Christine Bleakley for Bodyfit magazine

We had the exciting opportunity to photograph Christine Bleakley as part of a feature Bodyfit Magazine was running on Reebok Crossfit.

 If you are not aware of Crossfit it’s a seriously hardcore fitness program that combines everything from weightlifting to gymnastics. Training takes place in what they call ‘boxes’. These are basic, bare brick, warehouse style gyms that leave you in no doubt that this is a sport that means business.

It was in such a gym, tucked away under the towers of Canary Wharf, that we set up for our shoot with Christine. If I was in any doubt how seriously these guys take their fitness it was quickly laid to rest as the European Crossfit team turned up to train for an upcoming battle with the US. These guys and girls were incredible athletes. Not only was the fittest man in the world, Rich Froning Jr, here to train for the USA team, but the fittest woman in the world, Annie Thorisdottir was in the gym too. 

All this made for a challenging shooting environment. Competitors were dropping hundreds of kilograms of weights a metre or so from our lights. To make matters more tricky the training session was being filmed by a TV crew so we couldn’t use flash during their workouts.

The initial setup was a series of white background shots with Christine for the cover of Bodyfit. Luckily it was a big gym so we set up our background and lights down one end while the athletes trained in the other. After photographing a few different looks and different outfits we knew we had a great cover in the bag so we moved onto some workout pictures.

For these we set up against the rough brick walls of the gym and photographed Christine demonstrating a number of Crossfit moves. At the end of the shoot there was just enough time to grab a couple of portraits of Christine against the wall. The time from set-up to final shot on these was about 5 minutes but they actually ended up being our favourite images of the day. 

Big thanks to the guys from M&C Saatchi, the Bodyfit team and of course Christine Bleakley for all their help on the day.

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Christine Bleakley photographed leaning against a brick wall in a gym
Christine Bleakley cover shoot
Christine Bleakley cover shoot
Christine Bleakley working out with a kettlebell