Nothing makes a studio or gym stand out quite like photography. Great class photos help new students know what to expect when coming to your studio, and to evaluate whether the workout is a good fit for what they’re looking for. In addition, how you showcase your studio online represents the quality, consistency and style of your brand. You don’t need to spend a fortune though to get great shots of your space. Below, we share some of our advice for achieving high-quality, attractive photos in a few simple steps.
TAKE PHOTOS IN LANDSCAPE FORMAT
Landscape format, where images are horizontal as opposed to vertical, not only take in more of the scene you’re trying to capture, but they’re also easy to resize and use across different collateral for your marketing efforts. So whether you’re using images in a slideshow, on Instagram, or in an email, the landscape format will allow you to retain more of that original image than a vertical shot you may need to crop or resize.
UTILIZE ALL THE LIGHT
Bright photos inspire energy and appear warm and welcoming to prospective clients. To achieve this feel, be sure to use every bit of light you can in your space. Turn on all the lights (and bring in a spare lamp or two if you need to) and open curtains or windows to utilize the natural light from the outdoors—just be sure to shoot with the sun behind you in order to achieve better photos. Even if your classes are in the dark, you still want clear, well-lit images of your studio, so add some shots of an empty studio room or your entrance/check-in area for good measure. Avoid using the flash, as this has a tendency to make photos look overly-exposed and unnatural.
KEEP THINGS IN FOCUS
Nothing ruins what could have been a great image like blurry, out-of-focus subjects. Keep your camera steady and use a tripod if needed, which can be especially helpful when trying to capture motion shots. A well-lit space also helps to reduce the amount of blur in an image—darkness/lack of exposure is a leading contributor to blurriness—and so utilize our brightness tips above to achieve a focused shot.
MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS SQUEAKY-CLEAN
This may go without saying, but you want to put your best foot forward when representing your studio online. Make sure your space looks tidy and in its best shape by straightening up that pile of mats in the corner and clearing out your students’ belongings from the storage cubby. Wax the floors, wipe off all machines, and maybe add an extra plant or fresh flowers for your staged photos.
TAKE A TON OF PHOTOS
Photo galleries can often be the most visited page on your website, so be sure to offer a wide variety of photos for prospective clients. We suggest capturing:
- A class in session
- An empty studio room
- Instructor teaching a student
- Something special or unique about your studio
- Amenities and products
- Your entrance
Feel like you have everything? Take a few more. If you’ve gone to the effort of cleaning up your space, recruiting some team members to help out, and bringing in all the light you can, you might as well try and capture every angle and every workout you can think of. Think about what, as a new student, you would want to see in a potential studio you wanted to visit, and what would make a good impression on you. This is where it helps to align on your brand vision. If you want to promote a welcoming environment that encourage beginners to try you out, don’t show difficult, strenuous poses. Incorrect form is also a turn-off and will make your class look sloppy, so if you’re going to stage a class for your shots, ask your instructors to pretend to be the students. That way, your workout is shown at its best. Just be sure to keep it natural and avoid anything that looks overly-posed or stock-like, like smiling faces looking straight at the camera.
ASK FOR HELP
Afraid to take it on yourself? That’s okay! These days, many people have a friend or family member with a camera who knows a thing or two about photography. Recruit them to help take some shots of your space (and maybe offer a free class or two in exchange), or post an ad at your local community college or high school. Chances are, you’ll find someone more than eager to get creative, showcase their skills and add to their portfolio to boot.