Channel Your Inner Olympian: How to Find Photos that Motivate

by Caroline Mercurio on July 14, 2016 No comments

In our plugged-in world, we see hundreds of ads, pins, and posts that encourage us to try new recipes, travel to new places, or take on a new home project. With the Olympics coming up, it’s no surprise that fitness inspiration (or #Fitspo) is a growing trend in stock photography as well. Seeing a picture of a strong, athletic figure perfecting the Lotus position—probably on a beach in Hawaii at sunset—has the potential to wake up the yogi in all of us.

So what makes a photo inspirational? We’ve identified a few trends and techniques that make a fitness image meme-worthy.

Whether your jam is CrossFit or Barre, you’ll find endless fodder for your #Fitspo board below.
We created a project folder on GraphicStock to gather together some of our favorite inspiring, exercise-inducing, (and totally pinnable) photos, which is an easy way to compile all your favorite images.


Find the Light

Lighting is arguably the most essential element in athletic photography. Light and shadows are critical for highlighting musculature and body composition. Lighting also sets the mood for the image.

For example, do you want a gritty, hard-core feel? Then you will probably gravitate toward strong shadows, dark backgrounds, and a single directional light source.

Download these royalty-free Closeup Image of Woman on Rowing Machine and Muscular Man with Barbell stock photos.

If a Zen vibe is more your speed, bright washes of natural sunlight and soft pools of shadow and color will set the stage for you to get your “Om” on.

Download these royalty-free Meditating Woman Sitting In Pose Of Lotus Against Clear Sky and Legs of Gymnast Sitting and Stretching stock photos.


Look Closer

Close ups are a powerful tool in motivational photos for a couple reasons. First, visualization helps us reach our goals, and removing part or all of the fitness model from the shot allows the viewer to picture themselves within the image. Secondly, close-ups allow the viewer to zone in on a single objective, such as greater flexibility, a heavier barbell, or that first pull-up.

Download these royalty-free Fit Man and Woman Work Out with Kettlebell and Sportswoman Training with Barbell in Gym stock photos.


Go Outside

Many people struggle with exercise because they hate the idea of the gym. Though it’s a mecca for many fitness enthusiasts; novices and experts alike often find the idea of repetitively picking up heavy objects or running endlessly toward nothing in a fluorescently-lit room that smells like sweat more than a little off-putting. That’s probably why many of the best fitness photos take exercise back into the great outdoors.

Download these royalty-free Mountain Biker and Young Couple Running on the Coastline in the Morning stock photos.


Reach Your #Goals

It’s no coincidence that some of the most inspirational fitness photos capture the very things we think we could never achieve: mastery of an intense acrobatic posture, washboard abs, the summit of a major mountain… Seeing someone else live out our dreams helps us to realize that we can to. It might be harder, it might take longer, but if they can do it, so can I!

Download these royalty-free Woman Practicing Antigravity Yoga and Man Mountain Climbing Outdoors stock photos.

What inspires your inner Olympian? Tell us in the comments section below!

Find your #Fitspo



Caroline MercurioChannel Your Inner Olympian: How to Find Photos that Motivate

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