Stock Photography: Taking Health and Fitness Images

Keep Fit and Diet images are hugely popular with stock libraries because the industry is so big.  With more and more people becoming overweight all over the world there are plenty of people who are looking for images of health and fitness.

Companies who may look for these pictures include magazines, newspapers, research companies who deal with statistics, the government, gyms, and diet companies and so on.  Images vary greatly from images of people exercising to people eating well – or in some cases eating badly!  Here are some tips on how to make some sales in this genre.

1.    See what’s already out there

Go to the big stock libraries and see what images are already on there. What they already have is not what you want to copy unless you can make it look a lot better (for example if the image is badly composed or blurry).  Otherwise, offer something different and fresh otherwise you won’t get chosen.
2.    Research using magazines and websites

Next look at your potential clients – look at slimmer’s websites (which will all use these kinds of images). Look at newspapers and magazines that have a fitness section.  Also look at images that gyms use on their leaflets – what sort of pictures are popular? Do images with models smiling work or looking serious? Different companies will look for different things so decide if you could do some variations when shooting (getting the model to smile and look serious).

3.    Choose a genre

The whole health and fitness genre is huge. Rather than targeting too many areas try to hone your skills into something.  Are you looking into the fitness and exercise side or looking into the healthy eating side?

If you were focusing on healthy eating you could photograph someone eating fruit or lots of fresh fruit together in a still life.  Remember you still want to have a contemporary feel so add things that make the image look fresh and alive, like adding ice cubes or bright lighting and backgrounds.

If focusing on the fitness side, make sure you choose one thing in particular.  There are potentially so many sports you could focus on – don’t make them too sport focused but more health focused.  So if you were photographing a sport like soccer, don’t emphasize the game emphasize the player so it look like a health shot over a sports shot.

Generic exercising at home images are also very popular – use a model and get them to wear simple (no logo) sportswear, and use things like yoga mats and dumbbells which can be cheaply bought.  Remember – you don’t want them to actually work up a big sweat!  You want them to look good in photographs too  because many of these images are aspirational as opposed to realistic so make sure your model is nicely groomed even if that isn’t quite how it works in real life.

Also when picking a model remember – you are talking about keeping fit so pick someone who fits this – slim or athletic is fine unless you are trying to make a statement about weight loss.



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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XsEuVW9kSo Fitness Photographer

    I’d like to add that for fitness, most magazines and websites go for gym and clean studio shots so if you’re interested in fitness photography, you may also focus taking these kind of images.

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