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Photographer Beth Bischoff—who’s worked on many fitness shoots for leading health magazines—shares her wisdom about what it takes to snap attention-grabbing photos.
1. Use the right equipment.
Digital cameras are your best choice overall. But if you are using a mobile device like an iPhone or iPad, be sure you don’t just extend your arm out and click—the closer you are, the more distorted the photo will be (and the heavier you’ll look). Pick a lens that makes your face type look good: If you have a thin face, use a longer lens (150 mm). For a wide face, use a shorter lens (50mm).
2. Find a light source that enhances your features.
“Taking a photo outdoors about an hour before the sun goes down is always the best because the light is lower,” says Bischoff. However, if you do take a pic indoors, grab a reflector—such as a white bed sheet or non-reflective white cardboard—and place it under you, out of the frame, so that the light source hits you more evenly. Having a friend take the photo for you will reduce glare. Have your photographer stand a few feet away, with his or her back to the window.
3. Know what angles look the best.
In order to highlight the best features of your physique, Bischoff recommends turning to the side, away from the light source, whether it’s the sun (for an outdoor shoot) or a window. “With the body, I like a lot of shadows across the muscles to give them dimension,” says Bischoff. For guys, “Hollywood light” (up and to the side) is the most flattering. Straight on light tends to flatten out muscles.
4. Look natural.
Bischoff says that “expressions are important,” but don’t try too hard. Wearing a hat to cover up a bald spot or scowling will only cast unseemly shadows across your face, so just flash an easy smile and keep it real.
5. Take a lot of extra shots.
With digital cameras and cell phones, you don’t have to worry about wasting film. Try taking shots at different angles to see which ones look the best. Have multiple outfits ready to go. And, most importantly, says Bischoff, “Get a second opinion.”
BONUS TIP FOR MOBILE DEVICE USERS:
Check out the great photo editing apps for iPhone and Android…you may find something you like to give your photos a professional, custom look!
Need inspiration for your photography shoot, Dudes? See how the Divas do it!