11 Personal Trainer Photoshoot Ideas

Personal Trainer Photoshoot Ideas

If you’re looking for some personal trainer photoshoot ideas, look no further!

Whether you’re newly qualified or want to update your social media profile, having a good selection of professional photos is crucial for attracting new clients.

This article will cover:

But before we break those down, have you considered expanding your skills with our personal training courses? Qualifying to become a Level 4 Nutritionist is the perfect way to add even more credibility to your fitness photography. To find out more, download our course prospectus.

How To Find A Photographer For Your Personal Trainer Photoshoot?

personal trainer photography

Before we jump into our ideas for a professional personal trainer photoshoot, you’ll need to find a photographer to help you take them.

With so many great photographers out there, it’s best you know how to go about finding the right one for you!

Take A Look Online For A Personal Training Photography Business

Our first recommendation for finding the right personal trainer photographer is to look online. One of the best ways to do this is by searching Google to find a fitness photographer in your area.

For instance, searching the key term ‘personal trainer photographer in Liverpool’ will return a large list of recommendations by location, as shown below:

professional personal trainer photoshoot

There are even more as you expand the location:

professional personal trainer photoshoot

Google My Business allows you to see star ratings as well as display reviews to help you with your final decision.

You can also explore websites such as Flickr and Exposure where photographers share their work. People receive feedback on these platforms, as well as take on freelance projects.

Another great website is from The Guild of Photographers - the UK’s friendly photographer association.

This is a good option if you’re looking to execute a professional personal trainer photoshoot as it allows you to find the best photographers in your area.

Use Social Media Sites To Find Relevant Personal Trainer Photography Accounts

Another way of finding the right photographer for you is by using social media sites such as: 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

For instance, it’s easy to discover photographers through Instagram because they can display a portfolio of their work as shown by Ben Mark’s profile below:

professional personal trainer photoshoot

personal trainer photography

On Instagram or Twitter, you can use some of the top fitness hashtags to search for the type of photographer you’re seeking, like #fitnessphotography or #fitnessphotographer

This will display photos and accounts from others who have used PT photographers. You may even get some personal trainer photoshoot ideas along the way!

If you’re struggling to find a photographer, you could post a call to action on one of your social media channels, asking for recommendations from others.

This also gives photographers a chance to put themselves forward if they think they’re right for you.

Ask Others Who Have Had a Personal Training Photoshoot for Recommendations

personal trainer photography

Word of mouth recommendations are one of the best ways to get clients as a personal trainer and this is no different for photographers!

If you’re wanting a professional personal trainer photoshoot but don’t know where to turn, you should ask friends, clients, and other trainers at your gym or on social media.

This allows you to gain an insight into someone else’s entire experience with a photographer from:

  • Planning
  • To behind the scenes
  • To carrying out the shoot

You may find out useful things you wouldn’t be able to learn from the photographer’s website, like the hours they prefer to work, and their camera settings.

Alternatively, if you see PT photographs online or around the gym that appeal to your style, you could ask the trainer to recommend their photographer.

Look At The Photographer’s Work Before Booking A Personal Training Photoshoot

personal trainer photography

As photographers differ by genre and style, we’d recommend examining and comparing the work of several to figure out which style you like the most.

For instance, a photographer you come across may be great at taking family or wedding shots but may not be experienced in fitness photography.

The best way to check this is to look at their portfolio, where you’ll see examples of their work with previous clients and even get some personal trainer photoshoot ideas yourself.

From this, you can make a judgement as to whether or not they’re the right photographer for you and will be able to help you achieve your vision.

To be suitable for your shoot, a PT photographer must be able to:

  • Creatively showcase your physique through their photography
  • Choose the correct lighting and lenses to highlight your muscles
  • Make themselves aware of the best poses for fitness photos

Tips For Creating A Great Personal Training Photoshoot

Once you’ve chosen a suitable photographer, it’s time to start planning your shoot. Read on for some tips to help you get the most out of your personal trainer photography session!

#1 - Create A Mood Board Of Personal Trainer Photoshoot Ideas

Our first recommendation to help you gather your personal trainer photoshoot ideas is to create a mood board.

