The Creative Process Behind a Crossfit Photo Shoot

The initial moments of a photo shoot can be daunting when first viewing the location and subject. But a bit of planning makes things easier. In this video, Corey Rich shows us his creative process as he shoots a personal project at a local CrossFit gym:

Do Your Prep Work

The first step in any photo project is the planning. Choose a location, get permission, and decide what you’re hoping to get from the photo shoot. Rich wanted to shoot a personal project at a CrossFit gym. He first gained permission for the shoot by promising exchange of the final images in return, which could be used for promotional purposes. A week before the planned shoot, he scouted out the location looking for backgrounds and considering the lighting of each area. He even drew out a map of the area for later reference.

photo shoot background

It’s helpful to draw out lighting diagrams and shot lists before your shoot begins.

Choose Your Equipment

Know the location and the kinds of shots you want ahead of time. This way, you can prepare the right camera and lighting gear. For this shoot, Rich brought in an assortment of lighting options including Nikon SB-910 Speedlights and a 1×1 Bi-Color LED Litepanel. He also brought a Roscolux 1700 Fog Machine 120V in order to enhance the natural light rays of the room.


Be Flexible

Start with a plan, but be willing to change it as you go. Shooting with a Nikon D800 and a 24mm-70mm f/2.8 lens, Rich started out in front of one of his best options for a background and lighting. He initially felt that the photo was too complicated. He stripped out elements and changed props until it was simple enough. The smoke machine was turned on for about two seconds and then fanned out in order to capture the natural light from a nearby window. When the skin color was not quite right, Rich used the Litepanel to warm up the light and match the skin tone of his subject.


Overall, Rich truly focuses on the creative process. He encourages photographers to find the interest in their photo shoot.

“Be opportunistic. Look for the most interesting backgrounds and then put your subject in that environment and work with your subject… Just really focus on evolving the moment into something interesting.”

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever