I have touched on previous posts about who I am and what I do but this blog gives me the chance to tell you my back story and how you have come to reading this post on my website.
I worked a 9-5 job and enjoyed going to the gym with friends. About 4 or 5 years ago I got my my first DSLR camera and became hooked on photography as a hobby, I quickly realised I had an eye for a good photograph and was keen to learn all techniques with regards to photography itself and post processing work, I loved youtube for tutorials to expand my skills. I began taking my camera on photowalks, holidays and focused on landscapes and urban exploring. I would post these on facebook or Flickr (anyone remember that?!), the only real social media platforms at the time for photographers and people always reacted well to my photos.
Around this time one of my training partners in the gym had mentioned to me that a friend of his was prepping for a fitness competition and was looking for photos, we got in contact and arranged for a shoot, this was to be the beginning of my future career and I never realised it at that moment in time. This was going to be a new challenge and I needed to research what these photos should look like to best show off physique, posing, lighting etc. I took to google for fitness images and it was then I stumbled across the greats in the industry at that time, Chris Bailey and Giles Crofta. I was blown away by the images they were producing and still am to this day. I downloaded as many as I could to try and replicate for my shoot. I arrived at the shoot with whatever makeshift lighting I could gather and used a café wall as the backdrop, the final product was pretty good for my first attempt.
The client then posted the image on social media, with my first attempt at a logo, it was well received (the image, the logo not so much!) and a few more enquiries began to come in. A few more people were requesting similar type shots against a plain back drop, so I hired a studio for shoots and began to learn different lighting techniques with the equipment the studio provided. Then next came the request to shoot inside a gym, once that first shoot was done, I knew this was what I wanted to specialise in, my love and passion for fitness photography was born.
I loved being in the gym environment and like everyone else I bought all the big publications like muscle and fitness or flex magazine. The images and the physiques in these magazines were always inspiring but now I was actually looking at the photographer’s names as well as the photos. I invested in some starter lighting kits and roped in training partners and people I knew from the gym and I experimented and experimented with lighting and angles and lens to achieve the right look. A look that I would call my own. I enjoyed trying to imitate the great names as mentioned above but establishing my own style was important to me.
“As with anything we learn and we adapt”
Year on year, the enquiries grew and grew, in tandem with the fitness industry and the social media scene and I was working many evenings and weekends on top of my 9-5 office job, but I loved it and wouldn’t change it. In the beginning when I created my look I opted for a grittier look, to rally emphasise every last detail of the physique but sometimes the images could turn out very dark. As with anything we learn and we adapt, I adopted new techniques with lighting, invested in the best equipment, applied softer editing techniques and was able to achieve the same level of detail with a more aesthetically pleasing look.
As mentioned with the increase in social media, people were now aware that they had the ability to promote themselves, their physiques and their business all on-line. The demand changed from images for magazines to images for social media where their reach could be just as good if not better than publications. This also presented new opportunities for me to work with not only competitors but also with coaches and with their clients who were perhaps going under transformation programmes (maybe my next blog idea, stay tuned!). To keep up with demand and to provide the best service, I began to spend more time on my photography business and went part time in my 9-5, this however wasn’t working for me, my passion and love was with my photography business and this year I took the step to go full time photographer.
I do this all with the support of my wife, my daughter and family and friends but is you the clients and the fitness industry that I love that have given me this opportunity.
This is who I am. Who are you? How did you get to where you are? Let me know in the comments section.