Sydney Lifestyle Photographer Case Study – Muscle Torq

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Client: Muscle Torq
Shoot Location: Road Fitness, 5/2 Edward St, Riverstone, Sydney, NSW 2765
Type of Photography: Lifestyle photography, fitness photography, product photography, fashion photography

Start up fitness apparel brand Muscle Torq first approached me in August 2020. Chris, the founder was about to launch his new brand and needed a product and product lifestyle photographer to bring his vision for the new website and brand to life.

The products were a line of beautifully designed T-shirts, shorts, tank tops, bra tops, crop tops and leggings for the active gym user.

After a lengthy discussion we established that the brand was all about working out and building muscle rather than athletics or sports in general. What Muscle Torq needed was the right imagery to create this brand perception and make the biggest impact with their target market.

Muscle Torq would be selling their products online. They recognised that they needed to make their products look great and clearly show their eCommerce customers all the details of the products.

On the home page of their website, they wanted to make an impact and create the right vibe. A hero banner that represented their brand and showed off their products was the way we decided to do this.

In addition they opted to represent the product category sections on their website i.e. Womens, Mens with appropriate photos.

Clothing Product Photography Options

eCommerce product photography of models wearing the clothing on a plain grey background. So much better than just the product by itself.

For the product photography, this could be achieved in a number of ways:

  • product photos of just the product
  • product photos using a ghost mannequin look
  • product photos with a real model.

Muscle Torq were quick to realise that large brands don’t go to the trouble and expense of paying models for no reason! So it was decided a real model on a plain background would be the best option to make their product look great and maximize website conversions.

Flexibility in Your Marketing Images
Having a product that is so visual meant the best way to get the word out was with images. Before the launch and on an ongoing basis, they also need to be able to create buzz on their Instagram and Facebook marketing to drive traffic to their website.

By knowing this up front, we were able to create a set of images for they that would be flexible and be able to be used on multiple platforms.

Sourcing a Location for a Photoshoot
To create the right look and perception for the brand, the right location would be critical. We considered locations including beachside gyms, parks, athletic fields but in the end decided that a shoot in a real gym would create the brand perception they wanted.

Sourcing a location without a large budget is always tricky. We were lucky though, as Chris knew someone that owned a gym, Road Fitness in Riverstone, Sydney.  So that solved that problem.

Road Fitness, Riverstone. Great location for a fitness photoshoot.

Sourcing Models for a Activewear Shoot
The next issue was sourcing the right talent on a budget. Models are easier enough to find when you have a large budget, but being a startup, this wasn’t an option for Muscle Torq.

When selecting models, you must choose people that have the right look and represent your target market.

Luckily, the owner’s children and friends were exactly the right age, physique and look. Another problem solved.

The “models” doing their thing. They looked great with a little direction on where to stand and how to post.

The advantage of using friends or colleagues as fitness models is that they don’t cost a lot. The disadvantage is they are inexperienced and don’t know how to pose for the camera.

The models we worked with were great though. And with a little bit of direction we got exactly the right look.

Getting the Right Lighting for a Fitness Brand
Most locations I go to do not have ideal lighting for lifestyle photography or product photography. Or any photography really. Pity, because as a product lifestyle photographer that would make my job a whole lot easier!

But what fun would that be?

Instead, it’s up to the photographer to create the lighting. It’s all about creating the right look and making the subjects really stand out and look great by bringing in additional lights strategically placed.

Above is an image showing the house lights. Not very flattering or interesting right.

Here’s a few behind the scenes (BTW) images showing the setup to make the subjects stand out.

For the post production of the images, most of the hard work was done by getting it right in camera.

We mostly added more contrasts, retouched some of the marks and dust on the floor, lightly retouched the skin of the models and added a vignette (darkened the edges) around the outside of the images to make the subject stand out even more.

Here’s the final results.

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