T Nation

Photoshoot Ideas and Suggestions


Hello all. I am finishing a 25 week cut on November 1st. I started at 209 lbs, around 20+% bodyfat. Yesterday my wife took my bodyfat measurements (23 weeks in) and the caliper measurements indicate I am in the 8% range at 186 lbs. (7 site, 5 measurements per site and the average was taken at each site). I realize there is a margin of error; the % is not so important; I just want to make sure the sites continue to decrease over time.

Anyhow, I run my own small personal training business in Charleston, South Carolina, and I wanted to take the opportunity to book a photo shoot at the end. The idea was to not only commemorate the end of a lot of work and dedication, but also to get some shots that I can use in advertising (website, Facebook, cards, flyers). I want to show folks that I can do (and have done) what I may have to ask them to do. My initial thought was to have the photographer take shots while I am working out.

I have a gym close by, where I know the owners and they are not super busy. I can book a time and pretty much be the only one there. I already went there with the photographer and he had some cool ideas to block out the mirrors and alter the lighting. I was hoping to get some ideas from people who have done something similar and were pleased with the results. I am pretty mobile, and pretty strong (read strong for a local gym), and I think I can get some cool shots of ass to grass squats with 3 plates, RDL's with over 4, pullups with 100 lbs,etc. In other words, lifts that I think I do pretty good on and may look cool to get a shot of. I can almost do a one arm chin. My goal is to do it for the shoot. My pressing strength is average. But my coach suggested that my lifts might not be so hot after I do the photo prep. My other option is to do the whole "coyly lifting my shirt to show abs, while smiling" but that just isn't my personality. I am not that guy. I am proud of my work, but I would have a rough, likely awkward time, trying to sexy it up. If anyone who has done it and has some advice and some photos you wouldn't mind sharing as an example, that would be really cool.

Note 1: The images I am going to attach are my beginning weight pick at 240, before my coach. My pic starting with my coach at 209 lbs. And my most current pics.

Note 2: I used Menno Henselmans for my change from 209 lbs to about 2 weeks ago, when I had to stop because of an unexpected $1000 car bill for some carbon build up in my car's engine. I could not afford to continue, but I am still using his plan and he was kind enough to give me the modifications to use should my progress stall without him. But let me say that he did a hell of a job changing the way I think about exercise and fat loss. If you want results, and you do not mind working hard, he will get you there, no questions asked. His approach had me P.R. on a lot of lifts during the cut. Most of my lifts did not stall until a little bit ago. But little changes kept the progress going smooth. I highly recommend him.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Pic 2 of very beginning. My love handles were unbelievable.


Start of Menno’s coaching


Pic 2 of beginning with Menno




Pic 2 yesterday. WTF is it with these rotated pics?


I know I am not all that big. Depleted some and I never really tried for hypertrophy. I just like lifting heavy, relatively speaking :slight_smile: I know there are a lot of really strong guys in T nation. This is why I chose to post in the beginner’s forum


Last one. Eyes closed. For some reason I get lot of pics while in mid blink.


What image do you project to your existing clients? Why are they with you instead of other trainers? What do they want to get out of personal training sessions? Why do they stick with you?

You are essentially trying to brand yourself, so consider these things when you do the photoshoot instead about being overly self conscious or worrying about the weight you’re lifting. This is business. Determine the image you want to project that will attract and appeal to potential customers based on your understanding your market.

The weight loss is a good story that can be used on your marketing collaterals because it proves you know how to get results. And it’s pretty good work. Nice job. I would feel a sense of security knowing that you will deliver if I was a noob and that would make me decide to sign you on as a trainer. Capitalize on it.


Nice job on the body recomp, weight loss, BTW. Were you a trainer before starting the cut?


Thanks, man. I appreciate the input. There are two sides to the shoot. One is for commemoration, so I want to make it cool for myself and for my wife. And there is the angle to promote business. I certainly want to promote a professional image; however, I want something that also gets someone’s attention and indicates to them that I have gone through the process as well. My thoughts are that I can use the performance shots on a website to maintain interest.

Also, I could use the before shot and a current action shot in a flyer or promotional tool. Maybe use one of the action shots on the back of a business card to get someones attention, and at least get my foot in the door with them. I have a pretty good turnover rate, once I sit and speak with clients and address legitimate concerns and lay out a reasonable plan. The image suggestion is something I think is spot on. I don’t want to make it douchy, but I know that peoples reactions are visceral, they need to have their attention captured first.


Hey Ecchastang,

Yes I was. Actually that pic was after I had dieted down to 190 lbs for my wedding using paleo principles, then rebounded. Once we got married we went HAM on food, drinks and celebrating. I gained like 50 lbs, mainly because I did not have a legitimate, sustainable plan for coming out of the diet. In this last cut I combined paleo principles with IIFYM and made sure to hit my coach’s macros. I have reverse diet macros set out with adjustments and that’s what I am going to follow.

You know, at the time I was “bulking” and just did not pay attention to what I was doing. I ultimately justified all my shitty food choices on bulking and I paid the price. I am lucky none of my clients left me just for my clear lack of direction and unjustified binging. I was actually coaching people on fat loss using paleo at the time!!! SMH I was so ignorant (not that paleo is bad or anything, I just did not include precise caloric restriction).

Since then I have learned, changed my ways and adapted my approach, partly through hiring coaches to learn from. I am far better than I was, but I have still much to learn. I made it a point to continuously purchase nutrition books (most recently Mike Isreatel’s Renaissance Diet book). With every book my process becomes better.