In many respects, preparing for a photo
session is much the same as getting ready for a bodybuilding contest.
You need to master the individual bodybuilding poses, choose the proper
posing trunks, and get a good tan. However, the bodybuilder is dependent
to a great deal on the skill of the photographer. A top pro photographer
will help you adjust your bodybuilding poses, make sure you are flexing
properly from head to toe, and position you properly for the light. But
if you are being shot by somebody not as experienced, you have to be
sure that you keep all of these factors in mind if you want the best
background is extremely important as to how a bodybuilder appears in a
photograph. When you pose with a huge building, a large bridge, or
anything else big or confusing behind you, your body will tend to be
dwarfed by the background and look smaller, unless the photographer is
very careful in his choice of lenses and his composition. We discovered
that a neutral background, like the sea or sky, usually works the best
for physique photography. Also, having huge mountains far in the
distance can make you appear enormous.
Getting the right angle is also important.
If the camera is pointing down, the body will look small. But if it is
at waist level or below, and shooting upward, the physique looks that
much taller and more massive. For outdoor shots, time of day is also
vital. Around noon, the sun is straight overhead, which creates harsh
and unflattering shadows. Your photos will look better if you do your
photo sessions when the sun is close to a 45-degree angle, before nine
or ten in the morning or later than three or four in the afternoon,
depending on the time of year. Overcast days are generally better for
color shots than black-and-white. A good photographer will often use
fill-in flash or a reflector to get rid of the shadows under the eyes
that can occur even when you are shooting at the right time of day.
The way your physique comes out on film is
dependent to a large degree on the lens used. The longer the lens, the
less distortion. With a wide-angle lens, you introduce curvature into
the picture that can create an unpleasant effect. In 35mm photography,
unless you are looking for a special effect, never use a lens shorter
than 50mm, and even then the photographer must be careful. You are much
better being photographed with a 90mm or 135mm lens (or their
equivalents in other formats), which makes distortion virtually
bodybuilders pose with props or in unusual locations. In doing this,
care must be taken that the photo really works, that the props,
buildings, or whatever is in the picture makes the physique look better
rather than distracting from it.
Shooting in a studio is an art that requires an experienced
professional. There are many different approaches to studio physique
photography. We always liked to shoot against a white background. With
the right lighting, this can make you look huge. However, the most
dramatic results are achieved by using a black background - a favorite
technique by professional photographer which makes the muscles look even
harder and more defined.
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