Bodybuilding Photography

In our sport we use photography as a tool almost daily.

Before and after pics

As horrible as it is to take them, we as trainers need them and our clients need them. Sometimes simply going by the weight on the scale is not enough to keep you motivated, in fact it can depress you in our sport if you don't understand the concept of muscle up – fat down. You may end up weighing heavier but looking fabulous.   If the scales dictated your feelings, then you could end up being very disappointed.

I love to send my clients their progress pictures whether they are snapped fornightly, monthly or yearly. Their faces light up instantly as they see subtle changes in their physiques. If you are asked to have  before photos taken, then man up and have them taken by your trainer or take them yourself in your "smalls" and then file them away so you don't have to look at them for some time. I also advise a short video being recorded of you doing the quarter turns, which is turning to all four sides,  then you will really see what you need to work on.

Professional Photos

1992I remember my very first photoshoot back in 1992. It was an awesome experience and I was wrapped with the photos. This shoot was done by a friend, Robin somebody - I can't remember his last  name but I would love to tell him I still love that photo shoot.  He  was studying photography at the time so it was a tester for him and for me too since it was my first shoot,.  . I love this particular photo (right) and it is one of the ones that I compare for my own personal before and afters.

My next official shoot was with SportsPharma, my first official Supplement Sponsor. I did that with Christhchurch athlete and friend Carin Van Bolderin. I remember being very nervous for that one for sure. Over the years I have done many shoots but the best ones stand out in my mind as being so memorable, they are still some of the best days of my life.

In 2008 I had the amazing opportunity to shoot with Martin Schoeller who was putting out a hard cover book of "Female BodyBuilders".   I, little old kiwi Jo was included in this book along with Lenda Murray, Cathy LeFrancois, Iris Kyle and 59 other woman. This was a shoot with a difference. We were all shot individually over a period of a few days, seated on a stool in this very small space changing room enclosure surrounded by four curtains so we could see nothing. There was a hole in the front curtain where the lens would protrude from. Martin would call an expression and we/I would need to portray that expression for him. BACKIt was very hard not having a camera mans  eyes or face to guide me. I was used to having Peter and Rosemary from humour me into certain looks for a shoot but this was very different.

Before Martin actually took the pics I must of rearranged my bikini top and not having a mirror did not realise that it was off angle so I absolutely hate the photo and hate the expression on my face but I love the book. I never display it. It is hidden in a corner in my lounge to remind me of the days I was just a footstep away from competing with the Pros.
Martin schoeller - Female Bodybuilders If you ever get to read this book, you will relate to why he asked us to do this shoot in that way.

Photoshoots aren't very regular for me now. My most recent shoot was last year 204 with Rosemary and Peter which was called The Silver shoot but named by my friend and helper Nadia "Tin TIn".  It was a naked shoot and I was covered in silver body paint and just let loose to do as I pleased.tintin12tintin17


I love having photos taken.  The love is still there but until there is a comp in sight and I'm looking like a competition athlete I will just settle for the odd gym photo for my site and Facebook. For my clients I love to set them a goal of a photo shoot. Not all of my clients are competitors, not even half of them are, so a photo shoot is a huge goal. I like to use Peter and Rosemary for these shoots. There work is amazing whether you are wanting glamour, wedding, family or athletic shoots.

peter and rosemary


Competition Photos


One thing I stress to my competitors is you really have to ensure that you order onstage photos from the photographer who is shooting on the day. More often or not Keith Jolly from is the photographer. Keith also shoots the contest videos so he is a busy man. But basically if you haven't sorted your order with him and paid prior to the beginning of the competition then you will not be included. He is a busy man trying to snap a dozen or so pictures of each competitors so he only focus's on the athletes who have paid. These photos are going to teach you a lot, not the photos your boyfriend or Mum have taken. Keiths photos will show your body and how it was on the day. You learn what to improve from these photos and as equally important from the DVD. Please don't scrimp of pennies, they are afterall representing what will hopefully be some of your best memories.

If you are thinking of shooting a post comp photo shoot then try to do so within 1 or 2 days. Keep your food low especially if you have spent a few days carbing up and definitely keep your sodium levels down so you are not holding water. Think of somewhere exciting for your shoot rather than an indoor shoot. Your body is going to be at its best so show it off.


I hate the "Selfies" we see every single day on Facebook. I know I have done lots in the past for my website (I reckon I was just about the creator of "NZ Selfies") 10 years ago when I would post my competition progress pics on my site but what we see today is just ridiculous.

I personally stop anybody's status feeds coming through which show selfies doing a dumbbell curl, eating my rice cake, legs after shaving, abs before doing No's 2's, abs after doing No's 2's" and also the endless "glute" selfies shot from the right angle where everybody's butt looks good. In my eyes these are pathetic. If you need some hints and tips on training and nutrition then they are acceptable but if you are aiming to promote your breast surgeon or Brazilian underwear, then don't bother. your social media marketing partner