Fitness body-building photo session on the east side of Honolulu just before sunrise.

I had the pleasure of working with Nicole & Zack on a fitness photo shoot on the east side of Oahu at my favorite sunrise spot! I’ve worked with Nikki three times over the last two years, and she first caught my eye when I saw her wielding a bow & arrow and asked her to be my Lady Hawk, Hawkeye-themed photo shoot.
Fitness photo shoot at sunrise on Oahu with Nikki & Zak.

Fast forward to September 2023, Nikki approached me to do a fitness photo session & of course, I said yes, let’s do it! I believe I shot a fitness-styled shoot only once, many moons ago! Lol! I had to do my homework & research poses & more importantly, lighting. Fitness shoot lighting is a little bit more complex than elopement or engagement lighting. It’s more about highlighting the muscular build of a person as they have worked so hard to shape & chisel out their body into their vision of perfection. At first, I had a hard time seeing the concept of never being “happy” with their physique & always trying to reach their vision of how they think they should look. However, being a creative, I do the same thing, always striving to better my previous work and pushing myself mentally and creatively.


Nikki body building fitness photo session with photographer Ryan Salkamoto.

The fitness genre is something that I’m very unfamiliar with & I always love a challenge! It was a needed break as my creativity was starting to fade, shooting the same style over & over again. I get very bored very easily & am constantly researching something different to play around with to expand my creativity. Not only themed shoots but also different lighting techniques.

This shoot required a few different types of light modifiers that I don’t usually use. Mainly 2-12×36 strip boxes. My other tools are my trusty 24” octa without my beloved grid, 4 AD100Pro  with one of the 100s with a MagMod Sphere & multiple gels! Lol! In hindsight, I should have used my 33” octa & removed the inner & outer diffusers for a more contrasty look or even used a 3rd strip box as my key light on some of the shots. My last mistake was that I should have brought a can of ORS Olive oil sheen spray to give their skin a shine. We all learn more from our mistakes.

Photo session with Nichoe & Zak, early morning on Oahu.

The photo session went very well! There were a few lighting techniques I wasn’t able to get to due to time constraints for the rising ambient sunrise light. I would love to do another photo shoot like this…

Fitness body-building photo session on the east side of Honolulu just before sunrise.

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