How to prepare for your personal trainer / fitness professional photoshoot!

Background: I recently worked with Hayley, a personal trainer based in London, who was looking to update the photos for her social media and marketing materials. There has been a massive buzz (more so than ever) around fitness and more personal trainers are using social media to boost their client base. Take The Body Coach as an example; he has over 1 million Instagram followers and has made himself a household name just from this! Hayley really wanted to connect with her clients and build her brand while showing that she is friendly and approachable and I feel we were able to achieve that in this photoshoot.

1. Find example photos for your photographer

Love Bug Strike a Pose

After talking through the details of Hayley’s brief, I asked her to find example photographs of other fitness professionals, brands and models that she liked and then share her ideas with me on Instagram and Pinterest and that way we were really able to establish what she wanted. This really helps me understand the style of photographs a client likes… and a picture paints a thousand words after all!

In choosing your example photos, I recommend that you pay particular attention to the posing, lighting, atmosphere and accessories. Sharing the images with your photographer in advance on your shoot will help you both prepare – plus you can gain inspiration for your posing! Which leads on to…


2. Understand what you want from your photographer

After receiving the example photos from Hayley, we met to discuss the images, her brand and client base in more detail. Hayley’s clients are typically women in their 20s to 50s looking for a lifestyle change by getting fit and healthy. We decided that baby oiled photos showing off her muscles and definition were not the most suitable on this occasion as this may be intimidating to her clients!

Understanding what you want to achieve from your photoshoot is crucial to ensuring you get the best from your photographer and the style of images you want for your brand. Make a note of all the photos you want: from headshots, shots with gym equipment through to movement and action shots. Top tip – you may want one of your client’s to come along to the shoot and be photographed training them.


3. Choosing the location and backdrops

Personal trainer portrait photographer

Hayley trains with her clients outdoors, so we decided on an outdoor/environmental photoshoot with urban and green spaces as backdrops around London.  When working around London, I scout out locations that can be used for my photoshoots and knew of the perfect places to hold the shoot.

I recommend that the location of the photos ought to reflect the environment you work in. If you train clients in a gym, then photos with gym equipment may be the most suitable for your brand. Top tip – look out for locations with colours that suit your branding.


4. Avoid the mid-day sun…

A cloudy day is ideal for outdoor portrait photography as photographs in bright sunshine can often create unflattering harsh shadows. You may also begin to squint if the sun is particularly bright.

In case you do get a bright sunny day on the day of your photoshoot, ensure your photographer has the right photography and flash equipment to overcome this issue.


5. Plenty of empty space in your photos

Personal Trainer Cover Photo Example

As Hayley’s photos were to be used on social media and for her marketing materials, empty space was critical for allowing enough room for text, logos and profile pictures (particularly for cover images on Facebook and header images on Twitter).

Top tip: Ask your photographer to place you on the right hand side of the image allowing for text to be placed on the left hand side. As we, in the western world, read from left to right, the text placement on the left is easier for the viewer.


The result:

We had a fun morning in the cool March weather and Hayley was really pleased with the images – she said she loved the photos and couldn’t wait to share them on her social media channels!

Should you require personal trainer / fitness professional photographs for your social media, marketing materials and website, please do not hesitate to contact me.