Behind the Scenes of a Fitness Photo Shoot

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For this shoot, my goal was to create some portraits that could be used by our subject Alicia to advertise her boot camp classes. While my hair and makeup artist got Alicia photo ready I began by setting up all of my equipment. I used Photoflex strobes and modifiers for this photo shoot which I’ll break down for you shortly. I love how quick and easy they are to assemble, and unlike some other modifiers I’ve used from other brands, they are extremely durable and create beautiful lighting.

Lighting Setup
My lighting for this shoot consisted of three lights. The main light was a FlexFlash 400W strobe inside of an OctoDome: medium soft box. The rim lights on both sides were FlexFlash 200W strobes. I put a HalfDome: medium soft box with a grid on the camera-left strobe, and on the camera-right side I had a LiteDome: medium soft box with Grids attached. These rim lights created beautiful highlights that helped separate the subject from the background.

Positioning these lights in the right place is very important. The closer these lights are to the subject, the softer the quality of light. Shooting on a tripod also ensures that I get the sharpest images possible.

The Shoot
With everything set up, I started taking some test shots. I shot the entire session with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 50mm 1.2 lens. Don’t get hung up on the camera setup, as you can get similar results using a cheaper cameras and lenses. Check out my other lesson, It’s Not About the Camera, to see what I’m talking about.

Since these were fitness images, I asked Alicia to bring some props that she would normally use in her boot camp classes. Props are super important for a shoot like this.

Here’s my selection from the images using the medicine ball with my camera settings. I love to try and get my subjects to give me attitude and interesting expressions during a shoot. I asked for more intensity and here’s what I got! Notice that my camera settings remained constant throughout the entire shoot. So long as my camera, model, and lights stay in place, we’re good to go as we change up the props we use.

Once we were done with the medicine ball shots, I had her bring a rope as the next prop. Again, same lights and settings.

For the final image, Alicia broke out a kettle bell and we ended up with our final image.

So there you have it. A super easy three-light setup that you can use in your next photo shoot.

Written and photographed by Miguel Quiles.

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