10 Things I’ve Learned from Doing a Fitness Photo Shoot

My goal this month was to do a fitness photo shoot after 8 weeks-ish of eating clean and working out.  I was not perfect on my eating/workout plan <<shakes fist at the people who are>>, but there was a photo shoot, and this is what I learned…

Take the Freaking Pictures – You will never be in shape enough or have your hair perfect enough or your face flawless enough or your clothes trendy enough for a photo shoot.  There are SO many photo shoots that will never happen because people think they’re not “ready yet.”  I hate that and I have a tendency to think that too.  I’m the first to delete a picture where my face look puffy or my stomach doesn’t look flat enough.  Just take the pictures.  Do not live a life of your only photo being a glamour shot from 1996.  I’m not campaigning for “fitness photo shoots” for all per se, I’m just saying, take some nice family pictures, people.  If your face breaks out or your arms look fat…well…that’s life…and for me personally, I’m tired of pretending it’s not.

The “hand on hip” Pose is Here to Stay – Oh man, I tried to resist it.  I tried to get women everywhere, across the globe, to come to some sort of woman-agreement that we could all just stop doing it.  We’d stop standing in a line up and being that one token woman with her hand on her hip on the end.  But, I mean, we just all look thinner that way.  I so want to look just as good with my arms down, but, it’s this weird trick someone discovered somewhere and once the word got out to all of us, we just can’t stop doing it.

Stop Waiting for a Special Event – Stop waiting for a holiday or special event to get pictures taken.  We’re in an age where people are taking selfies everyday, and in some instances, we kind of wish they’d stop.  But, in general, just book a professional photo shoot just because.  Just because the last nice pictures of you and your husband were 8 years ago.  Just because your hair is darker now than it once was.  Just because your Grandma might like an updated picture of you.  Just because you found a cool photographer you like.  Just because you don’t want your LinkedIn profile to include the semi-cropped shoulder of your best friend (nothing says “hire me” more than bar lighting and strands of hair from your bestie creepin’ into your headshot).  Special note:  if you are married but do not have kids, I’m talkin’ to you.  Chris and I have been married for 7.5 years and unless I set something up over the summer…literally…the last “professional” picture we would have had together was….well….I was blonder….and 15lbs lighter….and I had a wedding dress on.  If you don’t have kids and you don’t do yearly Christmas cards with family photos, I think it’s super easy to feel like you don’t have a good enough excuse for professional photos.  And when people saw our professional pictures or asked me why we had them done, I was totally comfortable saying “just because.”  I look at the photos and I love them.  I love that we look our current age in them.  I love that we’re wearing our current clothes.  I love that we’re in the city we currently live in.  Just book a photo shoot, just because.

Wear the Black – Just be who you are.  I spent far too long stressing over my outfit for my fitness photos when in reality, I wear all black when I workout….so….I went with all black.  Just be you.

Bring Your Friends – Since Jan 1, I had a small group of women who were working towards fitness goals and were participating in the photo shoot too.  It made the experience 10x better.  I may have been the so-called leader of the group simply because I coordinated the shoot and started the Facebook page, but let me tell you, I wasn’t the most motivated.  You don’t have to be perfect to put together a group of women moving in similar directions.  They’ll carry you when you can’t do it sometimes.

Show Me the Proofs – Working with a great photographer is one thing…working with a photographer who sends you a link to your gallery within a week of your shoot is another!  Bravo, Kimberly….Bravo!  (http://www.kimberlypotterf.com/)

Everyone is Prettier with Lipstick On – Truth.  So you better wear it when you get photos done.

…But She’s in Better Shape than Me – While I say that having a group of peeps to do fitness challenges or photo shoots with is better, which it is…that doesn’t mean we’re not human and we don’t compare ourselves to others (women, am I right?!).  Above all the lessons this month, I have (and continue to) learn to just be the best me and accept whatever that is at that time.  I have friends who look absolutely amazing and fitness is a huge focus in their life.  If I waste too much of my life comparing myself to them and not taking my full day/life/interests/schedule/genetics/motivation/whatever into account, then I’d sit on my couch and cry all day.  You just can’t do that to yourself.  The moment we can stop drowning in comparisons is the moment we can finally celebrate other people’s accomplishments authentically and wholeheartedly.

All In or All Out – I continue to learn lessons of my “all in” or “all out” personality.  I am either chicken breasts, brown rice, and broccoli, or I’m pizza and breadsticks with pizza on the side and more breadsticks on top.  The desire to be healthy has to come from a deep place inside.  No blog, fitness photo shoot, or group of friends with similar goals can control what I eat at the end of the day.

Handstands for Life – The fact that I can still do a handstand for a photo shoot, at the age of 33 (now 34 as of Friday), makes me happy.  I hope I can channel that inner-gymnast for many years to come.

I did it!