One of the most convenient ways of doing this is by using Pinterest, which is a great way to find inspiration for your project.

As shown in the images below, Pinterest allows you to search for ideas and save them all in one place to create your own mood board:

personal trainer photography

professional personal trainer photoshoot

If you need an extra boost of inspiration, you can look at other mood boards too.

As previously discussed, you could also check out photoshoots other trainers have done on social media accounts or on their websites to help create your mood board.

However, you should only use their work for inspiration rather than directly copying their photographs in order to stand out within a competitive industry.

Wherever you get inspiration from, we’d recommend taking screenshots and collecting sample pictures from stock image websites for personal trainers. You can then store the images in an easily accessible place, like your camera roll.

You can add to your mood board whenever you find a new inspiring photo, which will help to convey your vision to your photographer of choice.

This can help them to gain a better understanding of the poses that you’d like them to capture, as well as on what parts of the body they should focus on to help you meet your aims for the shoot.

#2 - Make A List Of Shots For Your Personal Training Photoshoot

personal training photoshoot

Sometimes the candid photos you take can end up being the best ones!

However, we’d recommend creating a list of every photo you want to capture before taking some other spontaneous shots.

This ensures by the end of the shoot, you’ll have photos that will help you to achieve your aims and reflect who you are as a PT.

It also helps your professional personal trainer photoshoot to run efficiently, leaving more time for those spontaneous photos at the end!

If you’re using the photos for your website or social media platforms, think of the exact page or post each photo will be needed for and plan your shots around this.

For instance, do you need to take photos demonstrating particular exercises or do you want to be captured from multiple angles, as shown by these shots from photographer Karl Morris?

professional personal trainer photoshoot

professional personal trainer photoshoot

Having a list for you and your photographer to follow means you won’t skip over important shots or miss out on getting exactly what you need from the shoot.

Something else to consider is the order of the shots you want to capture, especially if they require you to be working out. 

For example, do you wish to do all of the hard exercises first so your body is pumped or would you rather do the warm up poses first and build intensity as you go?

Although they’re great fun, photoshoots can be chaotic! We’d suggest keeping an eye on the list and marking off shots as you go.

#3 - Practice Poses For Your Personal Training Photography Session Beforehand

Once you have some inspiration for your shoot, we’d recommend putting this into practice before the big day.

Rather than only having exercise-based photos where you’re moving, it’s also good to have some posed shots which are particularly good for social media or personal trainer profiles.

For instance, this warm head-on image below ensures the personal trainer is both recognisable and inviting to potential clients. 

professional personal trainer photoshoot

With this in mind, we’d suggest grabbing a mirror and trying out some of the poses you like first.

This will save time on the day as you’ll know exactly what positions to stand in and which ones highlight the muscles you’re looking to show off.

Known as ‘the power pose’, crossing your arms is one of the best personal trainer photoshoot ideas as it shows strength and determination, demonstrated in the example below:

pt photoshoot

Some other ideas for static poses you could choose to include in your shoot are:

  • A one-arm flex
  • Sitting on a box, bench, or other piece of gym equipment
  • Standing while looking directly into the lens

We’d recommend practising your chosen poses with a friend before the shoot so you can judge what looks good and which poses to avoid!

#4 - Consider Facial Expressions During A Personal Training Photoshoot

personal training photography

Poses are important but if your face is absent or conveying the wrong emotion, the final result won’t reflect the message you’re trying to achieve.

We’d advise you to think about the outcome of the shoot during the planning phase. For instance, you may want to portray a certain emotion such as:

  • Perseverance
  • Strength
  • Satisfaction 
  • Competitiveness

Let your photographer know what you’re trying to convey and they can give you pointers on how to alter your expression to suit this during the shoot.

For example, if you’re lifting a heavy barbell, don’t be afraid to convey the struggle in your face. 

This will show you’re hardworking and will push clients to want to achieve what you’re performing in your own shoot. However, you should focus on looking empowered rather than purely in pain!

If you’re hoping for your photos to be friendly and welcoming to clients as shown in the example below, a smile is the best way to achieve this.

personal training photography

Although having an idea of what you’d like to convey through your facial expression is best, allow your photographer to capture some candid moments.

The expressions you convey candidly can be difficult to capture otherwise and may come across as more natural and welcoming to potential clients.

#5 - Bring A Friend To Help With Your Personal Trainer Photography Session

personal training photography

During your photoshoot, your main concern should be looking and performing your best in front of the camera.

This means it can be useful to have another set of eyes behind the camera to check you’re getting the right shots.

Even if your photographer is amongst the best fitness photographers, it’s unlikely they’re a qualified personal trainer. If you bring a PT friend, they can help check your form during exercise photos.

Someone else can let you know if you need to: 

  • Adjust your form
  • Correct your posture
  • Fix your hair or makeup

This ensures your photos represent your best self to potential clients.

You may also choose to get them involved in the shoot itself. For instance, as shown in the photo below, you could train them as a client.

personal trainer photography

This photo can help demonstrate your training style and perhaps even help potential clients picture themselves taking part in a session with you!

Having a friend nearby also means they can be on hand to give you any equipment you may need.

Once they’ve handed you the equipment, they can also be a source of motivation to keep you going throughout your personal training photoshoot.

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#6 - Focus On Specific Details During Your Personal Training Photoshoot

After you’ve got the most important shots, you could ask your photographer to take some extra shots to add an edge to your:

  • Website
  • Social media page
  • Online profile

The details you focus on will depend on the aims of your photoshoot.

For instance, if you’re wanting to highlight the range of equipment you use with your clients, you could take a few photos focusing on specific pieces, such as in the image below:

personal trainer photography

You may also want to go back and focus purely on facial expressions. 

As discussed, this can help highlight certain emotions and positive aspects of your personality to potential clients such as determination and friendliness. Special effects and dramatic lighting can also draw attention to different aspects of your body.

For instance, putting oil on your body or getting a spray tan beforehand can make your muscles look more defined and give you a healthy glow as evidenced in the photo below.

personal trainer photoshoot

An important detail to consider is makeup. We’d recommend going natural and avoiding extreme looks, unless this is something that makes you unique and recognisable as a trainer! 

Your makeup should cover up any imperfections while helping to highlight your features and allowing you to put your best face forward to potential clients.

Creative Ideas For A Personal Trainer Photoshoot

Now you’ve planned your shots and chosen your poses, it’s time for the fun part!

To help get those creative juices flowing, here are some ideas you could consider to help make your personal trainer photoshoot a success.

#1 - Choose An Outdoor Location For Your Personal Trainer Photoshoot

Why not consider choosing somewhere outside to execute your personal trainer photoshoot ideas?

Outdoor locations are a great option as they can look more natural than a studio:

personal trainer photoshoot

It’s also a good option if you have a specialist niche, such as sports coaching for athletes as you could take photographs on a track field.

An advantage of shooting outside is you’ll have much more space to play with, meaning more opportunities for unique photographs!

Another outdoor idea for your photoshoot is an urban location, such as an abandoned building or warehouse:

personal trainer photoshoot

As shown above, this can add a creative edge to your shoot and may help you come across as more relatable to clients while maintaining a professional photography feel.

#2 - Capture Images Of You Training In The Gym During Your Personal Training Photoshoot

In terms of location, another of our favourite personal trainer photoshoot ideas is to train in a gym.

Holding your shoot in a gym is a good location as you’ll have convenient access to equipment. This makes it easy for you to take photos while training as we’ve already discussed!

personal trainer photoshoot

However, it can be harder to capture high quality images under the bright gym lights and it can be tricky to fit artificial lighting around gym machines.

This means you’ll need to ensure your photographer is prepared with lighting in advance.

It can also be difficult to shoot when there are other members around so try and book a shoot outside of the gym’s opening hours.

Alternatively, why not make the most of the conditions the gym offers?

For instance, you could use the brighter gym lighting and members in the background to capture a real gym session and give your final images some authenticity for potential clients to see.

personal trainer photoshoot

If you do decide to do this, be sure to get permission to include others in your shoot before going ahead.

