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Creating Engaging Fitness Photos

November 3, 2023
tim saye

Personal Trainer Software

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Images are a key component of any marketing toolkit, essential in producing online and offline resources for your fitness business.

In this article, we will explore why images are so important, how to approach them more strategically, how to take better photos, and some of the best tools available to help you use images effectively to promote your personal trainer business.

Why are images so important?

It boils down to the old expression: a picture is worth a thousand words. Images are important because they can communicate a message much more quickly and directly than words alone, thus provoking a fast response that is vital in attracting attention in a cluttered online world.

Images are also more engaging than words and more memorable. ZipDo’s Essential visual content marketing statistics in 2023 includes some interesting stats about how people respond to images, such as:

  • Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared on social media
  • Social media posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement
  • Having a featured image increases the odds of getting your content shared by 80%
  • Visual content is 43% more persuasive than text alone

In a nutshell, people are likelier to view, remember, and share content that includes images. But it needs to be the right image to be effective, and that takes some planning.

Preparation and Planning

The more strategic your approach to images, the better results you’ll get. Identify what kind of images you need and work out the best way to get them.

If you go down the DIY route, you’ll need to set some clear objectives and understand the tools available to you. If you decide to outsource by investing in professional photographers or designers, you must write a detailed brief.

So what kind of things should you consider? Here’s a checklist to get started:

  • Equipment: Assess what you have and how to get the most out of it (even if you’re just using your phone camera, check all the settings that you can adjust); do you need new equipment, or could you borrow some?

  • Audience: Always keep your target audience in mind when planning images; they’ll need to identify with your imagery to engage with it (see our article on How to identify your target audience).

  • Branding: The images you use should reflect your brand as much as possible, so draw up a style guide that covers things like color palette, use of logo, etc (see our Personal trainer’s guide to branding for an introduction to this subject).

  • Sizing: Be aware of the different sizes and aspect ratios of images supported by different platforms; they vary enormously, and this should be factored in when composing images so that you can reuse them across multiple sites (here’s a handy guide from the Search Engine Journal).

  • Experiment: Be open to trying out a variety of different approaches (angles, viewpoints, subject matter, lighting, exposure, composition); seek feedback and examine stats to identify what works best.

Tips for taking better photos

You don’t need to be a professional – or have a lot of expensive kit – to take decent quality photos. Careful planning, as outlined above, will go a long way to improving your results, but here are three quick tips that can also help:

  1. Get the lighting right
  2. Lighting can make a huge difference to the feel of your images; lack of light is often a problem, so think about how you’re going to make sure your subject is effectively lit. You could try different times of day (the quality of light changes as well as the shadows), experimenting with flash, using different light sources or reflectors, etc.

  1. Learn the rules of composition Certain rules of composition underpin the best images. One is having a strong focal point; another is the rule of thirds (which uses a 3x3 grid to identify the key positions for your most important elements - often an option in your camera settings); and lastly, using leading lines is a good way of drawing attention to your subject.

  1. Get a tripod
  2. You may have set up the perfect composition under the best lighting conditions, but these efforts will be well-spent if your photo comes out blurred. Steady your camera (or phone) with a proper tripod to ensure nice, sharp images.

Some Tools to Try

We’ve picked out a few of the hundreds of digital tools available to help you create and edit images:

Using high-quality images can give you an edge when promoting your fitness business. The more strategic you are and confident you become, the better images you can create.

Get Creative

In the word of personal training, choosing the right image can help you stand out from the crowd. The reason for this post is to explain that taking better photos can be done without an arsenal of expensive equipment. Mastering lighting composition and using a tripod are keys to capturing stunning shots.

So, try some of these tools today and see how creative you can get.

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