How To Finesse The Fitness Phenomenon

Travel Fabulously recruits the help of fitness photographer Jon Payne, to get the perfect fitness photograph.

Courtesy of Jon Payne


Every wondered how to get that a likable #fitnessgoals shot that will make all your followers jaws drop? Well Jon Payne, a professional fitness, lifestyle and portrait photographer and overall fitness enthusiast, has just the answer for you. With just over six year professional years of photography experience under his belt and the last two years experimenting with fitness photography.

Jon will enlighten us all on the best gyms to visit for good lighting, the best places to take a photograph and the fitness individuals to keep on our radar this summer!

When did you get into fitness photography?

“I have shot fitness and health related imagery since late 2015. Though I can’t think of a weekend when I was not shooting, editing or assisting. So I’m always immersed in photography.

What are best angles for getting the ultimate fitness photo?

“There are no set rules. I work very collaboratively and depending on who I am shooting. Some people know what they prefer, feel more confident or are happy to try anything.

 So I think it’s more of what you’re trying to bring across in your shots that will lead what angles you use. There is a psychology and tactile feeling to imagery, for example representing feeling strong, welcoming, fragile or powerful etc.

 You have a starting point and then you work or tweak the image on some occasions, but it only really takes the smallest change, to make a good image become a great one.”

Courtesy of Jon Payne

What are the best apps that you use for photography?

“Pinterest for mood-boarding, to give me a starting point when creating an idea.

 Tag’omatic for advice on hashtags.

 The weather app on my iphone, to check on general light timings – as there is nothing worse than being too hot or too cold whilst working.”

Where are the best gyms in London, that you would recommend visiting?

“I personally enjoy visiting: 1Rebel, Boom Cycle, Core Collective, Barry’s East [Barry Bootcamp] for classes, The Commando Temple for calisthenics and I train mainly in Fitness First’s because I find myself moving a lot with work, so it’s handy to always have a gym nearby.”

Where are the best gyms with adequate or perfect lighting, for a good gym selfie?

“I may not be the best person to ask for taking a selfie as always behind the camera but when taking a selfie, try and make sure your not standing directly under the light otherwise you will get high contrast/panda eyes. So just watch how the light falls and move your body to get the desired look. Keeping your chin a bit higher than you think may help too

For lighting Heartcore Fitness in St John’s Wood, which is in a converted church has amazing light. Anywhere that has natural light and tall windows is what you should aim for.” 


Courtesy of Jon Payne

Where are the best scenic London locations for fitness photographs?

“When thinking of a shoot, keep in mind who you want to attract or engage, with the image. So for example the city has a lot of contrasting architecture from metallic/modern to stone/gothic.

Though you can create very different looks on the same street against white walls, brickwork or businesses in the background, all to give different feel. South Kensington has a lot of tall white buildings and gives a clean and sophisticated style.

 My best advice would be when you are out and about and something grabs you about a location, take a picture or make a note, so when you want to do a shoot you have locations in mind.”

What would you recommend for an individual that wants to get the most out of mobile photography?

“Just take as many pictures as you can. Don’t worry about it being the best shot but instead learn what you like and try and bring that into the images you will take in the future.

Mobile phones are similar to fixed lens, so in a way it’s good as it makes you think of composition and the type of shot more, which will speed up your learning curve dramatically. Also I’m not a fan of digital zooming in. Move your feet!”
Have you found that your own fitness regime has increased, as a result of photographing such pillars of health?

“I think when you work or surround yourself with people with whatever passions or interests, it definitely rubs off.

I have always enjoyed fitness but maybe I think more about what I want from my training and it has made me more educated in areas that I hadn’t given my attention to, for example nutrition. Eating right is so impactful alongside the quality of training, such as adding more strength and bodyweight exercise into what I do.“

Courtesy of Jon Payne

What is your favourite workout move?

“I think it would have be a movement that workout a lot of parts of the body and is functional, such as a Turkish get-up, goblet squats or a weighted sled push.”

What do you usually eat pre and post workout?

“I am currently eating more protein these days to aid with recovery and growth, so sources of those are a staple. I also aim to train Monday to Friday, so I like to add in good carbs such as quinoa.”

What fitness accounts or individuals would you recommend for our readers to follow?

“I could list so many, having worked with so many lovely people. They are all great to follow for different reasons, for example the different types such as personal-trainers, fitness bloggers and athletes.

 But here are a handful of accounts that I can think of from the top of my head:

@thefoodmedic   @maxwilko   @shonavertue   @zannavandijk

@bengregz     @wellness_ed   @michp_t   @thecleaneatingguide

@davidbirtwistle @jamie_velocity     @chasejarvis   @mattkorninek @mattroy   @roryknightfitness   @twicethehealth“


For more information on Jon Payne visit and whilst you’re there why not give him a follow on social media at @jonpaynephoto – as we know you won’t regret it!


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