business’s online presence.

Whether you’re strengthening your existing brand with more up-to-date photos or starting completely from scratch, here are just a few tips to make every second (and pixel) of your fitness photo shoot count. 

Find your photographer

For a great photoshoot, you need a great photographer at the helm. This can be tough for a beginner: how do you select the best partner on a limited budget?

Network and trade

First, don’t be afraid to network. If you have friends or neighbors in the industry, bartering services can help you form a mutually beneficial agreement (especially if they are fans of your classes!). 

Check out local photography social media groups for recommendations. This will also help you research how much you should expect to spend. 

Ask for flexibility in packages

In a pinch, you can also schedule for a half-day instead of a full day. This will limit your posing options, but every second is well worth it and you can put in some extra prep work to make sure you have everything you need for a fast shoot.

You can also ask if they’re willing to throw in additional edits or even an extra hour of shoot time to help you out. While they always have the right to say no, it might not hurt to ask.

Don’t focus on cost alone

While budget is an important factor, don’t let it be the only thing that guides your photo shoot decision. You may potentially work with this photographer for the life of your business, so you’ll want to find someone you connect with personally as well as professionally. Not only will you feel more comfortable, but they’ll be able to bring suggestions to the table that improve your photoshoots as they get to know you better. (This is also why investing in a photographer with expertise in fitness photography is a great idea!)

Clarify expectations

Before you ever step in front of the camera, confirm the essential details with your photographer to make sure that everyone is on the same page. 

Some of these details include:

  • In what format and resolution will you receive the final photos? 
  • What is the expected timeline for final photos and editing?
  • What fees are included in your photoshoot package?
  • What styles are included in your photoshoot (action shots during classes, posed stills, etc)?
  • Where will you use the final photos? Will you need to give explicit credit to your photographer?
  • What style/tone are you looking for in your final photos? What should they convey about your brand?

At the end of the shoot, ask your photographer to send you all of the pictures taken that day, not just the best ones. You can save them in a safe place (such as Dropbox) and utilize some of them at a later date. 

Pick your vibe

Remember, these photographs aren’t just for show: they also play a pivotal role in telling people about your brand. With one look, potential clients will know whether your studio or overall vibe is laidback and welcoming, fun and fast-paced, or passionately goal-oriented. The colors, poses, angles, and staging all tell that story.

These photos will show off your visual personality, so make sure they match. Your photographer should be able to give you suggestions on style choices that help you stand out. 

Of course, no matter what your style is, some suggestions apply across the board. For example, it’s best to time your shoot in the early morning or late afternoon to take advantage of that natural daylight. (Golden hour, anyone?)

Arrive prepared

On the day of the shoot, show up early with all of your supplies to set up ahead of time. You’ll want to bring as many options as you can. Choose outfits with basic colors and a flattering silhouette. You should be comfortable, too: whatever makes you feel great will help you look great. Of course, if you’re a fitness studio, you might want to include your uniforms in the photos or your regular workout gear. 

Then, don’t forget the details: plan for some different hairstyles, shoe colors, socks, accessories, etc. Even the little things can make a big difference on film. You should also bring a shot list. Save pictures of shots and poses that you like and design an agenda around that with the various outfits and hairstyles you have chosen. 

Be authentic

At the end of the day, a good photoshoot shows off you, your team, and/or your studio. There’s no substitute for real-life action shots where you forget the camera is even there. 

For an organic feel to your photos, consider featuring your clients and yourself in action. Your photographer can take photos during your actual classes so that future viewers can see you hard at work. Note: remember to notify your clients ahead of time, in case some want to opt out. That genuine connection is palpable through the screen, so if you can arrange some action shots like these, it’s well worth the effort. 

Want more tips on how to build a strong fitness or wellness brand?

Make sure you’re subscribed to the Female emPOWERED Podcast! I release new episodes every week that are made just for female health, fitness, and wellness business owners. We cover everything from marketing to the best business books — and feature a new female professional every Friday for Female Fridays! Subscribe now and get ready to grow.



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