by Kris Pitcher
You're in the best shape of your life and you'd like to capture it with some photos. How do you get ready for that? There are a few things to consider when planning for a shoot.
What will you use the pictures for? Will you have them for yourself and your family to capture a goal? Will you use them for social media promotion? Are you trying to market yourself in the fitness industry?
All important questions to ask. These kinds of considerations will help you decide what kinds of shots you'd like to capture, and what you'll wear. The first thing you'll want to do is find a photographer that will meet your needs. Do your research.
There are plenty of shady characters who will shoot scantily clad women. This isn't what you're looking for. Ask for referrals, then check them out. Look at portfolios to get a feel for someone's style. Are they familiar with shooting physique work? Sports photography?
Once you find someone you'd like to work with, determine the specifics. Will you have two or three outfit changes? Will you shoot exclusively indoors, or outdoors, or both? Work out the details and be direct with what you want. This is a business transaction and no one is going to read your mind.
You should always be welcome to have someone accompany you at a shoot. Meaning you and the photographer wouldn't necessarily be alone if you weren't comfortable with that. No reputable photographer would say no, you couldn't bring your friend/spouse/partner etc. Red flags should go up with anything like that.
Once the details are set and you have scheduled you have some choices to make. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WEAR!!!???
Depending on how you're going to use the pictures you'll make some decisions. One suggestion is you want these to be classy and timeless. Nothing too "costumey". A cowgirl outfit is going to look silly in about three weeks.
An athletic look with shorts, a tank or sports bra is a great look. It's a look that you can be proud of and you can use to market yourself in the industry or just show off the great progress you've made.
A bikini with heels is another great look. Not crazy heels, but clear competition heels, or something that is going to create a head to toe look vs. a "wow those are some HEELS" look. You want the photos to highlight you, not a specific piece of clothing.
A dress can be another good look. This is really up to you. You want something you feel pretty or sexy in, but again think about creating a timeless look that highlights you, not the clothes.
When you are getting ready for your shoot, you want to remember that you'll need to apply make-up specific for photography. Matte colors work well to absorb light vs. reflect it making you look like you're glowing. You'll also want darker make-up, lashes etc. to accentuate your features for the camera. It's a bit like stage make-up.
I would recommend getting a spray tan. You'll have a nice healthy glow, and the tan helps to show the detail in your physique. No glitter, it reflects the light back at the camera. It's a lot like prep for the stage.
As you get ready to go to your shoot, put each of your outfits with shoes/accessories in a zipper bag so you're organized and can change quickly. Take your make-up or different lipsticks so you can quickly change a look. Starting with your athletic look, you can build on your make-up for a sexier or dressier look. You can add make-up quickly, but you can't take it off and have that work very well. Think these things through.
You may want to pump up for your athletic and/or bikini looks at your shoot. You'll want to put a band in your bag for that. Pump up your shoulders and back for a nice pop. Also think about any props you may want. Again, the idea is to focus on you, not stuff. But sometimes you may want to have your team jacket, or a trophy.
Photo shoots are a great way to capture the great accomplishments in your life. I would schedule a week before, or the day or so after your show. You'll need to stay on task with your diet after your show if you schedule after. So, deciding when to schedule is up to you and what you're comfortable with. I've had plenty of seasons when I wished I had scheduled shoots. So, don't let this opportunity pass. The window is SHORT.
Have fun with it and just remember you want to be classy and timeless in what ever you choose for location, and outfits. The first step is to decide what you'll use them for, and remember in this digital world...they'll be out there forever. Make good choices you'll be proud of. Ready, set, shoot!