Let’s be HONEST…
I’ve spent the last 10 years practising exactly how to perfect my craft and be the best version of me I can.
After doing a few couple of diets myself and working with 100’s of different people over the years there has always been one thing that each and every one of us has had in common.
We’ve all dedicated a section of our lives to improve our physical appearance. We’ve all worked HARD to achieve a goal.
As the years have gone by, I have started to work with more competitors who go through an offseason and then get shredded again ready for their competitions.
This blog is kind of addressing two things here that hopefully each and everyone one of you will listen to and take on board in your own way.
When you compete at a top level, you diet down to very low levels of body fat and you push yourself to be the best, when you’re not in peak condition, they class themselves as fluffy.
People compete for different reasons, some for their own physical needs to be pushed to achieve the best body possible, some do it because mentally they’re overcoming some huge mental demons they had before, some just love the journey and the competing element.
I photograph most of my clients when they’re their leanest or just after being stage lean as that’s when they look the best.
It’s not often I shoot with them deep into their offseason when they are at their fullest.
To add extra muscle you need to east lots to allow your body to grow that muscle.
So, when I shot with Hayley recently, I explained to her I want to shoot some headshots but also bring some other clothes with you to try some different looks.
Hayley is a lovely girl who I have worked with a few times now and she openly said: “I am deep into the off-season”. I told her I wanted to push her to see how much we could create with her not being her leaner self.
There were TWO reasons for this, I know Hayley well enough to say that she had to overcome a few hurdles to get to where she is with her fitness achievements. If you only ever feel confident to shoot when you’re at your leanest then it means you haven’t truly learnt to love yourself whatever you weigh or look like.
I didn’t tell her this but aimed to show her by shooting some amazing images of her.
The shoot went really well in my new studio space AKA my loft.
It’s not got a huge amount of space but it works, I need somewhere to create content without the expense of hiring a studio each time.
Simple one light set up, a reflector to lift the shadows on a few of the shots.
After the shoot, I asked Hayley to pick an image that she liked but wouldn’t post because she wasn’t at her leanest.
She chooses this image here.
I liked the shot too, it captured a really nice moment in her posing, she looks confident in her expression but also a slight bit insecure in the pose feeling close and not showing off to much.
Now, I sat next to Hayley and edited the photo and so that I could use it, with her permission I made a few tweaks to make her feel more confident with the overall look.
Her main issue with the image was her stomach area and a tiny bit of her fuller face, she’s used to having more definition and just not caring any extra pounds.
I made the decision to give her a bit more shape on her shoulder and arm but not excessively.
This is the final look after I retouched the image and got rid of any blemishes. I always add shadow and highlights to the model to enhance the body and make it the model stand out in the right way.
Compared to my editing back in the day, where I would have quite frankly have ruined it with over editing it, this is a very simple subtle edit to keep the photo simple and natural.
What I want you to take away from this blog is, Hayley is still the same person in this image. Nothing has changed in who she is in this photo. She is a person who can achieve great things with her body via diet and training.
The only reason why we edited this photo is purely for the comfort of feeling back to how she is used to being photographed.
Hayley has overcome her own hurdles to achieve trophies in her discipline, she now has the confidence and knowledge to improve other peoples lives with her journey. Just because she doesn’t look as lean as she CAN be doesn’t mean she isn’t a pretty girl with ample abilities to do great things.
Ladies and Gents, I take images to help grow people’s brands and businesses, to help them gain more clients or achieve higher sponsorships.
No one can take away from you the person you’re inside, I can edit the hell out of you but you know deep down that the real you should appreciate the fact you have so much in your life to be happy for. Think of it this way, you could be living in a slum or you could have been born a TREE.
Go be happy with who you are, reach new levels of success in your passion as that is the joy of loving what you do, BUT never stop loving yourself for who you are, you’re unique and that’s what makes you AMAZING.
Go do epic things with your time on this planet, don’t waste it filling your head with negative thoughts.
Thanks for your time.