I saw this video yesterday courtesy of Furious Pete (FuriousPete.com) and I thought it was definitely worth posting! It shows some shocking industry secrets into how some before and after photo shoots are taken, and an example is recreated where one is faked. In the video the “after shot” is taken first. Here’s what happens:

  • Pete performs as many bicep curls, tricep push downs and chest exercises as he possibly can
  • He then spends some time on a sun bed to bring out the vascularity as much as possible
  • Next he heads home and sets up some nice angled lighting
  • He ensures his muscles are fully pumped by doing some more reps!
  • In the final step, he oils himself up to look nice and shiny!
  • He poses for the camera, and then makes some final adjustments in photoshop to get the finished “after photo”

Now admittedly, the photoshopping skills aren’t great but you get the idea!

Now for the “before shot”. Now bare in mind that this shot is done just 5 hours after the “after shot”, so here is the process. Pete basically sits on a couch for 5 hours eating high sodium foods like tinned pasta and potato chips, and drinks 2 litres of diet coke and a carton of chocolate milk to ensure that he is really water retented and bloated for the next shot. In the photo, his belly looks really big and bloated, and the shot really does look very different to the after shot and could easily be mistaken for a genuine shoot (or could be a procedure used in the industry).

So there you have it; a crude but clever example of how you can fake a before and after shot. Now both myself and Pete aren’t saying that this is how these shoots are necessarily done, but it is an eye opener that may make you take some of these photos with a pinch of salt.