5 reasons why a photo session should be part of your training program

5 reasons why a photo session should be part of your training program


You are a Champion. A champion long before you step on any stage and a champion no matter where you place or trophies you win or don’t win. But I think you’re cheating yourself by not budgeting at the start of it all for some professional photography and here are five simple reasons why.

1. The stage is not enough

Let’s face it, you will never have enough time to shine on stage. The ten minutes or so you get will never measure up to the half day or full day photo session experience with a talented photographer. And the few photos snapped by your friends and family from the middle row somewhere are not exactly framable either. I think you deserve more.


2. You deserve it

You have earned to have some amazing photos of yourself.

Training and exercising in order to stay healthy is one thing, but what you’ve taken this to the next level. You are an athlete. An extreme athlete at that. You have taken your body to its limit and your mind beyond the limit. What you’ve done is created a piece of art.


3. You’re more than a beautiful body,

you’re a piece of art

You are a piece of art! There is no doubt about it. As a competitor you are no different than the Michelangelo’s statue of David so many admire in a museum, except that David is eternal, while what you’ve shaped is going to fade. Not to mention the fact that it would be really creepy if all those Hawaiian shirt tourists kept walking through your living room taking pictures of you!

4. It will help you remember

You are a piece of art and planning a photo session will make you eternal too. A good photographer can capture your beauty and take something that very naturally fades, and turn it into something you can remember forever.


5. It will inspire others

But it’s not just about you. When you get to be eighty or ninety and you are telling your great grand kids that grandma was a bikini or bodybuilding competitor, they might think nana is on the sauce again. But you’ll be able to pull out a stunning album, which will increase in value a thousand times, and inspire them to live life to the fullest as well.

There are more reasons than this why planning a photo session before you compete is a must. It should never be an after thought and you should never let the cost fool you by not seeing the value.

You are a champion and deserve it.

Athletes who train and compete are very similar to brides and grooms. They know have valuable of owning great inspirational images of themselves but they often ignore getting them, that is until the end. It is the very last thing they do. Scrambling to find a great photographer, often seeing the cost instead of the value of the experience.

The cost of being a fitness competitor is great. You pay for your passion with heaps of time and piles of money. There is the gym membership, personal trainer, posing coach, and twelve week nutritional plan. There are fashionable outfits to be had for training and just hanging out. There are skids of chicken breasts to be consumed, cotton bags of vegetables to be eaten, and barrels of protein powder to drink. Not to mention this supplement and that one.

There is also the Swarovski-crystal posing suit to buy and God help you if someone else is sporting the same one onstage! There are association fees to pay. Registration costs and tickets for friends and family.

Then there is the tanning session you need so that you don’t look like a ghost or a ripe orange under those bright spot lights on the stage. Plus there is hair and make up to consider and probably few more small things that keep adding up to the cost of your madness.

All this, while you go to work, take care of your family, and juggle a myriad of other commitments.

I for one believe you’re a Champion. A champion long before you step on any stage and a champion no matter where you place or trophies you win or don’t win. But I think you’re cheating yourself by not budgeting at the start of it all for some professional photography and here are five simple reasons why.

4 simple steps to help hide that double chin

Sometimes the camera lies! 

Ok, maybe it doesn’t really lie, that’s harsh, but it does sometimes mistranslate what it sees or sees what we wish to  hide, but how could it not? The camera is given a lot of responsibility. It has the task of reinterpreting something that is three dimensional and rendering it a two dimensional image, and let me tell you, that is oodles and oodles of responsibility, not to mention pressure.

And so the camera fibs a little, especially when it is handled by novice hands and the cost over time is tremendous. We have all become a bit discouraged when its time for a photos and some of us have learned to really hate having our picture taken at all. 

We have to remember that the art of photography is a very important way we can tell our stories and capture our lives. Removing ourselves from pictures because the camera tends to add a few pounds robs us from the fun of looking back on our life and sharing those memories with others.

The camera needs a little help!

One simple you can help being seen differently is to present yourself differently.  Remember that the way you sit or stand will greatly determine the quality of the images that are taken.

There is a non-surgical, non-invasive remedy for all this, and it is very simple and super easy to do. It’s a hack that takes but four simple steps. Follow them and fall in love with yourself all over again.



Step One

Hire a good photographer and forget the other steps. He will do all of the hard work with you.

Step Two

Stand straight and slowly roll your shoulders back to assume a much better posture.

Step Three

Imagine that someone has placed a suction cup on top of your head and it is stretching your beautiful neck as far as it will go.

Step Four

Without changing your posture or lowering your neck in any way, move your chin forward. Move it as far as you can toward the camera.



That’s it!

Good posture alone is powerful enough to make you look and more importantly FEEL better. It will make you taller, stronger, more confident, and you can’t photoshop that!


7 must have songs on your session playlist!

Creating a photo session playlist to ensure amazing results is no longer a luxury.  

