5 things to remember when a photographer is in your fitness class

By: SweatNET

I am a professional photographer. It’s taken me a long while to actually come to that admission even though I have an Art Degree and have been formally educated in the profession. I never intended for this to be a career. Never imagined it, simply because I just enjoyed doing it. So when my girlfriend (now my wife) wanted to start a fitness blog, I thought it would be a great activity to do together. Fast forward to four years later and over 2,000,000 shutter actuations (the number of photos taken), I think it’s safe to say that this is no longer date-night for the two of us. With 6 other photographers on staff at SweatNET, this is a major part of our business that is often ironically “unseen” or rather, not very talked about because we throw really really fun events… 


I am super proud to have personally worked with some of the largest fitness brands on national marketing campaigns, but I will always be a student to the process. Many people are often caught off guard when they see me, an awkward 6’4” dude dressed out in lululemon sweats, in the studio – a place where cameras and photographers are generally discouraged. So if/when you see me (or any other SweatNET photographer) in the studio here are some things to remember. 

sweatnet owner Thomas Gallagher

  1. I shoot fitness photography…not boudoir: I am not interested in your boobs or your booty. First, I’m married, but more importantly I’m a professional. Fitness classes can put those participating in them in very interesting positions. It is my job to take flattering photos, not to take pictures that the subject should ever be embarrassed of. So please, do your downward dog or happy baby knowing that I know these are not photographic moments from any other angle besides profile and I promise we are not taking pictures you may feel awkward about.

    sweatnet yoga class
    photo taken at Core Power Yoga at park road shopping center

  2. If you don’t feel comfortable being in photos, stand close to me: I for one hate having my photo taken. I get it. The easiest thing to do is stand closest to me (if it is tight quarters) because I will be typically shooting into the space. Also, let me know before class and I can help direct you to where the least covered area will be – It’s always easy to respect your privacy as long as we can work together. If you’re up by the instructor right in center, odds are you will be in a photo or two. If you’re standing next to me, odds are you will only be a blurry elbow.

  3. Forget that I exist: Please for the love of all that is good in the world do not keep looking over at the camera. Remember, it’s my job to make you look good. Unless we are doing a private studio photoshoot, I want you doing your thing with maximum focus. If you’re looking for me or the camera you will NOT look as good. We don’t use a flash and we typically dress in all black, if you try to forget about us for a couple minutes, odds are you will ACTUALLY forget about us.

    sweatnet madabolic
    Photo taken at madabolic southend

  4. If you like your photos taken, tell me: Knowing people that enjoy a little bit of extra camera time helps me get a little more creative. I respect everyone’s personal space while photographing studio classes, but if you grab me before class and say you’re OK with me getting a little bit closer or in your realm of focus to get a cool shot…odds are we will get a very cool shot. sweatnet yoga class

  5. Don’t be self conscious: I’ve said it twice, and I will say it ten more times… It is my job to make you look awesome.This doesn’t mean making sure you have a 6-pack stomach, but it means you crushing YOUR goals at group fitness. When we started taking photos in the fitness world, we did so because fitness marketing did not showcase a true representation of the diversity of bodies in a class. A photo of you, no matter what body type you are can inspire someone else to start their journey to health.

    sweatnet air aerial fitness
    Photo taken at Air Aerial Fitness

We are shooting photos with studios nearly every day of the week. If you want some kick ass photos of yourself working out, the easiest way is to start visiting any of the studios we are at, and you will look good on film! Studios often do mock classes JUST for photos so we can bring extra lights, feel free to reach out and ask to be part of these! Otherwise you are always welcome to hire us to take your fitness or lifestyle shoots.


Mentions In This Article: