If you haven't had a chance to read part one you can click HERE for that blog
Back in the gym with Garrett who during the time of this shoot was five weeks out from his show. This time he has invited his girlfriend/ lifting partner Melissa to join in on the workout as well. Both Garrett and Mellissa have been on the road to the big show for a few months now, and seeing their progress in comparison to the first time we worked together is unreal. The photos only show a small part of the work involved to achieving greatness. For these two there are hours of hard work put in each and every day. From early mornings of fasted cardio, to working out twice a day at times to shock the body while trying to force it to retain every ounce of muscle during the cutting phase. The gym isn't the only place where they put in the work. Outside of the gym things like calorie counting, meal prepping, low carb days, and re-feed days are meticulously monitored, tracked, logged, and tweaked along the way.
For todays session Melissa came prepared with a workout routine. They both started with some cable moments to warm up with then moved to the cable rows and cable lat pull downs. Melissa along with being a personal trainer has also competed before and has developed a muscle maturity that comes with years of training.
After the light cable work we moved to the weight room for some free weight arm work as well as training the legs. Garrett had shed quite a lot of his bulking weight since we last saw one another and he is beginning to show more chiseled definition to his physique.
I tried a few different things during this shoot. After talking about my style of work with my engagement photographer DeeDee (link to her website HERE) she recommended I try using my 50mm lens because it was her in experience better than the 35mm in low light situations. Another new style I tried was shooting wide angle photos. Melissa was interested in seeing the entire physique in the photos so to deliver those types of images I reached for my 18-55mm kit lens (the nikon 14-24mm glass just yet). Shooting with both a 50mm and 18mm lens was a fun and welcome challenge. For the 50mm my workspace was a lot tighter looking through the viewfinder, and with limited space to back up in the gym it was fun learning to adapt to the new conditions. With the 18mm lens I had to keep distortion in mind when framing my shots. For anyone who is unfamiliar I will give you the short and easy. When shooting with a wide angle lens anything near the edge of your frame is stretched or "distorted" you can read more about it HERE.
When taking photos with the wide angle lens I made sure to center my subject in the frame and tried to leave extra space all around the edges so that any excess distortion could be cropped out during processing.
After a great workout session with these two we moved into a separate room to finish with some pose practice. This session was shot on a Saturday when the gym opened. We were all surprised at the amount of people in at that hour. I prefer working in a semi empty facility so as to not weird out any members with my camera, and mainly to not have anyone that might be a distraction in the background of my photos. Once I imported the filesinto Lightroom I went through my selection process. I was really pleased with the images I got from both the wide angle lens and 50mm prime. Having worked in this gym a number of times before I have memorized all the camera settings for each room, and I feel like I've been able to capture much better shots when I don't have to look at my camera to see if I have the right exposure or shutter speed. It also makes editing in Lightroom so much faster. All in all it was another awesome time working with Garrett and Melissa.
You can follow their instagram for more updates as they make their way to the big show on May 28th in Culver City, and Melissas YouTube channel for some great vlogs and fitness advice, links down below.
How about you? Have you ever prepped for a fitness competition? How far out did you begin your cut, and if it was your first show did you have fun? Let me know in the comment section. If you are new to the blog, welcome! Be sure to head over to Facebook and add my photography page. Also you can follow me on Instagram links located above.
Garrett Instagram : @lift_mor
Melissa Instagram : @melissa_fitlifestylz
Melissa YouTube : Melissa Weatherby