[PHOTO] How I Lit It | Fitness Shoot

I thought I’d switch it up and post a photo related blog post. When I started getting into photography in my cramped basement single back in college, behind the scenes blogs and how-to videos were the biggest tools that I utilized in teaching myself how to light and strobe. So for you aspiring photogs just like myself, here it goes.

The Shoot:

Fitness Shoot with Jessica Rose Fitness and Vo2 Multi Fit


Paul C Buff Alien Bee B800 Strobe (X2)

22″ Beauty Dish w/ 30 degree honeycomb grid + diffusion sock

Vagabond Lithium Battery Pack

Cybersync Transmitter and Receiver


The goal was to highlight Jessica’s amazing physique. I wanted to make sure I was controlling the light in a way that accentuated her defined edges, cuts, and definition. To do this, I placed my key light with a gridded beauty dish above her pointing down at about a 45 degree angle. This would light her face and her upper body but with a very narrow stream of light due to the honeycomb grid on the beauty dish. I didn’t want any light spilling out onto the ground or even to her legs. To get a nice side light kick on her body and hair, I placed another light behind her pointed towards the back of her body at a slight angle. This is what gives that high key shine on the side of her head, shoulder, and leg. The visible flare in the background from the light also adds some more interest to the image. The overhead key light and rim light are both firing at angles. This side light is what highlights her defined muscles. Avoid shooting direct light, it will flatten everything out and make the body very 2 dimensional. This is the last thing you want to do when shooting fitness.

Straight From The Camera

 Final After Post  

Same Setup With Derek

RAW Image

Final After Post 

(To see the entire photoshoot, click HERE)

You can learn anything online these days. Take advantage of the internet! In writing this blog post I’m reminded of my information-hungry self 3 years ago and how addicted I was when I found a new website or YouTube channel that pulled back the curtain, revealing the techniques and equipment used in strobist photography. And as Ryan Brenizer says: “If your business is based on secrets, you have a shaky foundation. If you can succeed by being open, working hard, and working smart, then you’re in a good position for continued success.”

With that said, if you have any questions about my process, feel free to shoot me an email, a facebook message, or a message ontumblr. I have also listed my favorite blogs and websites below that have helped me immensely with my photography.

– Amir

Resource List:

Strobist 101

Dom Bower

Framed Network


Lit Up | Joel Grimes

ISO 1200 Mag


Film Riot

Julia Kuzmenko

Emily Soto

Chase Jarvis

Creative Live

Using Format