It doesn’t matter if it’s only five minutes, as long as it’s the RIGHT five minutes. When shooting national and pro-level bodybuilding and fitness athletes, five minutes is a big deal. This picture I shot in about three minutes, and I got a total of 17 frames. We’d already yelled “wrap” and was about to call it a day when I glanced over at gorgeous Mimi Bowman and screamed, “Don’t move! You’re perfect. Just give me a few more frames.” She responded to my request with an exhausted yet playful smile. I knew I had to make this quick.

If you’ve only got five minutes, you’ve got to force an emotional response from your model that in turn will translate into an emotional response from your viewer. Humor is one of the biggest things you’ve got in your bag of tricks – if you can introduce a little humor in your shot, so many things can go to hell in a handbasket, and you still get a great image. Mimi is one of those models who is all business – she shows up to every shoot with her game face on, so when you can capture her relaxed and unposed, she appears even more sexy and more human to the viewer.

I shot this using only one Elinchrom Octabank with a strobe positioned to the right of my camera, with the height just above her eye line.

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