Selen Dar

Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


Hey, everyone. I’m Darin Starr, owner and coach here at Five
Starr Physique. Today, we’re going to talk all about progress
pictures, what you are doing wrong with them and how to fix them. I’ve got all kinds of examples lined up and
we’re going to go over everything that you need to know to optimize your perspective
and lighting. Let’s get down to it. Let’s face it, if you’re like most people,
then your progress pictures just suck but there’s a good reason why and this is no judgment
on you or your quality as a human being but, let’s face it, you’re a terrible photographer. We can fix it though. There are four main points that we need to
consider so without further ado let’s just jump right in. Point number one, pose to showcase progress. If you aren’t posing or flexing in your progress
pictures, you’re doing them wrong. Relaxed shots are going to do very little
to showcase small changes in conditioning or development over a short period of time. When a muscle is under tension or it’s flexed,
those changes are much more evident. If I drop 20 pounds, my relaxed shots are
going to look a little different. My flexed shots on the other hand are going
to look dramatically different. When you’re trying to showcase small changes
in your progress from one week to the next, you’ve got to give yourself every possible
advantage. Now, for specific poses, stick with quarter
turns. These are bodybuilding or figure quarter turns. Even if you are not competing or you’re competing
in a division that doesn’t use those quarter turn poses, practice them anyway. If you want to know why, why it’s important
to work on those poses and how to hit them, check the link that I have to my blog post
down at the description below. Point number two, consistency. We want as many things to be as consistent
to your progress pictures from week to week so that there’s really only one variable and
it’s the one that we really care about, you. We want to see changes in your body and your
physique from week to week, not necessarily changes in your environment or your surrounding. What exactly do we need to be consistent? Well, first, as we just mentioned, poses. Practice those quarter turns regularly, hit
them, perfect them and hit them the same way each week. Second, clothing. Always wear the same stuff. Different tops, different bottoms, they’re
going to cover more or less of your body and they’re going to push around any little squishy
bits that you still have in different ways. It’s important to be consistent with what
you wear from one week to the next. Women will often ask: should I take off my
top for back shots? The answer truthfully is it doesn’t matter. Just be consistent with what you do with that. As we’ll discuss in a moment, we want to be
as reliant on natural lighting as we possibly can. While we can’t control the weather, just by
taking your progress pictures the same time of day routinely, you can at least give yourself
every advantage to have relatively similar lighting conditions from one week to the next. Now, if you are like a normal human being
and you work during most of the daylight hours, take your progress pictures on a weekend or
on a day off. Even if you send your progress pics to a coach
in the middle of a week like Wednesday or Thursday, personally as a coach, I would rather
get progress pics that are few days stale than ones that are taken indoors with terrible
lighting conditions where I can’t really see anything that’s happening there. The other thing with timing is don’t fall
into the trap of feeling like you have to take your progress pictures on an empty stomach. Of course when you do that, if you take them
first thing when you wake up, typically lighting conditions aren’t going to be great so get
a couple of meals and you take your progress pictures when there’s good light, when you
can hit them consistently at the same time from week to week and just be consistent with
how many meals you have in you each week. Finally, location. Now, if you can take your progress pics against
a clean, uncluttered background, great. But, first and foremost, we need to be in
a location that has good lighting. Be consistent with your location. If there’s stuff in the background, that’s
fine. Try to minimize it as best as you can but
always use the same spot. Point number three, perspective. Now, this is an easy one but yet it’s very
commonly messed up. What we need to do is just ensure that the
camera can see all of you and it can see mostly just you. What I don’t need to see is a bunch of the
floor in front of you or a bunch of the wall behind you or the ceiling above you. I need to see you. I also don’t need it to be pulled back so
far that you look like a tiny, little postage stamp sized figure in the middle of the room. That’s not helpful. You can’t see any detail that way. Avoid doing anything that skews the perspective. Don’t put your phone or camera on the ground
and point it up at you so you look like a giant, and don’t have your very tall spouse
or significant other take it from eye level looking down on you so you appear to be about
two and a half feet tall. Both of those are going to skew the perspective. They’re going to make it very difficult to
make judgment calls about your overall aesthetic balance. Get a tripod. Set it up at waist height and align it so
that it’s looking up at your head and down at your feet. You don’t need a ton of room for this. I know a lot of people work in fairly cramped
spaces. I’m six foot tall. If I put a tripod at waist height about four
feet in front of me, that’s enough to see everything from head all the way down to my
feet. Point number four, lighting. This is the big one. Good lighting can make you look awesome and
bad lighting can make it look like you’ve never set foot inside the gym before in your
life. Remember these three keywords: light the subject. Identify your light source, whatever it is. A really bright light, large windows, the
sun is great and position your camera or your phone between it and you. If you are indoors, realize what the worst-case
scenario is and that’s overhead incandescent lighting and eight foot ceilings. A short ceiling like that, which is standard
in most houses, just doesn’t give any room for light to bounce around. You’re going to get terrible shadows. You’re going to look awful. If you have LED lighting, that’s a step up. If you have taller ceilings, that’s also a
step up. Failing that, your best bet is one of two
things. First, there is a doorway trick that you can
use and all this does is it forces you to find two very clear spaces, one that is dark
and one that is light. Outdoors is light and anything indoors is
going to be dark relative to that. Position your camera in the light space, the
outdoor space. Stand in the doorway with the dark room behind
you. Play around with the positioning there a little
bit. You’ll be able to get a decent shot that way. However, if you can do that, just go outside. Use the sun, take progress pics in natural
light. Identify where the sun is overhead and position
your phone or camera again between you and it lighting the subject using the sun, the
biggest light there is. Play around with your distance and spacing
a little bit. Understand that if you step a foot forward
or a foot back closer to the camera, further away, if you’ve changed the positioning of
your camera as well, you’re going to get some different looks there. The big thing to remember is that lighting
is great until you’ve got too much of it. Always take photos, look at them and evaluate
and say, “Is that really what I look like or is that a little too flattering or is that
a little unflattering?” Just be fair, be honest and don’t be afraid
to try and switch positions around and get a few different examples. The place where I take my progress pictures
is actually in our basement. It’s unusual and it has 10 foot ceilings and
it has really huge windows. If I get too close to those windows, however,
following that too much lighting is a bad thing rule, I get washed out. I get about 10 feet away from those windows
so you can see that in the progress picture here. It looks fine. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s good. I’m not equally lit though. My left side is well lit. My right side is in shadows. It’s not ideal but it works. To recap, we covered the four main points
to consider when trying to improve your progress pictures. There is posing, consistency, perspective
and lighting. Now, taking progress pictures typically isn’t
anybody’s favorite aspect of body building but hopefully with these tips, the quality
of your photos will improve and you’ll be able to see some more of that progress that
you’re working for. If you like this video, click the like button
down below. Leave a comment. Subscribe to the channel for future updates. Share it with your friends. I’d love that. I appreciate it. Thanks for watching and I will see you on
the next video.

11 thoughts on “Progress pics – how to take better bodybuilding progress pics

  1. Really appreciated these tips. I have two best friends that are body builders. I'm going to share your channel with them.

  2. This is funny. As A chick I like my pictures taken above me so it gives me a great glow and look.

    Guess some people like to look taller and larger. Everyone has their own thing.

    Great tips on lighting!

  3. Man this video is so good. I cringe when I see bad before and after photos. Inconsistent photos make people question your results.

  4. Great Video! Thank you this info was very helpful! I am an NPC bikini competitor and I absolutely dread days I have to send in progress pictures to my coach lol I am a horrible photographer and I always feel like the pictures come out horrible! So these tips will help out a lot for my next prep!

  5. I like the consistency of clothing… I always think pics are misleading when on the beginning theyre wearing big pants and on the next they're in skinnys.

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