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With proper planning its not that big of a task to get high quality on-brand images on your website by conducting your own photoshoot. Shooting images for a responsive website has a different set of specifications than all other types of shoots so its essential the photographer understands the application of the images and shoots accordingly. This article will outline basic photoshoot tips to a successful shoot.

Photoshoot Tip #1 – Responsive Design

All websites are now designed to work on many different screen sizes, resolutions and aspect ratios. You want your site to look great on smartphones, tablets and desktop. There is almost an infinite possibility of device screen size/resolution these days, so designing for one specific one is a foolish idea. We rely on the website code to automatically zoom/crop each image to display the best for each device type.

  • Use 3:2 aspect ratio. Most D-SLR cameras shoot with a 3:2 ratio by default, so leave it like that and don’t do any weird cropping.
  • All images should be Landscape, not Portrait.
  • Don’t put any Instagram style filters on your images, if you need to do this, then maybe you should re-shoot better originals.
  • Provide hi-resolution images. 2000px width @72dpi minimum. Uncompressed JPG or PNG.

Photoshoot tips for websites

Photoshoot Tip #2 – Composition

Because we will be using the same image that will end up being programmatically cropped depending on the viewers browser/device we need to make sure the subject is focused in the center of the image (vertically and horizontally) with plenty of extra space around. This will ensure the subject will always be in frame.


Photoshoot Tip #3 – Execution

Do not do this with a cell phone camera. Shutter speeds are not fast enough to freeze the action. You will need to use a D-SLR camera for this task, totally doable yourself if you know the difference between f-stop and ISO. But if you don’t, then time to call the pros!

Start with asking your members, hopefully someone is into photography and can do it for a decent rate or membership exchange.

Photoshoot Tip #4 – Talent

Selecting which athletes to be in the shoot will depend on who your target audience is. You will likely want a range of athletes from both ends of the fitness spectrum. The athletes in insane shape will be aspirational to prospective members and the ones who have just started their journey will be relatable. Also consider casting a range of ages and ethnicities within your target demographic.

Photoshoot Tip #5 – Make a Shot List

Planning is key to avoid wasting peoples time and not having to do a reshoot. Before shoot day, prepare a list of shots you need and share this with the photographer.

Data to include in this list are items like:

  • Movement / Exercise to be performed
  • Number of athletes in the shot
  • Location in the gym
  • Equipment to be used
  • Page of website this will go on
  • Applicable notes

The easiest way figure out the types and quantity of shots you need is to go through your existing website page by page and make a note of which image should live on which page. A coach instructing a student would be good for a Personal Training page, a group shot jumping on boxes would be good for a bootcamp page etc etc. If your website is not created yet, have a look at other websites selling similar fitness services to get a good idea.

Think about what images are likely to attract your prospective members. Although a pic of 5 shirtless ripped dudes bro-hi-fiving might sound appealing to you, that may not be the most welcoming image to put up for someone looking to dip their toe in the world of CrossFit (if you are a CF gym). Have a good mix of welcoming and aspirational images in the list.

[ Download example shot list ]

Want to know how to create a video for your website? We got you covered there too.