How to Track Progress with Photos

Published: 07-07-2014  | Updated: 08-07-2014

Tracking progress with body metrics and measurements allows you to gauge progress over time, is easy to record and useful for comparison. This is exactly why we built the Fitstream platform; to inspire and motivate body transformation by measuring your physique and building a story of how it's changing.

However, it’s not all about the numbers, and like any good story, pictures really add to what you're saying. When it comes to fitness, a photo speaks a thousand measurements and is a highly motivational tracking method.

So, here’s our guide on how to take the perfect progress pictures for capturing your health and fitness development. Note that what we’re talking about are progress pics, taken in the cold light of day, with nowhere to hide, and not the stylized ‘fitness selfies’ that we all take from time to time ;)

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Wear something small

...or perhaps nothing at all! (although keep those logs marked as private else they'll end up on the community Livestream!)

To track the body, you need to capture the body, so make sure you get as much of it in the progress pic as possible.

For women we recommend a sports bra and shorts, and for men, sports shorts or briefs.

Keep progress pics consistent

Where possible, take photos in the same location and wearing the same outfit each time, so the only variable that changes is your body. You'll find it easier to track progress this way. 

Take photos handsfree!

The traditional handheld fitness selfie isn’t great for documenting progress pics as you’ll not capture the whole body and the angle will be all wrong.

Keep things handsfree and put the camera or phone in a stable place, set the timer, and get in position!

Get the lighting right

Take progress pics in a well lit room so that they’re clear and focused. The goal is not to play around with lighting until it’s kind to you, but to capture the body in it’s natural state.

Note that it's best not to have the main source of light directly behind you either. 

Relax

Take relaxed photos and not just flexed photos. Once you look great in a relaxed state you know you’ve made it!

Photograph the body from multiple angles

Capture progress photos for the front, back and both sides. Taking front shots only can be a deceiving picture and won’t tell the whole story. 

Also consider taking specific body part photos too, to track individual muscle development.

Take regular photos

Remember to take regular progress pics. We'd recommend weekly photographs and it might be worthwhile setting a reminder to prompt you and build the habit. 

Going beyond the standard progress pic

Other useful photos it’s worth tracking are;

  • Fitness selfies! Play around with more stylized body shots
  • Exercise shots to make sure that you’re maintaining correct form
  • Specific body parts
  • Inspirational physiques you aspire toward
  • Your training environment, gym or home gym
  • Anything else that inspires and motivates you!

Start tracking your fitness photos today

We built the Fitstream Body Tracking Application from the ground up. It’s specially designed to capture changes in your body over time and is a great source of motivation and inspiration.

Here are some of the features you can use in our free service;

  • Record body measurements, photos and journal entries
  • Take your own photos directly or upload others
  • Ability to tag entries for enhanced filtering e.g. photoFlexed, photoRelaxed
  • Performance reports to show progress over time

Thousands of people are using Fitstream to stay motivated and track their progress. You can download Fitstream for iPhone now for free.

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Disclaimer

Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise.