Taking good “before” pictures

barney before after

If you’re a part of my January 2016 FREE Challenge Group, then you are one of the many people who will be taking “before” pictures to start out the new year before you make fitness progress preparing yourself for those glorious “after” pics. We’re always a work in progress, so there really isn’t a true before or after, but it’s great to document your stages so that you can see your progress. Often, we make more progress than we realize, even in a short challenge, strategy, or workout plan, so pictures come in handy in celebrating your success. The “before” pics are often a wake up call that can help keep you motivated. Don’t be discouraged. Use the photos as fuel to your fire, work hard, and you’ll be glad you took them to look back on! Here are tips on getting the best photos!

Before You Get Started

  • Take your measurements the morning of the photo shoot, or the day before.  Don’t go with measurements that are more than a week old.  At the very least, weigh yourself and take measurements of your thighs, hips and waist.  For more details, measure even more spots, such as calf, chest, biceps, etc.  I highly recommend taking your body fat percentage, preferably with calipers, but if you don’t have access to those, a less accurate calculation can be done here.
  • Document, on a scale of 1-10(10 being best) a few things about your health:
    • Quality of Sleep
    • Energy Level
    • Flexibility
    • Strength
    • Overall Mood
  • Pick an uncluttered spot for your photo shoot, either in front of a wall or in front of a door. Natural lighting is best, but just try not to be under a spotlight or to use too bright of a camera flash.
  • Men take off your shirt and wear shorts; ladies, wear a sports bra and shorts or a bikini.  You want to be able to see your waist, belly, thighs. If you absolutely only feel comfortable submitting photos for the challenge in fitting shirt/pants, that is fine but I encourage you to take a set showing more for your own records. Whatever you wear for the before photos you’ll want to wear for the after, also.
  • Take the photo in portrait mode instead of landscape.  You’ll want to see yourself from head to toes, close enough to see some details.
  • If you can get someone to take the shots, great!  If not, use a timer—and a tripod, if you have one.  I find 10 seconds is just enough time to get into place.
  • Look straight ahead, and smile if you want.  Don’t cheat by sucking in your gut or flexing hard, but don’t stick it all out either!

What Shots to Take

You can take all different kinds of poses, and I encourage you to grab a back shot for your records. But if you’re participating in my challenge, you will need to load onto the facebook group ONLY your Front view, Side view, and Favorite Pose of choice (examples below). I would like you to make an American Sign Language “F” for Feisty Fox Fitness 🙂 with your fingers in the front and side view photos, so that we know that this is a recent photo taken for this purpose.


Front View: Stand up straight with your feed hip-width apart.  Arms are at your side but floating off your hips a bit—so you can see the shape and width of your hips. For the challenge, hold one arm up in that sign language F.

Side View:  Stand up straight (No slouching!), arms hanging down at your side.  Make sure your hands are in the middle of your thigh.  You don’t want your hand blocking the outline of your thighs or butt. For the challenge, bring that inside arm up to the sign for the letter F.

Favorite Pose: Pose however you would like. Flex, be silly, do whatever you think is most flattering. You’ll repeat the same exact pose at the end of the challenge!



Alright y’all!! Now let’s put in work on our nutrition and exercise to make those “after” pics the best they can be!

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