A day in the life of a Health and Fitness photoshoot
Flipping through a glossy magazine filled with pages of inspiring photographs sets a good publication apart from a bad one. So what goes on behind the scenes to create such aesthetic appeal?
For Cycling Weekly’s Health & Fitness it all starts in the planning room where creative heads are pulled together to form the articles. From here the art editor and editor create a shoot list to ensure the right photos are captured to accompany the words.
The all-important photographer is chosen to capture the essence and style of the magazine. He or she is the eyes of the magazine through the lense and has to have the ability to get the shot that visually captures the heart of the article to please both the editor and the art director. Rupert Fowler, www.rupertfowler.co.uk cycling photographer specialist, was brought in for exactly that reason. His proven dynamic and creative flare was just what Health & Fitness was after.
A team of models who can, and do, ride bikes are selected. Various garments and bikes are supplied by manufactures to be used by the models. The outfits need to be coordinated to ensure bright photos with no clashing combinations, creating layers needed for the season.
An aesthetically pleasing location is chosen to reflect the weather and terrain that readers will be about to experience when the magazine hits the shelves. Sometimes this means travelling abroad to capture images portraying a season ahead. Spring 2009 issue took the team of four models and one photographer to Alicante, Spain.
Suitable accommodation is important; close to the airport and to the terrain needed, to ensure maximum use of time. Tom Phillips of www.Abdet.com specialises in providing accommodation for cyclist’s trips with two fantastic villas in the hilltop village of Abdet. His villa was just what the team of five needed, with tonnes of space and a fantastic view over the valley from the roof terrace.
On location half the team built the bikes, while the art editor, editor and photographer drove the surrounding area to find suitable shoot locations. These comprised of the right background to illuminate the riders and create a picture that readers feel could be themselves.
The next two days where a whirlwind of riding amazing roads, being able to turn on a hair pin and ride with perfect form past Rupert time and time again until the shot had been captured. Changing outfits continuously and making sure all apparel was straight and even to make the perfect picture.
It is not only up to the models to create the image needed, the photographer, affectionately known as Roo, got involved to bring a different view for the reader. This involved climbing cliffs on the side on the road to create an aerial shot and capture dramatic shadows. He was seen shimming over tiny water bridges to be directly over the top of the rider to capture correct riding position. To create a feeling of bunch riding and just how close a rider can get, Roo strapped his camera to his chest and rode with the models taking shots, creating an image unique to Health & Fitness.
It can get complicated ensuring all of the shoot list is ticked off and each article will have the correct photo layout, time is limited and you can’t just come back if it hasn’t worked out. Even though each minute is precious, there is still time for trying the local delicacies and having a bit of a laugh between shoots. The team are pretty confident that they left Spain with the images that will inspire readers to get out riding their bikes.
If you think you've got what it takes to be a Health & Fitness model and fancy yourself as a cover star, drop us a line with some details about yourself, your cycling and a picture of you on your bike to firstname.lastname@example.org