Professional Photography Session for a Bodybuilder

Last time I had photographed a bodybuilder/fitness athlete  was in Seoul, South Korea. That time around was my Serbian friend who has been competing for Asia Grand Prix, Figure Pro Qualifier. I was quite stoked when she contacted me “ You live here in Seoul? Im here for competition” as I knew she had moved from Belgrade to New York. World’s so small right?

Sometime later, here I am in Japan, receiving this e-mail from Mohammed:

“Hi Cristian,

This is Mohammed.

Am a bodybuilder in Tokyo now, I wonder if you can do a fitness photo shot session on next Sunday 17 November. Sorry for the short notice.



It was indeed a short notice as I had prior plans, but I can never say no to a photography session in Tokyo, with a bodybuilder.  Now, probably my shape doesn’t show it (obviously, I am a photographer after all living in Japan 😉 ), but I did studied in the past bodybuilding and I have trained for quite a while myself, that’s why I have a great understanding and respect when it comes to this sport and to the people doing it. The amount of work and discipline involved is extreme and many people really live their life for it, respecting daily specific meals, train and sleep. And often times, a lot of pain, because building muscles involves pain. There is a saying among bodybuilders, “No pain, no gain”.

Moving back to my bodybuilder client, he’s one of the most amazing people I had the pleasure to meet. Back home in Qatar he is a police officer, passionate about sports in general with kick boxing and bodybuilding being at the top of his preferences.

After a few short e-mails, we decided to meet at Shibuya, where is one the most know crossings in the whole world. Shortly after meeting him, I have discovered a very passionate bodybuilder, very positive and happy person. On the day of the photo shoot he had woke up at 6 AM to get ready. Why on Earth a man would woke up at 6AM for a shoot at 9AM? Hmm, there is and explanation.

On the day before Mohammed had been competing in Amateur Olympia 2019 held in Tokyo organized by IFBB Professional League and NPCJ (I don’t quite know what NPCJ stands for) where he won 1st place!!! Well, I wasn’t overall, but for 90kg if I’m not mistaken. Still extremely impressive! Because of this, he had been artificially tanned so he would show off his musculature easier. This comes at a cost, it’s really hard to remove it in a very short time, so, there you go, he had to wake up and get ready from 6AM. 🙂

How’s that to be professional photographer for such an athlete, based in Tokyo? Well, first of all, it was amazing. Second, also amazing. Because Mohammed was in his best shape, right after a big competition, his shape was crazy good, and all I had to do was to translate that into amazing photographs. Sounds easy right? Well, keep reading, at the end of the article I have embedded an YouTube video I made while editing his photographs.

He didn’t have a clear idea of what he wanted from the photography session he had booked in Tokyo. That’s why on our way to the shooting place, which is only a couple of  minutes away from Shibuya, I was asking a lot of questions so I get to know who he is. I started to take photos of him wearing clothes, but that wasn’t doing justice for all the hard work he’s been doing. Previously I have seen he brought some spare outfits with him, so I asked what else he have. And only then the real fun had begun and I have installed my sofboxes and flashes.

My worry was that weather on the day might have been a little cold for him to be “naked” but then… when you are a pack of 90kg of pure muscles… you tend to warm up pretty quickly. 

He would then take off his shirt and jeans for a more “relaxed outfit” which brought to light his lean body and muscles. Right there and then I realized and told him, to never ever cover his muscles for a photography session held after a competition. It’s a no-no, considering all the work and logistics involved to get to a such perfect shape.

The rest of the photoshoot went as smooth as it could get, with Mohammed doing his competing poses to show off his muscular body and absolutely impress me behind camera. Above you can see his great flexibility too, a chapter at which my body acts worse than a stone. 🙂

He had inspired me so much, and I will use the inspiration to drive me to become better and better at producing amazing photographs.  If you have a dream, do your best to make it true; the amount of satisfaction you’ll get is priceless. I can say I am living my dream of being professional photographer, and not anywhere, but in one of the biggest metropolis in the world: Tokyo.

Few days later after WahtsApping him some photographs, I got this feedback:

“Wow great editing 🔥🔥🔥

Like it
Wow a lot of work !!! Great job 👍
Thanks bro nice to meet and work with you

You are really talented photographer 🔥👍
Wow the editing next level 😍😍😍”

Now, here you can see a video I have posted to my YouTube Channel with the workflow I did while editing his photographs. I use these professional photography editing techniques whenever it is necessary to accomplish the best results for my clients, using both Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.

This video shows over 30 minutes of editing compressed down to under 5 minutes 🙂

As always, if you need a professional photographer based in Tokyo, hit the contact button bellow, follow my Instagram and like my Facebook Page to stay in touch with the latest images and stories I produce.

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