An outdoors fitness photoshoot near Red Rock
I met Va'Lyndi about 8 months ago during an event on the Las Vegas Strip. We exchanged contacts and Instagram accounts and I have been following her fitness progress ever since, always amazed by her dedication to daily or multiple gym sessions during the long winter months. I saw her body change through time and her confidence grow. Since she lives in Michigan, I knew that it would be a long shot having the opportunity to photograph her. It was an extremely pleasant surprise when she contacted me about a fitness photoshoot in Las Vegas, just after her first fitness competition.
When visitors from other States are interested in outdoor photoshoots I am overjoyed. I love showing Las Vegas' beautiful natural surroundings and creating photoshoots that are both an adventure and an exploration. Furthermore visitors remind me how lucky we are in Las Vegas to enjoy a great climate for a large part of the year, with sunny skies and bright colors.
Va'Lyndi chose to have her make up professionally done by Get Ready Agency and then we set of with her husband for a Red Rock adventure. We wanted to capture the physique that she works so hard for, in particular for her Michigan fitness competition, but also to set the scene with some environmental portraits.
Hard sun with a reflector and some flash works really well to show off sculpted bodies, creating more shadows and highlighting all the muscle definition. We moved to the shade of a cliff, with a fantastic view of the valley for some more sensual photos. Va'Lyndi is really pleased with the results. We also took one Polaroid shot with film from the ImpossibleProject, with my original Polaroid600. Here are her some of the photos for you to enjoy.
Some advice about fitness
I asked Va'Lyndi to give some advice to someone who wanted to get into fitness: "If anyone is looking to get into fitness I say do it! This is because, in fitness, there is something for everyone! My passion is for bodybuilding. I love the feeling of taking my pre-workout, going into the gym, and lifting weights." She started because she started liking fitness and she grew to love it. She explains that "now I love it but I also have a purpose and a goal in mind when I put my dumbbell in my hand or whether or push for a few more reps on the cables. My efforts determine how I can do or how I place on the NPC stage." I liked how she explained her favourite activity: "Bodybuilding is like art because you sculpt your body with food, workouts, dedication and commitment. I am my own artist and my body is my canvas. Exercise can help people with stress, depression, anger, sadnesses, etc. I know because exercise helps me with all of the above. The gym is my happy place. A place where I can focus on me and my happiness."
As a portrait photographer I have a similar concept of the body: my clients bodies are my canvas to create art for them, through lighting, composition and posing. I therefore liked the comparison with what body builders do and also the shared passion for our respective activities.
Va'Lyndi gave me her final piece of advice about fitness to people that may be starting out: "I suggest others to explore what they love in the fitness world and to try new things, because in the end we only have one body to live in- and it's up to us how we take care of it."
Thanks Va'Lyndi you for your inspirational words and for the great fitness shoot!