You don't just decide one day to have a photo shoot the next day and expect to look and feel your best . . . there is a lot of planning and preparation that needs to be done to ensure a successful shoot. Here are my Top 10 suggestions when gearing up to look and feel your best for those 'special events':
1. Get in the weight room. To shape your body, you need muscles . . . this takes a lot of dedication and commitment to hours and hours in the gym. I would suggest getting serious about sculpting your body with the right workouts, at LEAST 6-9 months before the scheduled shoot.
2. Pay attention to what you put in your body. You can spend hours and hours and hours in the gym, but if your diet sucks, you will NEVER get lean and tone like you hope too. I have worked out my entire life, but this last year was the first year paying attention to how I fuel my body. With the proper foods, I am able to recover faster (so I can lift and workout harder). The way I feed my body is strategic in that I eat just enough to build muscle, but not too much that I deposit fat. I focus my calorie content on vegetables and proteins, because they supply my body with the most nutrients with the least amount of calories (biggest bang for my buck).
3. Drink tons of water. It is advised to drink at least 1/2 of your body weight in ounces every day. This helps with fat loss, enhances performance and makes your skin look stunningly beautiful.
4. Get your sleep. Sleep is probably THE most important factor in looking and feeling your best. I was averaging at least 8-9 hours every night.
5. Put together a "shot list". Scroll the internet and find pictures of fitness models that you would like to replicate during your shoot. This will make it easier to get exactly what you are looking for. Plus, it will give your photographer a good idea of what you want to capture during your shoot.
6. Get a tan. Because I'm not a fan of tanning beds, I tried the spray tan for the first time during my last fitness shoot. I was very impressed by the results. I chose the 'dark' tan and was very pleased, plus it didn't turn me orange (which was my fear). Having a tan brings out a certain "healthy glow" plus it shows muscle definition more vividly.
7. Make-up, hair and eyelashes enhance photos. Obviously, when you're working out, make-up and hair are the last things that you think about. You could care less what you look like because your workout is the priority. But, a photo shoot has a different objective and I think finding the right team to make you look/feel more beautiful is very important.
8. Pick out the right outfits. Spend some time looking through your workout attire. Or, use this "special event" as the perfect time to purchase new workout clothes. Find outfits that accentuate the areas of your body that you want to focus on and that go perfectly with the look that you'd like to have.
9. Have a photographer that you're comfortable with and an assistant. Obviously, the photographer is important and you need to trust that he/she can capture the look(s) that you're going for. But, I also found that it's important to have an assistant to do all those "little things" that end up being THE most important. For example, fixing your hair, tucking in a tag, moving a weight, looking at the shot list,etc.
10. Location. Find a location that offers what you're looking to capture in your photos. Scout out the location ahead of time with your photographer to get the general idea and lay-out BEFORE the shoot day. This will make the day run a lot smoother.
This was my first official, BIG fitness photo shoot. It was a lot of prep, hard work and a long day at the shot location, but totally FUN and worth it. A big thanks to Nate Herbeck with Sheer Madness Productions for capturing the essence of "who I am" and what I wanted to capture in the photos AND a huge thank you for the rest of the team.