How Before and After Bodybuilding Photos are Often Faked

Here’s a clip from the bodybuilding documentary “Bigger Faster Stronger” in which photographer Rich Schaff spills the beans on some industry secrets for how those unbelievable before-and-after photos promoting bodybuilding products are made. He shows how both shots can be of the same model on the same day, with various tricks and image manipulations used to achieve the drastic differences you see.

YouTube personality and competitive eater Furious Pete recently made a similar video in which he demonstrates — using his own body — how easily you can fake body “change” in photos using various techniques:

(via Fstoppers)

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    How is it even legal to fake before and after shots?  If the makeup people can’t do it, the body building people shouldn’t be able to do it.

  • WetcoastBob

    Didn’t realize it was this simple!

  • 9inchnail

    And who actually didn’t know that, yet? Sometimes they have an even easier approach and just pay a really toned person to stop exercising for a couple of weeks and eat junk food. So they actually take the after shot first and the before shot after the person let himself go. That’s just a common practice. No one wants to plan and shoot a commercial over the course of a couple of months.

  • lloyd

    filmed with eyelash inserts

  • MR


  • Eric Knape

    I produce video and photography in the fitness industry for a living. This practice of fakery is maddening … and I believe actually illegal in some cases, but I’m not 100% sure about that. Furious Pete has a good point, that you shouldn’t believe every claim out there and to seek out good, tested information. His video makes sense because he’s demonstrating how such misleading ads can be achieved. The photographer in the documentary, however, I don’t have much respect for.

    Yikes! It’s so frustrating seeing this after working with real people who have achieved real, life-changing transformations. BAD WORD!

  • kirk benton

    Is this photographer actually proud of doing this? 

  • Rtgeasland

    Looks to me like someone made this video just to show off his body.