How Many Lights Do You Need for Indoor Fitness Shoots?

When shooting fitness photography, lighting plays a big part to help capture all details in the subject's appearance. How many lights should you have? What are some of the best placements for strobes during the shoot? 

Fitness photographer Brett Seeley shared a few different videos showing how he sets up his shoots indoors using different lighting setups, varying from a simple one-light look to a six-light setup. In these videos, Seeley shares how he directs and lights both a male and a female fitness subject. In the beginning, Seeley starts the shoots with one light and builds upon that setup after some variations in placement while talking through the decisions to add more lights. 

You can do a lot with just one strobe light. If you are just starting, these videos are a great way to check out how you can work with just that one light. If you find yourself thinking about adding more strobes, you can also see exactly how many lights you will need to achieve your preferred look and some of the best places to position them.

How many lights do you typically use for fitness shoots? From the video, how many lights do you think are best? 

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3 Comments

Benoit Pigeon's picture

I was briefly watching a one light glassware video by Gavin Hoey yesterday, when I realized it was another of those multi images combined in post in PhotoShop. These are cool, but production wise, a total misery of unproductive time spend. Great for one image but clients typically bring you multiple items to shoot. This method as long as the photographer is under equipped is great for disaster, slow production and unwanted time in post.
Not saying you can't do work with limited gear, but as these video show, you are more productive with more gear than you need simply because you may need it all. A lot of the time, you don't know until you are on the actual set.
Fitness, jewelry, furniture... it does not matter, 6 lights is really not uncommon for commercial photography.

Catherine Bowlene's picture

Lightning is really important. I remember when I first started getting some results out of my workouts, I noticed that sometimes they are hard to see due the lightning, and it was irl, leave alone the pictures! The photo can be fixed via Photoshop or Photoworks, of course, but no amount of post-processing can give you a better light.

Michelle Maani's picture

Please, have the guys arch their backs and pull up their shorts to show off their butts too!