Planning a Photo Shoot
If you have been following my posts for some time now, you know that I love photo shoots! I believe they are THE goal that makes you kick your fitness into high gear and really stick to a plan. Sometimes we need a reason besides “gotta look good at the pool” to light that fire of motivation! There is nothing wrong with that.
Over the last few years, many women have reached out to me and shared that training for a photo shoot held them accountable as well! I am so happy to hear it worked for you. Plus, you have amazing photos to document yourself in tip top shape. Trust me, you don’t have to be a fitness model to do a photo shoot. If you are in the fitness industry at all, it’s great to have beautiful, fun, energetic images to market your business.
If you have a ways to go, you can certainly transform your body in 12 weeks. If you need a plan to follow, try my Little Black Dress Workout Plan, which consists of an 8 week nutrition and workout plan. You won’t feel restricted and it will help you feel healthy and balanced while achieving the body you want.
I encourage you to aim for a certain dress or pant size rather than a specific weight. The scale doesn’t know if you are gaining muscle and losing body fat. When I started eating clean, I went from 24% body fat to 15% and weighed 140 pounds the entire time. My body completely reshaped itself through lifting weights and healthy nutrition, but my scale weight stayed the same.
Choose the goal that’s right for you and go for it! Photos last a lifetime.
Hire a Professional Photographer:
Look up reputable photographers in your area or have a friend refer you. Don’t cut corners and hire “just anyone” from social media because they own a camera. Take your time and do some research. If your goal is to submit to magazines, hire a photographer who has a relationship with the publications or has been published. Be willing to pay for a great photographer- this is their business. Do you want to work for free? Neither do they. Unless you have an exclusive agreement to trade for images, find out their rates and book them. Tell them the goal for your shoot so that you are on the same page. It’s that simple.
What is your goal for these photos? Just to have for yourself? To submit to magazines?
If you are submitting to magazines, I would recommend researching the magazine and shoot looks according to what they publish. For example, you would not shoot in a bikini on the beach if you are submitting to a fitness magazine who shoots models on a white backdrop wearing conservative fitness apparel. Make sense? Dress for the job you want.
Lingerie always looks beautiful in shots, but again, think about what the photos are for. Are they for your boyfriend or husband? Or for modeling? Submitting lingerie photos works great for men’s magazines, but generally not fitness. Trust me, if you have a fit body, it will show in any outfit you choose.
Once you have received your photos from the photographer, I recommend choosing a couple of great looks/photos and send them to the magazine’s editor or art director for review. Less is more and you don’t want to fill their inbox with your photos….or worse, you send a large file and they can’t download it. You can even send them a simple Dropbox link with your pictures there in a shared file. Do your research and decide who you want to submit to and why. Make sure the magazine reaches the audience you are interested in.
Rules I Follow Before and While Shooting:
- Cut out dairy the week before your shoot, as it can cause bloating.
- Drink a gallon of water a day leading up to your shoot. The night before, just sip when thirsty to avoid water retention. After the shoot, re-hydrate.
- Asparagus is a natural diuretic. I incorporate it into each meal 72 hours out from my shoots.
- Get great sleep. Otherwise, it will show in your photos.
- Hire a hair and makeup artist for your shoot.
- Get a spray tan the day before and rinse the morning of your shoot (don’t scrub). Color always looks better on camera. Don’t go fitness competition dark, just a nice beachy glow.
- Use natural colored nail polish.
- Always bring snacks to a shoot. It can last a while and there is nothing worse than feeling starving.
- Bring a resistance band to “warm-up” your muscles right before shooting.
- Bring high heels to shoot in. Usually the camera does not capture your feet but the heels make you stand “just so” that your leg muscles pop perfectly!
- Smile a big cheesy smile if you are shooting fitness photos. If you feel goofy, you are doing it right!
- Bring a flash drive to the shoot. Some photographers will give you your photos there and some prefer to upload them to an online gallery later.
- Always bring a couple of extra outfits. Always. Some colors don’t photograph well and you want to bring backups.
Plus, hair and makeup always looks different on camera versus your everyday look. My recommendation is to hire someone so you simply have to show up with your clothes and get dolled up. It’s less stress. Not to mention fake eyelashes (and yes, I would use them if I were you). They make your already beautiful eyes POP!
If you are new to this, tell your photographer. They can direct you and help you with posing in front of the camera.
I hope this helps you prepare for your big shoot! If you need photographer or makeup artist recommendations, I am happy to refer you to professionals I have worked with. Simply shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck!
Here is a video from a past shoot with Satio Photography! We had a blast!