Lighting for Fitness Photography with Erik Valind

On October 12th, Fitness and Lifestyle photographer Erik Valind taught a workshop at Foto Care covering three different types of lighting for Fitness photography.  Using a myriad of Broncolor lights and shaping tools, as well as a fantastic fitness model, Molly Curley, he schooled us on all the details of taking fantastic fitness photos from catalogue to editorial to environmental.  Our event stage was turned into a photography and fitness studio, a great example of how to use every inch of a small space to the advantage of the photographer.  Being flexible and versatile is one of the key skills of great photographers, and Erik fits the bill. 

The first look was a high key catalogue style with a white seamless backdrop and clean, sharp lighting.  This lighting set up is perfect for ecommerce and catalogue shoots, which many photographers claim to be their bread and butter.  While it’s not always the most exciting work, it’s a necessary skill to have and can be lucrative in the freelance world.  Below is a lighting chart outlining the different lights and shaping tools used, as well as a final shot of how the set up looked with the model. 






The second look was a low key sculptural lighting look with a black seamless backdrop which would be better suited for editorial or advertising work.   Below is a lighting chart outlining the different lights and shaping tools used, as well as a final shot of how the set up looked with the model. 





The third look was the environmental portrait.  We scrapped the seamless and used the industrial look of our floors to boost the feeling that we were in a Cross Fit gym.  We gave Molly some props, sprayed some canned fog and went bare bulb with one of the lights to further the effect. Below is a lighting chart outlining the different lights and shaping tools used, as well as a final shot of how the set up looked with the model. 





Fitness photography is an ever-expanding world that many photographers find themselves falling into with the rise of the fitness industry on social media.  Many fitness instructors use Instagram and other social media outlets to gain clientele, and will hire photographers to create beautiful imagery for their feeds.  High end fitness fashion has seen a rise in recent years, as well as many different specialty health and wellness industries such as Yoga, Pilates, and Cross Fit.  A thriving photographer is always expanding their skill set, so hopefully these examples inspired you to give fitness photography a try.   


From now until December 15th, Broncolor is offering some exciting promotions.  If you purchase a Siros Kit, you receive 2 Free Softboxes and Speedrings.  Also, now is the time to upgrade your kit to a Scoro.  Trade in your working pack and up to 3 lampheads to receive 25% off the purchase of a new Scoro.