How to Track Progress with Photos

Published: 07-07-2014  | Updated: 04-02-2015

Recording progress with body metrics and measurements allows you to easily track and compare progress over time. This is exactly why we built the Fitstream body tracking platform. We want to inspire body transformation and help keep people motivated and accountable 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 add another dimension 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 ;)

body comparison

Wear something small

...or perhaps nothing at all! (although if you're using the Fitstream app to track progress it's best to 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.

It's also best not to have the main source of light directly behind you. 


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
  • Also, try capturing images of physiques that you aspire toward as a inspirational moodboard of sorts!
  • Photograph your training environment, gym or home gym
  • Capture anything else that inspires and motivates you! it's amazing how motivating some powerful images can be when you need a pick me up.

Start tracking your progress pics 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, progress pics 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.



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