Updated: Sep 21, 2019
This blog will give you step by step instructions on how to easily take great, useable progress photos, aka before and after photos, to give you the best comparison and consistency.
First let me start by saying well done for deciding to take progress photos!
By definition, most people who start a journey of fat loss or muscle gain, are not doing so because they are already happy with how they look.
Therefore taking photos to showcase the body is not usually a fun task.
But you are here because you have confidence that comparing these first photos to your subsequent set is going to make you feel very proud of yourself, and very glad you took those photos.
Always have the camera between you and the light source ie the window.
Stand your phone on a window ledge, or BluTac it to the window itself (screen facing you) as shown in the photo ->
Making it easy
Use selfie video mode so you can see yourself in frame.
While recording video, get in position and hold still for 2-3 seconds on a front, back, side, and zombie arms pose as shown in the photo ->
Pause and scroll video to desired position, tap screen to remove controls from screen (iPhone) then take screenshot of each position.
Take all of your photos in the morning before eating or drinking. This is the most repeatable state your body will be in and likely the least bloated.
Use the same clothes if any for all photos if possible, or as close as you can
Keep the background the same - this should mostly take care of itself if you always use the same window.
The photo should show from your knee to the top of your head without much extra space around it. This will help with consistency too. If you don’t have space for that just get as low as you can.
Set a monthly reminder on your phone now to remind you to take the progress photo
Keep the background uncluttered to make it easier to compare photos later without the visual distraction of clothes / dishes behind you
Again, photo should be from knee to the top of your head
Unless you are training for a bodybuilding / bikini / physique show etc (different topic entirely), avoid the temptation to suck in, or flex, as this will not give a true image and will make it very hard to compare later. Instead just stand naturally.
Wear as few clothes as poss. Underwear is ideal. If you really don’t want to do underwear, good options include (in this order):
short shorts with sports bra,
leggings with well fitted top.
boxer shorts / y-fronts
a well-fitting t-shirt with shorts or full length pants
By the way…
Before I began to train, I was allergic to cameras and would NEVER be seen without a shirt.
Once I began to change my physique I felt more confident and wanted to objectively see my progress.
Having not taken a ‘before’ photo I was left rummaging through old photos from warm weather or nightclubs, where I was at least wearing less layers.
The best I could come up with was this photo
Don’t get me wrong it works because the change was dramatic. However for general fat loss or muscle gain it is best to have monthly photos to keep a tighter watch on progress.
You may also like these links
How to weigh yourself (no, really).