Fitness portraits seem to be a rising trend in the world of photography. But how to make those muscles really pop in the photos? Photographer Matt Granger gives you three tips that you and your model can easily use to emphasize the abs. You’ll create photos that will really make those hours in the gym pay off.
Tip #1 – get six pack abs
You may want to start preparing now to take that photo in the summer. Eat moderately, avoid late night meals, stay hydrated, go to the gym… Just kidding. If you only have a six pack in the fridge (like I do), get a handsome model.
Real tip #1 – proper posing
When posing your model, have those “Men’s Health” shots in your mind. The model should stand in a way that looks natural and pretty effortless. Don’t make your model lean forward too much. It will create wrinkles on the skin and look unnatural. But don’t make him or her stretch back too much either, as it flattens out the muscles.
Tip #2 – make the model exhale
Your model can always flex the muscles, but the thing that really makes them pop is exhaling. It brings more muscles to be visible than just flexing, which emphasizes an isolated group of abs. If the model fully exhales and you take the photo, it would make much better result than flexing or just standing there.
Tip #3 – light on the side
Like in any situation in photography, you can’t get perfect results without perfect lighting. To make the abs really stand out, you should put light on the side of the model. Think of the corrugated sand in the desert: you can really see the ridges because the sun is low and hits them on the side. It’s the same with abs. Here are the examples with the light placed far on the side, slightly on the side and directly towards the model:
In addition to these three essential tips, your model can add oil or water on their abs. Personally, I don’t like the effect that creates, and I think nice abs and the three techniques mentioned above will work just fine. But of course, it depends on you and the client. I read somewhere the model should eat some dark chocolate before the photo shoot because it makes the muscles more visible. But again, I think the three tips Matt proposed should do the trick. And you can give that dark chocolate to me.
[How to Photograph Six Pack Abs | Matt Granger]