There’s More To Modeling Than Looking Good

Fitness photographers love working with athletes when they are in peak condition and athletes love to be photographed when they are in top condition around contest time. Those kinds of memories can only be made with months of hard work and sacrifice and the changes made in not just your body, but your life during that journey represents so much more than a diet and some workouts. Having that historical record is invaluable and those images will be cherished for a lifetime.

This article is about modeling, however, and modeling is a very different endeavor than looking great and posing for a picture. Modeling is acting or playing a character and the very best models are able to give a photographer a wide variety of looks and make each one of them believable as if the model was actually feeling the emotion you see in the picture. Modeling is a skill that one learns, practices and perfects and the best models are constantly evolving and improving.

As a photographer, magazine publisher and partner in a women’s fitness wear company, considering a model’s versatility is very important. I look for versatility, among other things, when choosing a model because I need to be confident that we will get a wide variety of looks and expressions for whatever project we are photographing.

The challenge most times for athletes is that their entire focus is on how they look. Modeling is partly about how you look but as much or more it is about your ability to express emotions that are consistent with the setting and wardrobe and objective in taking the picture. To express emotion and make it believable you must feel that emotion. You accomplish that by focussing your thoughts on visualizing an event, circumstance, or character you want to portray. You want to be so focused on that visualization that you actually feel the emotion you need for the picture. It takes practice and concentration to get into character but when you are able to do it, the results are remarkable.

Good models are often more emotionally drained than physically tired after a lengthy photo shoot but the images they create are the most compelling and because of that, those models are in high demand.

Learning how to model, then investing time on practicing, improving and evolving as a model, may be the most important thing you can do to build and strengthen your brand as a fitness personality.

I will be presenting an on-going series on modeling and personal branding including more about how to model for the WPC.World website. If you have any questions or topics you would like me to talk about send me an email at

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Terry Goodlad

WPC Media Director, Photographer, Writer, Vlogger, Podcaster, Business Consultant, Athlete and Elite Coach

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