Oct 072015

“Run! Ruuuuuuuuuunn!” “Do it again” “Again” “AGAIN”. Jennifer had already broken a sweat, this was her seventh sprint on a hot San Diego day and we were just getting started. “Do it again!” She bursts out of the blocks, and as she reaches her stride I’m firing 8 frames a second. There it is… at 1/1000 sec. “Got It!” I yell. She looks at me “you suck!”. She walks over to me and my assistant, I turn the laptop so she can see. There is this raging shot, her legs are extended and strong, her arms look strong, the determination on her face is palpable, the beads sweat on her face are beautiful, she is completely “in state” and the picture rocks. She smiles… “Awwwwwww, you don’t really suck. What’s next?”

If you are in the fitness industry in any capacity chances are that you have experienced a “fitness photo shoot”. Whether it be for an apparel company, a sporting goods company, a celebrity personal trainer, a professional athlete or something related to fitness modeling you likely saw something resembling this; said athlete posing with a piece of equipment or “pretending” to run, lift, bike, squat, swing, etc…. Can I be honest? What a bunch of crap! The result, “pretty pictures” with barely a hair out of place and not a wrinkle in the clothing. Is that really what you want? I saw just such a “behind the scenes” video the other day for a major apparel line (that I will not name) and a photographer who looked liked he had never set foot inside of the gym (seriously, at one point he attempted a pull-up… attempted). Everything was staged, coiffed, primped and exasperatingly boring. The make-up artist sprayed “glycerine and water to mimic sweat” on the “athletes” and then they preceded to pretend to work out. As you might imagine, the photo’s came out perfect…. perfectly boring!

We have one client that affectionately calls me “the drill sergeant”. Why? In most cases a photoshoot with me is the hardest workout they will have all month. And I’m right there with them. If you were to poll my clients they would tell you that I’m either running, slogging in the mud, up to my neck in water, standing on the edge or hanging from something to get the perfect shot. You can’t fake impact! My goal for every shot is that millisecond when an athlete is in a state of flow, when 1000% of their attention is committed and they are experiencing “peak performance”. You can’t even see it in the view finder, but you feel it, they feel it, and when it happens it’s magic.

And we leave the spray bottle at home!

Are you up for the challenge? Email production@robertrandall.com and show us your stuff!

Oct 062015
Many of my clients are individual fitness professionals such as Personal Trainers, Professional and Amateur Bodybuilders and Fitness Competitors, Fitness Models, Professional Athletes, Personalities, Fitness Authors. etc…  What I find interesting is that in most cases, if they are interviewing multiple photographers, that no-one has bothered to ask them these critical questions to insure the success of their campaign and great return on their investment.

Here are nine of the top questions that we ask our clients to insure the success of “THEIR” campaign. (Before we ever schedule a photo shoot).

1) What are your core competencies as a fitness professional? What makes your training sessions unique?

I’ve been photographing athletes for two decades and it amazes me how many fitness professionals enter into arraignments with photographers without discussing this most important subject. Shouldn’t EVERY image that you and your photographer produce together highlight the competitive advantage your bring to your clients? From a strictly business standpoint, great photography means nothing unless it shows off those elements that make you distinct, better than everyone else.


Jessica Unbewust – owner/personal trainer/group instructor at Ferrum Fitness

2) What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?

What is the “outcome you’re offering your clients? Weight Loss? Strength? Flexibility? Endurance? Mental Toughness? If your photographer isn’t asking your about this, he/she has no chance of creating imagery that will resonate with individuals who desire that outcome.

3) What does your “perfect” client look like? Age? Fitness Level? Demographic?) What does your “perfect” client look like? Age? Fitness Level? Demographic?

Who are you trying to reach? Every image you put on your web site, brochures, products MUST resonate with your target clientele or you are wasting your money.


From our shoot with Craig Cooper for his new book “Your New Prime“.  His target audience….  Men Over 40 wanting a “Kick-Ass” Life – BE SPECIFIC

4) How do you intend to use these images?

What are we doing here? Are we shooting for your web site? Brochures? Social Media? How about a “fitness head-shot” for any speaking engagements or articles that you might write? Are you planning to do an email campaign based on a specific “boot camp” that you are holding? As a photographer, I can’t provide a “complete” solution unless we discuss these things in advance?

5) What makes your “brand” unique?

This always seems to be the hardest question for my clients to answer. In many cases, they have never really thought about it. Let’s face it, fitness professionals are a lot like photographers…. there are thousands of them in your city. You have a brand whether you like it or not. The question is…. are you going to take control of that brand. The photography you use in marketing is a critical component in influencing people to choose or not choose you. Make sure your photography is “Brand Specific”.

6) What new initiatives do you have planned? How do you intend to grow your business?

Are you planning to launch a new product line? Speaking engagements? A supplement line or nutrition bar? What about your blog? Are you writing? What kind of photography will you need to these future projects? Set clear goals with your photographer as to “what comes next”.


Megan Potter – Owner/Personal Trainer at Damage Control Fitness in Fort Collins, CO

7) What about color?

What colors are you using for your logo, training facility, product line? Do you have particular colors that you and your staff wear when interfacing with your clients? If your photographer isn’t discussing this with you, you could be in for some surprises.

8) What is your desired outcome for this photo-shoot?

Is there a specific goal for this shoot? A new web site? An email campaign? Are your trying to attract new clients or educate your existing clients? At the end of the day, what do you want these images to do for you?

9) How often do you plan to update your imagery?

If your not updating the images on your web site and marketing materials at least every 6 months (preferably, every quarter) then you’re diluting your brand. A good photographer can be a huge asset in developing an action plan to keep your imagery fresh and consistent. Develop a plan to create new “brand specific” imagery at least every 6 months.

Our promise to you…. To craft powerful “Brand Specific” imagery, so recognizable it becomes synonymous with your brand!