I'm always going on about how my line of work can be very unpredictable, and I regularly end up with an unexpected call or email, asking me if I'll shoot something I haven't done before. Well, this month was no different. At the end of July, I received a WhatsApp message from Richard Foster (Owner of Strom Sports Nutrition, in Shrewsbury) and Kate Theodore, one of his clients, asking if I would be interested in doing a fitness photoshoot. I'll be totally honest, initially I panicked a little, but after some careful thought, and a pep talk from my partner, I decided to take the chance, after all, it's an idea I had been dabbling with in my head for a few months now.
Messages were passed back and forth, going over shoot specifics, potential locations, equipment requirements, etc. I took a day to look around multiple gyms in the area, asking the owners if they would be interested in letting me use their gym as a potential shoot location, each and every one seemed very keen on the idea, which made me feel even more excited about the shoot. In the end, I decided upon an independent Shrewsbury gym, Pukka gym. It had the lovely old school weight plates which I had hoped for, with clean machines which still carried character, white walls, plenty of space to work with, and a generally welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. It was perfect. I arranged potential dates with my client, Kate, then called Christina at Pukka gym to settle on a date and time with her.
The next step was equipment. I knew that I wanted to work with off camera flash to bring the vision in my head to life, and I knew just the man who could help me. The immensely talented photographer, and good friend of mine, Steve Wall. I popped the question about borrowing his flash equipment, mentioning that I'd need some tutoring as it was something that was totally alien to me, having only ever used an on camera speedlight very basically before and he was more than happy to help me out, I think by the time shoot day came around, he was almost as excited as I was!
I also had to research which lens I would need, my usual 70-200mm would be far too big to work with in the tight spaces of a gym, and my 18-55mm wouldn't be good enough to create the high quality images in low light that I needed. In the end, I settled on a 24-70mm lens, which I hired from Hireacamera, they provided an excellent service, the lens arrived in great condition the week before the shoot, plenty of support over the phone, and clear instructions on how to return the lens when the hire was up.
The night before the shoot I was buzzing with excitement, all the plans had been laid, the gym had been booked, Steve was coming along to help as a lighting assistant for the shoot, the equipment was prepped, all the was left was to get a good night's rest and have my game face on for shooting the next day.
I arrived 15 minutes early to set the equipment up and have another look around the gym, planning the shoot in my head a little more and getting those creative juices flowing. This also helps to calm my nerves, I always feel a little nervous with anticipation before a shoot, but as soon as the camera starts firing, I relax straight into it.
We had a brilliant shoot, playing with different lighting techniques, working lat pull downs, leg press, squat rack, deadlifts, bicep curls, tricep push downs, and lateral raises, as well as some posing work. Kate was a total professional to work with, and had a fun, bubbily personality, we had a wonderful time.
Below are just a small selection of my favourite images from the shoot, I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed creating them!
If anyone is interesting in booking a shoot like this, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss requirements, I'd love to hear from you!