Rather than shooting in just one location, you could choose a few different places to shoot in.

This will give you a range of different photographs to choose from at the end and you may look back and prefer certain: 

  • Locations
  • Styles
  • Poses 

Also, different locations may spark inspiration for the photos you have. 

For instance, starting within a commercial gym and moving to an urban location may mean you change from a simple and clean style shoot to a more urban, edgy look.

#3 - Using Special Effects Is One Of The Most Creative Personal Trainer Photoshoot Ideas

personal trainer photoshoot

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate some fun and creativity into your photos, you could try using some special effects.

Firstly, by adding water mist to your upper body, this gives your images the magazine-cover effect many fitness models portray.

If you choose to do this, ask your photographer to add some backlight to highlight the water drops to give the illusion you’re sweating.

For example, the subtle glow on the trainer’s back, arms, and face in the image below highlights her hard work and determination as she climbs the rope.

personal trainer photoshoot

Another idea is to use flour, which has become a popular prop for photo shoots.

Although it’s a messy option, it can help extend and elongate your movements. This makes it great for dance photoshoots but it’s also effective for adding some drama to your PT photos too!

As shown in the image below, we’d recommend having a black background and minimal lighting if using flour in your shoot.

personal trainer photoshoot


Would like to learn more about being a personal trainer in the fitness industry? Then read these articles:

#4 - Wear An Outfit That Shows Off Your Physique For Personal Training Photography

photoshoot pt

It’s useless working on your poses and facial expressions if you’re not wearing appropriate clothing during your photoshoot!

Shown in the image below, the clothing you choose should fit closely to your body without being too tight or uncomfortable.

photoshoot pt

It’s also important to wear an outfit that represents your abilities as well as any specialities you have to ensure your photos appeal to the right target audience.

You’ll want to look sleek and stylish so should wear an outfit that also highlights your professionalism. As shown in the image below, you should wear a simple, coordinated outfit and avoid any busy patterns or logos that may be distracting for a potential client.

photoshoot pt

One of the best personal trainer photoshoot ideas we can give is to choose a few different outfits to wear.

It’s a good idea to have more than one option as you may not feel great on the day in the outfit you originally chose. You may also find it doesn’t work with your chosen background or location.

By having different outfit choices, you’ll have several sets of photos for your personal trainer social media or website pages to ensure all of your posts don’t blend in together.

On the day of your shoot, ensure your outfits are prepared and ready to go. This means they should be clean and ironed if necessary.

#5 - Use A Range Of Camera Angles During A Personal Trainer Photography Session

Your photographer should know all the right angles for your location but it doesn’t hurt for you to have some ideas in mind for angles that help you achieve your desired effect.

We’d recommend shooting from an angle where the lighting will highlight the muscles and give them more definition, rather than light hitting straight on which can make the image look flat.

By positioning the body at a right angle to the light source, the quality of your photos will substantially improve.

Another idea is to shoot from a lower angle, as demonstrated in the image below:

pt photoshoot

This makes it feel as if the viewer is looking up at you and helps your body appear bigger, making you look like a more effective personal trainer.

Another of our personal trainer photoshoot ideas is to capture some images of your face to show a more serious, determined look.

pt photoshoot

This can engage potential clients who are really determined to achieve their fitness goals.

Depending on your location, you may also use reflections in your photography which could be in:

  • Mirrors
  • Puddles
  • Other metallic surfaces

pt photoshoot

These photos often feel more natural as you aren’t looking directly into the camera and can help portray you from all angles.

This can make you come across more relatable, something many potential clients are looking for from their personal trainer.

Before You Go!

As our article has given you some personal trainer photoshoot ideas to spark your creativity, you’re sure to stand out within this competitive market and attract new clients to your services.

However, while personal trainer photography is great, you can also separate yourself from the crowd with our Level 4 Nutrition course! This is a great way to attract clients not only with new skills and knowledge.

Download our course prospectus here or enter your details below to find out more about what else we have on offer.


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Written by Rebecca Felton

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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