Taking the best progress photo’s

Having a conversation with a friend this morning reminded us both how distorted social media can be.

Not only do many of the images make us feel a little down on our bodies. And possibly our health and fitness journey. But also it never really speaks to the struggles overcome to get to those places.

Here is a big one we have been questioning at the moment: progress pictures.

It is one thing to have photos taken in a time frame which your coach or you yourself then uses to track progress. However I have noticed some people seem to distort the photos in the way they pose, lighting they use and more. So what is the deal with taking the best progress photo’s. The point is to be able to assess all progress without adjusting your stance, outfit or anything else to make it seem as though there is a greater transformation than what there actually is.

Progress photos work because they keep you more accountable as the changes your body undergoes can be more noticeable or maybe not noticeable at all.

You don’t need to distort the changes for social media, because that is not only deceiving yourself and the journey you are on, but it can also be demotivating for others on a similar journey.

Here are some tips for taking the best progress photos:

Always pick the same time of day.

As I am sure you have noticed, as we eat through the day our bellies can grow (totally normal!). Our weight can fluctuate and certain foods can have a greater effect. I always recommend first thing in the morning.

Lighting is key.

Chose a space that contains as much natural light as possible. This avoids any unnecessary shadows which change your appearance.

Try and stick to the same location every time.

Changing backgrounds and angles also don’t work for comparison so chose a one-color backdrop with no distractions.

Wear the same clothes each time.

Again, any changes here, e.g. how the clothes sit on your body can affect how your progress appears.

Use the same positions!

Don’t change it up by sucking in your belly in an after photo, or by popping your hips a bit more to make your glutes look different. If you are always posing then stick to that, but best is always a relaxed pose for the lifestyle athlete.

Try and keep it to every week or two weeks apart

If you are doing this for lifestyle then even every month will do. Just make sure you do it often enough that it keeps you working on your goals.


Setting up a consistent health and fitness journey takes work

Work you don’t want to take from anyone let alone yourself. You know the hours and the effort you have put into it, don’t allow something as simple as progress photos distort that! Let it work with you in showing you what you need to do moving forward, making plan changes or sticking to the same for longer. Here is to progress ahead lovely ladies



Isilda Da Costa is a personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist who, if she isn’t at the gym training, is busy researching the most up to date information for growing those muscles. She has combined her love of everything healthy by being a health coach in her own health shop in Swaziland. Follow along on @izzy.wellness

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