Over the last year or so I’ve been working with an awesome new app called Future. They connect personal trainers with customers via a pretty brilliant phone and smart watch interface. Mostly I’ve been helping build up the back end of the app with a catalog of fitness videos that the trainers use to instruct the users with. At the end of this last year I finally got to work on the front end of things with a stills shoot focused on fitness and the personalities of the individual trainers.
The job called for clean, vibrant imagery that would inspire users and help them understand the trainers better. Future identified 3 looks per trainer, one in an outdoor setting, one in a gym and a standalone studio portrait. I wanted to give each look it’s own feel but still tie the styles together.
To do this, we scouted several locations in San Francisco, California that would offer hard angular shadows and shapes to break up the organic compositions. In the gym, with it’s constrained composition options and strong sense of angularity, I softened the lighting dramatically, giving the interior a prevailing sense of natural light. The portrait setup was a simple white backdrop with a 4 light setup that we put up during lunch time at Future’s HQ (I had too many yam fries and was rather uncomfortable during this part of the shoot).
The setup at the gym was a bit of a feat to engineer as the space was really cramped. I had to press myself into the opposite corner of the room in order to have enough space to shoot - but the backdrop was worth it. We hung a bunch of silk on the big window as the light outside was filtering through green trees and polluting the color of the indoor space. That made things a wee bit dark though, so we shot about 4800Ws worth of ProFoto light through the silk from various angles to get the shape we wanted. That big soft source was lovely, but we needed a little soft fill inside to wrap the side light around. Finally we added an “environmental” light hidden in the corner to give more dimension and to make it feel as if there were overhead interior lights that just happened to be ideally placed for the subject. I also found that a weight rack makes a good desktop for resting my tethered computer on.
I finished the job towards the end of the year and went into holiday hibernation shortly after delivering the images. Just as things we slowing down I received a really wonderful note from the client that helped carry me through to 2019 with a smile on my face.
“Josh and I are sitting around at the office right now, and talking about how much your latest photos have completely transformed our product! It seems subtle at first, but the quality (and diversity) of the photos really makes our trainers come to life. We’ve already integrated them into our homepage and our trainer profiles.
We expected it of course, but your work somehow keeps blowing us away! Thank you :)”
-Rishi // Future.fit