Fitness photoshoot advice from Fivos the photographer

November 10, 2014


As part of my prep this year, I booked a photoshoot with Fivos Averkiou, a photographer who specialises in physique-type shoots. He’s been a (very good) bodybuilder himself, and is also the guy who shoots the official stage photos at most of the bodybuilding shows I’ve ever done, so was the obvious choice!

It’s something I’ve been promising myself for a while, and I thought… well, I guess I thought why not! I wanted a record of how I look during prep (and I now have a load of useful work/fitness type promo and headshots, which will come in handy for work!)

The day after the shoot, I ached from head to toe and was absolutely shattered! This wasn’t helped by being in the latter stages of a (lonnnng) prep diet, I’m sure, but the shoot was a lot more tiring than I anticipated. We essentially did a high-rep full body workout (something I never do), with lots of holds and squeezes and plenty of posing, too.

I was pretty clueless going into the shoot. I sort of knew what to expect, from sitting in on magazine shoots as a journalist, but this wasn’t editorial. I was also incredibly nervous, despite knowing Fivos very well (Fivos – I can tell you this now – I nearly cancelled on you about five times!)

Things to do before a photoshoot

If there’s anyone else out there who, like me, has booked a physique/sports gym-based shoot for themselves without having the first clue about how to get the most out it, I hope this will help:

I asked Fivos to give me his best advice for anyone else as clueless nervous new as I was to this kind of thing. Here’s what he had to say.

Who arranges the location and how do you decide what to do when you are there?

Locations are your personal choice, but personally I mainly shoot around London and Essex (where I’m based). Although I have had shoots further up North.

With bodybuilders – what I’m mainly known for – it’s easy to set the shoot criteria as most will want the same kind of thing. I tell them “you train, I shoot”.

I will add in some staged, “static” shots once we’ve got warmed up, which always look cool.

For me, it’s about making the person feel comfortable in front of the lens. Most that shoot with me are bodybuilders/physique athletes, so it’s about coaching them into how the different shots and angles will look, etc.


On the flipside, when I shoot fitness models, it’s the opposite. They tend to be great at getting in the right position, but need instruction when it comes to muscle contractions.

What do you advise people to wear, bring with them?

I generally tell people to wear what they would normally train in. With men, shoots tend to be mostly topless. I also encourage outfit changes throughout the shoot. And, if the person wants, we can to more brand clothing “model shots” at the end of the shoot.

(Thefitwriter says: for example, I brought two tops to my shoot and only wanted a few frames in each: one for the friend who’d kindly sent me one of the tops as a gift, and one of the wording on my favourite training top: Work Hard, Be Nice… can’t really go wrong with that simple mantra! 😉 )

How would you suggest someone prep for a shoot, both in the medium and short term (e.g. getting your body ready, deciding what sort of images you want to go for, and having a tan…)

If they are prepping for a show, I advise people to shoot one week beforehand at the latest. At one week out you are ready to go and have not started any water manipulation etc. You don’t want to do anything which will affect your show prep, but equally you don’t want to be at your shoot in the middle of a carb deplete. I would always advise a great base tan, as it really shows on the images.


Fiv’s five top tips for a physique photoshoot
1) Remember you are paying for the shoot so make sure you get what you want.
2) Check out the photographer’s work and ask around about the photographer’s work ethic (word of mouth is the best recommendation).
3) Choose a photographer who will act professionally on your shoot and ask you permission to release any shots.
4) You pay for the shoot, so you should know exactly what’s going on with your images (I always ask permission from the person I shoot if it’s OK to post an image on social media.
5) Take time to talk to the photographer before the shoot: bounce ideas off each other and get a shoot criteria laid down.

Thanks Fivos, I really enjoyed our shoot and love my images!

You can get hold of Fivos via Fivos Photography on Facebook or at his website Showshoots.

Fitness photoshoot advice from Fivos the photographer is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Physique photoshoot (2) and photoshoot tips from Kelly Rennie

July 1, 2011

Here we are with two days to go til my first bodybuilding comp. After a four-day carb-deplete (during which time I totally forgot both my bank card PIN numbers, cut through my finger and left my engagement ring on a piece of gym equipment), I’m tucking into a blissful bowl of oats and getting ready to pack my bags for Sunday’s comp.

On Wednesday, I had a photoshoot with Dale Strickland-Clark of Immortaleyes Photography (also on Facebook.). You may recall I had a shoot with him months ago after my initial 8-week body recomp gym challenge. Those photos (or some of them) are here.

Dale very quickly turned around some images from Wednesday’s shoot (thank you, Dale!) and so I thought I’d share some of them here.

This is only the second time I’ve done a shoot like this so I am far from any kind of expert in the matter. Dale told me what to do, where to stand, how to pose and what expression to have on my face. So, to make this post useful (since I thought there may be some of you out there interested in fitness modelling, or preparing for a shoot of your own), I asked Kelly Rennie to give her top tips for fitness photoshoots.

Kelly is a successful figure competitor and popular fitness model – she won the most recent World Sports Model Agency competition.

Here’s what Kelly had to say:

“Before I go on a photoshoot, I always write a check list, as the last thing you want to happen is arrive at a shoot without something essential.

Book your tan, hair, makeup well in advance and have a backup plan if possible.

Spend time doing your research on the photographer’s portfolio as you want to make sure that your photos turn out great.

Research what look you are going for in terms of poses and get some examples over to the photographer so he knows what your looking for with the shoot. Discuss everything in detail, so the day goes with ease.”

Thanks Kelly (and congratulations on your most recent sponsorship deal with Optimum Nutrition). And thank you, Dale!

I’ve got a pretty full day today (having already been up since 5:30am for my local business networking group!). I’m not training, but might pop into the gym just to say bye to the guys there. I need to prep my food (carbs!), walk into town to pick up last minute bits and bobs for the weekend, I must burn my posing routine music onto CDs, I need to pack my bags and I want to get at least two sessions of posing and routine practice in. Then of course I want to watch the Murray/Nadal match, and chill out with my feet well and truly up.

Please all wish me a long and restful night’s sleep tonight. I’ve been sleeping absolutely horribly all week.

If you want to follow my Tweets from before, during and after the show on Sunday, follow @thefitwriter on Twitter. I’ll do my best to update as often as I can!

Physique photoshoot (2) and photoshoot tips from Kelly Rennie is a post from The Fit Writer blog.

Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.

Fitness physique photoshoot

January 13, 2011

Just before Christmas, I was lucky enough to be asked to act as the body for a physique photo shoot. Dale Strickland-Clark, a professional photographer (and husband of my friend, sports masseur and fitcamp instructor, Heidi), had heard about my 8-week body recomp challenge and asked if I’d go along to his lovely studio so he could take some physique shots for his portfolio.

I ummed and ahhed (not being used to that kind of thing!) and then thought of course I will! A free photoshoot with some professional images at the end of it? OK!

The shoot was quite an eye-opener: professional fitness models out there have my respect – it is not easy to hold “flexed” poses for a long time, making sure you’re balanced and symmetrical, all the while trying to look “serene” (ha ha – not sure I ever achieved that part!) Thank you Dale for a fun photoshoot and a great set of images. Here are some of them.

Muscle model photo

PS It should be noted I am not currently that tanned, pumped up or dieted down 😉 (Yes, I sought expert advice on the topic of “Help, I’m being photographed in sports kit and need to look my best as quickly as possible!”)

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