How To Take Fitness Progress Pictures (Before & After)

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Fitness progress pictures are a vital part of any, body transformation and one of the best ways to see your results, how far you have come and exactly how your body has changed.

So how do you take excellent fitness progress pictures?

Everyone takes pictures of themselves these days, but when it comes to fitness progress pictures, there are specific steps we can take to ensure that they are:

  • as accurate as possible
  • clear and well lit 
  • include all the information you are looking for 
  • show us a stark before and after comparison
  • the only thing that changes is your body
Fitness infographic showing a list of five important points for taking fitness progress pictures

1) Space Them Out

Results are not instantaneous, although they can come quick.
Your body needs time to adjust and change.

Progress pictures are a tool to not only track progress, but help motivate and show you just how much you are crushing it.
But taken too often can sometimes have the opposite effect and become discouraging as your body will not change on day by day or even week by week basis depending.

For the best results in both progress and result tracking, I recommend taking body photos every four weeks.

2) Do Not Try To Manipulate The Image

These photos are for tracking progress and motivating you; they also can show when something is off in your training or nutrition, or when things are not going to plan, and for those reasons, your photos need to be as accurate as possible.

Everyone wants to look as good as possible, but these photos are a body transformation tool, and you want to see actual results and not photo manipulated ones so keep the angles, filters and poses for Instagram.

The only person your fooling or misleading by manipulating progress photos is yourself.

3) Use A Bare Background

You want to stand out as much as possible from the background so ensuring it is a bare painted wall with no distractions as opposed to over the top wallpaper, a room full of clutter or even one or two objects that will take the attention.

A bare white wall works best for this.
Stand one foot at least out from the wall, so you don’t get lost in the image.

4) Ensure That The Same Background And Lighting Is Used Each Time

For the best results, you want to keep everything the same; the only thing that should be changing is your body.

Lighting can play tricks on the eyes, create shadows and even enhance and detract from physical features.

Ensure that the lighting is sufficient, you are well-lit from the start and ensure the lighting is the same each time so you can compare like with like.

5) Wear The Same Clothing

It is extremely rewarding and encouraging not only to see how our bodies are changing but how our clothes hang different and look on us after a physical change.
  
Use the same clothing in each image and watch how this highlights any changes made.

To reiterate everything stays the same in the images, the only thing that changes is your body.

6) Stand Straight And Look Forward

No matter if its the front, back or side image stand up straight and tall and look forward.
Any sloughing, looking down, leaning to one side etc. will not only change your appearance but also leave the result less accurate.

At the same time, you want to stand naturally, so don’t try and overcompensate.

The trick is the stand straight and tall while doing this as naturally as possible to capture your actual posture and disposition so we can pick up on those changes as well.

7) Take Pictures From The Front Back And Side

We want to get the full picture of how your body is adjusting from all angles, not just what you can see in the mirror.

It is eye-opening to see exactly how we are changing from a direct side and back shot as these are angles we never really get to see correctly.

Follow these steps for each angle and take 3 – 5 images from each angle and chose the best one from each.

8) Show As Much Body As Possible

Sometimes I get clients who in their starting pictures are body conscious and want to wear t-shirts and keep themselves covered up, but these clients always regret it in the end when they get great results, and they have no proper visual representation of their body at the start of there journey. 

These pictures are for you; they are a documentation of where you started from, the work you have put in and the results you achieved. 

Progress pictures are used to track and motivate, and everyone is beautiful just the way they are.

So don’t be shy or conscious. The more of your body you show, the more of a difference you will be able to see and compare results at the end.

When you do get the results that you want and deserve you will want to have a visual representation of your entire journey. 

Men: wear short, shorts 

Women: Shorts and sports bra

*Keep the top of your shorts as low as possible 

Ensure you get your whole body in on each angle, try not to cut off any part.

When Should You Take Fitness Progress Pictures?

Whenever you are starting any form of body transformation, training or nutrition program on the first day you start.
You should take your first photo before training and every four weeks after that in the same conditions.

I also recommend taking your photos and weighing yourself first thing in the morning after using the bathroom and before you eat or drink (where possible)
This ensures you are in the same state each time and keeps your progress pictures as accurate as possible.

If you have a fitness instructor or personal trainer, they should be ensuring you are taking progress pictures and tracking your results, but what should you do if you have to take them yourself?

iPhone camera up and a go pro camera

Taking Fitness Progress Pictures By Yourself.

When it comes to taking your progress pictures, you can use your smartphone or a digital camera. 

It would help if you used the self-timer function on your device or you can pick up a Bluetooth camera remote for next to nothing.

For the best results, you need to get your whole body on the screen; you need to be looking straight into the camera. 

You need to follow all the steps outlined above and ensure the camera is steady and at the same height and angle, the best way to achieve this is to use a tripod.

There are several different types, styles and varieties of stands and tripods out there these days for you to use and can be picked up inexpensively. 

It doesn’t matter which type you go for as long it holds your phone or camera steady at the height you want.

If you have no choice but to take these pics for yourself, invest in a tripod to get the very best results. 

DSLR camera mounted on a tripod

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Raising The Bar Fitness blog.
Providing you with easy to follow, EVERYDAY fitness, mindset and nutrition advice for EVERYDAY people serious about changing their bodies.

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