How to Take Your Progress Photos

To get the best out of your coaching agreement, it is important that you provide your coach with quality information which includes good quality photos.  These photos are used by your coach to determine how your physique goals are being met especially in comparison with where you have started from. The quality of the photos has a direct correlation to the quality of your feedback so follow these guidelines as outlined below.


  • Take photos with good natural lighting
  • Take all photos in anatomical stance
  • Take all photos as full body shots at eye level
  • Take Front Side and Back Photos
  • Take your photos in the morning
  • Take photos with consistent lighting
  • If you’re alone, use phone timer on camera
  • Keep your background neutral
  • Take photos from a straight on angle
  • Wear appropriate clothing that shows your body and shape (underwear, bikinis or speedos are a good option followed by tight fitting active wear)


  • Don’t use filters
  • Don’t take “selfies”
  • Don’t take progress photos at night
  • Don’t take photos of yourself in the mirror.

Setting Up Your Camera

It’s important to get the appropriate amount of light in your photo. Use natural light where possible. Place your camera in between you and the light source.

Taking Progress Photos by Yourself

If you don’t have anyone around to help you take your progress photos, it’s not a problem. You can continue to do so by simply following these simple steps to set yourself up correctly:

  1. Put your phone on a tripod or set it up at eye level (if you don’t have a tripod, you can use a shelf or a book case and lean it against something stable).
  2. Open the camera on your phone.
  3. Tap on the timer icon near the shutter (see photo for where to find this)
  4. Select the longest possible timer. Most have options for no timer, 3 seconds, or 10 seconds

Good Examples of Progress Photos

See the following for good examples of check in photos.

Good Examples of Posed Photos

In some cases, for example in the weeks leading up to a competition, taking posed photos are a requirement.

Poor Examples of Progress Photos

See the following for poor examples of check in photos

Remember that progress photos form an important part of the check in process, so it pays to take good quality pictures consistently.

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