At Crystal Clear Photography, understanding my clients and their needs is one of the most important things to me. If you follow me on Facebook, then you will have noticed I like to post Photo Session Tips to address specific questions and concerns, and advise clients, both current and prospective, on their photo shoots. For this month’s MVT article, I will be specifically focusing on tips for my Fitness clients. With the help of fitness coach Melissa Edmonds, I’ve compiled a list of a few important tips for your next Fitness session!

  1. Don’t sodium deplete

Stick to the same levels of sodium that your body is used to.  Don’t try to load up on a salty meal the night before or morning of. You have no idea how your body will react, and more often than not people end up looking worse after doing so.

  1. Don’t change your diet the week of shoot

Again, stick to the familiar. The week of a shoot is not the time to start introducing new foods that may cause bloating or gastrointestinal distress. I recommend eating fairly bland food the few days before and not using spicy seasoning or condiments. I will also cut out artificial sweeteners and carbonated drinks that I know cause me to bloat. If you are sensitive to dairy, you may want to remove that as well.

  1. Water, water, water!

Did I mention water? Don’t cut it out! Those of you who’ve done fitness competitions or shoots before may have been told to restrict water the few days leading up the shoot/show and to consume none the day of. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work!1765-5

The goal when getting in front of the camera is to store more water inside the muscle cells and less on the outside. By cutting water, your body will produce more of the hormones that cause you to retain water (not what you want). Diuretics will have the same effect. By dehydrating yourself, the body will lose total body water (both on the inside and outside of muscle) making you look flat and soft in front of the camera.

With my clients, I recommend they continue drinking the same amount of water during the week of a shoot that they have been during their prep. On the day of, I recommend just sipping water as needed to quench thirst.

  1. Your Skin and Tanning

Tan skin photographs better under bright lights, so if you can (and want to), I encourage you to get a spray tan or use some self tanner. Tanning your skin, just as you would for a show, helps allow for more definition to be seen clearly. However, if you go the self tanning route, be careful on how and where you choose to apply it; also, be cautious of tan lines, getting tanner on your hands (use gloves) or in creases around your elbow or on your face.

Seek out a professional to help with airbrush or spray tanning if you find you’re not comfortable doing the self tanning.

If you’d rather skip tanning all together, consider baby oil or an oil based lotion. Either of these options will also help emphasize the definition of your body and add the shine to your skin that you’re seeking for your photo session.

  1. Hair, Make-Up, and Nails 

3595For your fitness session, your hairstyle should be flexible. Try to avoid too much hairspray or hair gel that will make your hair stiff so that you can easily change your do for a different look! For example, wearing your hair down for a more posed look and then throwing it up in a ponytail holder to show off how you get your workout on.

Your make-up should be stage ready. What I mean by this is you’ll want to wear your make-up the same way you would on stage for a show or competition. Similar to on stage, bright lights during your fitness session can wash out your complexion. You can also go to a professional for additional help with perfecting your make-up look!

Also consider painting your nails. A nude color would be most flattering. But if painting your nails just isn’t your thing, use a clear coat to add a little bit of shine to your nails.

  1. What You’re Wearing 0139-2

It’s important to pick your outfits based on your style of fitness; whether it’s yoga, Pilates, bodybuilding or bikini, or crossfit. Be sure to choose outfit that are going to accentuate the features that are most important to you, such as your abs, legs, etc. Focus on your strengths and make sure your choices reflect your industry in fitness. You can also bring along casual type clothes for a lifestyle image that reflects you and your personality.

These are some of the key points that a lot of professionals use when walking into a photo shoot. Whether you’re a professional who’s done this before or you’re new and doing your first fitness photo session, I hope these tips provide you with a little bit of guidance! Don’t forget to ask CCP for a reference for a professional hairstylist or make-up artist from around the valley if you need a little guidance before your next session!


A special thanks to Melissa Edmonds of ProShape Fitness for writing the first three tips! Don’t forget to check out her website, Facebook, and Instagram!


Email me for more information or an independent consultation at

Don’t forget to [BOOK YOUR SESSION] today!

Writer/Editor: Crystal Hollman; Chelsie Cummings

© Crystal Hollman, Crystal Clear Photography 2016. All rights reserved.

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