One of last weeks photoshoots saw me back working with model Danny Bartlett adding more images to his portfolio. Working with my good friend Neal, this time we found ourselves shooting in a gym as opposed to the studio and concentrating more on capturing Danny’s physique:
For the first series of shots I used a 3 light set up (all Nikon SB800’s) with 2 lights from behind and to the side and one light to the front but high up and aimed down.
When photographing a physique, especially one such as Danny’s you can exaggerate the definition and condition by the position of your lighting. Having one light to the front, high up and aimed down slightly has the effect of creating shadow areas inbetween the muscle groups which as a result gives a tighter and fuller look to the muscle.
This close cropped series of images where Danny was sat on a bench were made using one light which again was a Nikon SB800 Speedlight into a Lastolite Ezybox and positioned so that it was facing directly onto him from the front.
Now despite having a low body fat even someone like Danny when he sits down and leans forward gets lines across the abdomen as skin gathers together, so to avoid this all that was needed was to raise the lighting rig up a little so that more shadows were created in that area; result…no folds of skin 🙂
5 Tips/Techniques for Photographing a Muscular Physique :
From my years competing in Bodybuilding Competitions I picked up several ‘tricks of the trade’ that can help to show the physique off to it’s best so I thought it would be handy to share them here with you:
1. Stance: Avoid having your subject stand straight on to the camera. Getting them to angle their hips away from you slightly and then bringing the shoulders ‘square on’ has the effect of visually minimising the waist line and exaggerating the shoulders.
2. Abdominals: When someone clearly has the ‘six pack’ a way to show it off to it’s best is to get your subject to breathe out all the way to completely empty their lungs and once at that stage get them to force a cough and watch those abs pop out! … not literally though you understand 🙂
3. Tan: If you’re going to be photographing a muscular physique having a tan or dark skin is essential if you’re to show it off at it’s best.
4. Water: Having a spray bottle to hand is a great way to simulate sweat. Best to use warm water though so as not give your model a shock!
5. Deep Heat: Not something you’re going to want to use in a confined space but apart from warming the skin up, spraying Deep Heat also causes the veins to become alot more prominent; great if you’re wanting the ‘ripped’ look. Of course there are a few other ways that we used to use to get the same look that involved crushed aspirin and a teaspoon of honey but I think it’s best not to go there 🙂
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Any questions or comments or maybe some tips and techniques of your own I’d love to ‘hear’ them so please feel free to make use of the comments section below.
In the mean time have yourselves a great weekend,