Fitness Photography Tips: How to Create the Perfect Edit for your Clients

Fitness photography is its own professional sub-genre that demands its own considerations. This type of photography usually falls into commercial & lifestyle or portraiture—each with specific considerations. AirBrush can be used in place of expensive and technical software to produce pro-like edits in a short amount of time. Keep reading to learn our fitness photography tips for your next client shoot.

FItness Photography Tips to Try

Encourage Posing  

woman in black gym wear

This is essential no matter the type of fitness you’re shooting but it is even more so for capturing athletes in their element. If the setting and production are meant to show off the subject’s skills, shooting them while showing what their bodies can do is the key. Encourage your client to get as adventurous as they want and to consider what they want to showcase most.

Firm up on Props

man adjusting weights

Suggest and decide with your client on what props are necessary for the shoot. If you’re shooting in a gym, decide which machines will be used. If you’ll be in a park or game court, you’ll need the tools of the game. Alternatively, you and your client may decide that no props at all are needed. But you do need to figure this out before the day of the shoot.

Decide on Lighting

woman doing yoga

Of course, you need the appropriate lighting to show off your subject and their bodies but you also need to pay attention to the mood you want to set. What does the client want to say with these images? If these are portfolio shots, well-lit shots are required. If your client needs something edgier, consider multiple colored lights or playing with shadow.

Make those Muscles Pop!

shot of muscular woman's back

This is truly a combination of fitness photography tips one and three. The truth is, that showing fitness levels can be difficult in a static image. This is why you need to make muscles stand out as much as possible. You can suggest your client shave their body, get a tan or oil up to further enhance their gains.

Go for Some Candid Shots

women doing crunches

To show different sides of your subjects, take some shots that are or appear to be more candid. This works to show the focus and determination in an athlete, the relatability of a trainer or the satisfaction of the bodybuilder. Show the faceted reality of fitness photography.

Fitness Photography Edit

As any professional can tell you, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. That also translates into not obsessing over the final raw images. Subjects of fitness photography, know that perfection only exists in the post edit and so should you. Luckily AirBrush has the tools that can perfect your pics in no time.


Fitness photography tips - enhance

woman in front of free weights

Head to the Enhance menu to make use of this tool. Contrast boosts the differentiation between dark and light areas, meaning shadows in cuts will stand out more. Similarly, deepening the Shadows and reducing the highlights serve the same purpose of emphasizing the physique.

  • Go to the Tools Tab on the Main Menu
  • Select the Enhance feature 
  • Scroll through the different featurettes to customise the edit
  • We’ve used Contrast, Shadow and Highlights here
  • Tap the checkmark to save your edit

Skin Tone

Fitness photography tips - skin tone

woman standing akimbo

The Skin Tone tool not only adds a tan to your subject by it adds a lustre to the skin once it’s been enhanced. 

  • Go to the Retouch Tab on the Main Menu
  • Select the Skin Tone feature 
  • Select from the shades on the right of the screen
  • Toggle the intensity with the slide bar
  • Tap the checkmark to save your edit


Fitness photography tips - details

You can ensure that not only the gains on your subject stand out but the smaller details as well. The Details tool. Simply swiped over those areas you want to sharpen and they come shining through. 

  • Go to the Tools Tab on the Main menu and select Details
  • Swipe over the details in the product you want to draw out. Go over as many times as required. 
  • Tap the checkmark to save your edit.
  • You can emphasize the effect by saving your first application and then applying Details on the photo you just edited.


Fitness photography tips - relight

woman in black shorts

Take your fitness photography up a notch with Relight. We’ve used Technicolor in the example below to add that professional studio look with a single tap.

  • Go to the Tools Tab on the Main menu.
  • Select Relight and choose the lighting option you prefer. We’re using Technicolor.
  • Adjust the lighting by adjusting the brightness and softness.
  • Tap the checkmark to save your edit
Fitness photography tips - before and after

You may still be building experience in the industry but these fitness photography tips are going to help cement your reputation among your clients. AirBrush, the easy photo editor, packs a punch and delivers essentials and extras all in the palm of your hand. When you’re ready to share your pics online, tag them with #AirBrushApp so we can find them. Then, follow us @AirBrushOfficial on Instagram for our latest tips, tricks and hacks!