You need to feel fabulous and the right set of songs will do exactly that, but don’t forget your photographer. After all, you want them to feel the energy too!

Everything matters, and it all begins with a groovy playlist. So don’t leave it to the last minute and make creating one a priority.

Choose your songs carefully. Make a playlist that’s a couple of hours or so, hit that shuffle button if needed, and let the music do the rest.

If you don’t know where to start, perhaps you need some of these…


Brown Eyed Girl

Blowin’ Your Mind! – 1976 – Van Morrison

This is a must on any playlist even if you were not blessed with brown eyes. Any shade will do. This is a Van Morrison signature classic and to exclude it would be a grave sin.


Don’t Stop Believing

Escape – 1981 – Journey

This song was good enough to be featured in the finale of the Sopranos and so if it was good enough for James Gandolfini and David Chase, I wouldn’t mess with the Soprano’s crew and put it on there.

‘Creating a photo session playlist to ensure amazing results is no longer a luxury’


Single Ladies

I am… Sasha Fierce – 2008 – Beyonce

Not only did this song win three grammy awards in 2010 and was the song of the year, it has become a powerful anthem for women everywhere. It’s right up there with Respect by Aretha Franklin. You will move and groove to this for sure.



Despicable Me 2 Soundtrack – 2013 – Pharrell Williams

This may have been a touch overplayed when it first came out. The uber successful kids film might have had something to do with it but enough time has past for it to be included. This is such a soulful song, and well, it will make you happy.



Spice – 1996 – Spice Girls

No list is complete without a Spice Girl song and Wannabe might be the best candidate. This is a great uptempo number that will have you wondering what you want, what you really, really want. Hopefully that is an amazing experience and some stunning photos.

‘Don’t leave it to the last minute and make creating one a priority’


Sweet Child O’Mine

Appetite for Destruction – 1987 – Guns N’ Roses

Every playlist needs a bit of an edge, but instead of Where the Streets Have No Name, I highly recommend an eighties stadium classic. Every photoshoot needs a little bit of sweetness, some guns, and some fragrant roses.



(What’s the Story) Morning Glory? – 1995 – Oasis

The Gallager brothers were not bigger than the Beatles but I do like their moxie. Wonderwall was and is a huge hit and it has the kind of moxie you should bring to a photo session. If you don’t have it, Oasis might just do the trick and draw some of it out.

‘Have fun!’

the moment that changed everything

the moment that changed everything

These are some of my favourite photos I have ever taken of anyone. They are the reason I’m so passionate about what I do.

Photography can transform your life. If you learn to let go and bear your soul.

I first met Jess through her coach Brandon. She wanted some photos done so she could remember her third place finish in her first ever figure competition. The work of a physique athlete is very demanding. The dedication is insanely immense and time on stage unimaginably short.

Too short, if you ask me.

You get about ten minutes of stage time in front of a cheering crowd and some ridiculously blinding lights. You share that ten minutes with everyone else but you do get about sixty seconds to pose and show off your physique. After that it’s gone. Gone forever.

It is very sad how physique athletes who work so hard and create such amazing curves treat professional photos as an after thought, or find it a luxury to hire an exceptional photographer. Jess and I met for the first time at a local gym. It was a wonderful session. She was so proud of what she was able to accomplish that she booked me again a year later after competing at the provincial championships.

This time we left the limited space of the florescent gym, and traded it all in for beautifully sunny weather and the vast open space of a beautiful boardwalk. This session was even better than the first. Jess was more confident and we were able to share a few laughs. Jess even fielded some curious questions by some seniors from a near by home who were out for their daily walk.

I’m not exactly sure when it was but a few months after I saw Jess post a photo of herself without her wig. She was brave enough to share her struggle with alopecia. Alopecia is is a non life threatening disease which cases partial or complete absence of hair.Jess has struggled with alopecia her entire life, and although I was aware of her condition, I had no idea how beautiful she was without her wig.

I asked her if she would do a photo session with me. No cost. Just for the fun of it. She hesitated because she didn’t think she was in optimal shape and wasn’t sure about taking of her wig. A selfie is one thing, but feeling vulnerable under bright Elinchrome lights is another.

But she agreed and we met in this quaint little heritage school house I booked for the day.

I remember clearly indicating to Jess that she was going to pose without her wig but I was surprised to see her wearing it and making no effort to remove it. She was very shy and self conscious and I wasn’t going to push.

I took a few test photos. We chatted for a bit and I reminded how amazing she looked in that instagram photos I saw of her.

With a little more encouragement she put on her red comfy sweater and removed her wig.

I’m not sure how early into the session I decided to share some of the images with her, but when I did, she cried. I will never forget that. I don’t do well when people show deep emotions in front of me, but this was different. This was so powerful because I saw Jess see perhaps for the first time how I saw her and what she saw and what I saw were not aligned. At least not until that moment.