In the late nineties I had the opportunity to photograph three women who were fitness competitors. At the time of our shoot these women were at their peak fitness with the goal of being at 5% body fat. I found photographing them very exciting, a great figure photography experience. Muscular bodies offer a great opportunity for showing skin texture through dramatic lighting. When photographing skin, darker tones are more interesting, especially on muscular bodies. Curves, bumps, ripples and texture are all more prominent.

At 5% body fat I have heard that most people are in a crabbier mood a lot of the time from being hungry. Even so, these women were perfectly nice to me.

My lighting consisted of two softboxes on either side of the set which provided the main light. An umbrella behind the camera provided fill light. These images were of course shot on film. For these and other portraits I would under expose and over develop the film for more contrast.

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