“The City of Angels” is not a reference to LA’s fitness-centered populace, but it could be. Although California is ranked the third-healthiest state in the US, according to a recent study, its residents are by far America’s most likely to Google “gym membership” and follow through! Long before Paddy Calistro coined the term “The L.A. body,” Los Angeles, home of Hollywood and mecca of American cinema, has had a presiding aesthetic brimming from the silver screen and onto the streets, with actors, models, and modelesque citizens alike all sporting their finest physique. In LA, physical appearance is a brand, and physical fitness is a sure way to establish and hone brand identity. Though satirized in the LA-based LMFAO’s popular lyric “…look at that body …look at that body—I work out,” the city’s decreased risk of heart disease is no laughing matter.
At Wonderful Machine we define sports/fitness photography as “anything relating to sports, games, athletes, fitness, exercise—can be candid (action) or controlled.”
Los Angeles fitness photographers share in the excitement of shaping and capturing the city’s active lifestyle, some are even athletes themselves. If you’re looking for “fitspiration,” you’ve come to the right place! We’ve done the research. Here is a list of Wonderful Machine’s selections for the seven best fitness photographers in Los Angeles.
John Davis is a Los Angeles-based fitness photographer living and working on both coasts. He loves collaborating with people and being thrown into different situations. John writes,
There is a unique story behind every face and I rely on those unexpected details to make images that are as special as the people.
His clients include: 2U, American University, Army Navy Academy, Colby College, Columbia Teacher’s College, The Gilman School for Boys, George Washington University, Hampshire College, The Hun School of Princeton, University of Maryland, Penn Law, Pepperdine U., Stanford U., The St. Paul’s Schools, The Thacher School, Tufts University, USC, Wesleyan University, Americorps, The Green Turtle Restaurant, Lulu Lemon, Retirement Living TV, The Food Network, TV One, Under Armour, Adweek, AFAR Travel, Fast Company, Fed Tech Magazine, Forbes, Fortune Small Business, Geico Now, Inc. Magazine, Men’s Health, Popular Mechanics, Runner’s World, USAA Members Magazine, and Where Travel.
When not making pictures John trains for marathons and plays ice hockey to stay healthy and inspired. He lives in LA with his wife, daughter, large cat, and guinea pig.
While John’s production is impressive, his composition has a more playful and relaxed approach, incorporating a Lo-fi element that makes his fitness photography stand out with a youthful, trendy, and modern vibe. His photos really launch!
Joe Magnani and Jared Schlachet, the LA-based duo that make up JSquared Photography, have been working together for over a decade and remain one of the most sought after photography pairs in the industry. From studio and network work to publications, advertising, and brands, JSquared is known for their impeccable technical skills and their ability to bring creative visions to life in print and on screen.
Joe and Jared attended the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, honing in on their craft from a young age. While they met after graduation, the duo began assisting one another on solo jobs and quickly realized that together, they could make magic happen on set. Their way of working is unique; two sets of eyes working together, with each photographer taking their turn behind the camera while the other directs each frame, guiding the shooter and ensuring every photo captures a detailed, moment in time.
Their clients include: Apple, Amazon Studios, CW Network, Estee Lauder,Harper Collins, Harrah’s So-Cal, Humane Society, In-N-Out Burger, KCET, The Ludacris Foundation, Netflix, Neutrogena, O, The Oprah Winfrey Network, Ora TV, Paul Mitchell, Penguin Random House, PETA, Revlon/Elizabeth Ardon, Simon & Schuster, Sony BMG, Too Faced Cosmetics, Under Armor, United Health Care, UNICEF, Warner Bros., AARP, Angeleno, Bello Magazine, Billboard, Buzzfeed, CBS Watch!, Cosmopolitan, Emmy Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, The Hollywood Reporter, In Touch, Inked, LA Confidential, LA Weekly, Locale Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, Men’s Health, Michigan Avenue, People, Redbook, Shape Magazine, Today’s Black Woman, TV Insider, Women’s Health, and The Wrap.
Originally from the Bay area, when he isn’t on set, you can find Joe in the outdoors; camping, fishing, mountain biking, and road-tripping. Jared, a father of two girls, grew up in the Denver area and notes he has loved photography since high school. A motorcycle enthusiast, you can find Jared cruising up and down the coast on his Harley-Davidson, when he isn’t behind the camera. Let JSquared show you their game face!
Erik Isakson is a commercial photographer specializing in fitness and lifestyle. He writes,
My love for photography began when I was 11 years old with a Sports Illustrated subscription that included a free camera. Changing the plastic cameras f-stop’s from cloudy to partly cloudy, and even to the sunny setting was all the sophistication I needed to test it out the first time photographing Shamu on our family vacation. From there, as they say, the rest is history.
Having participated in sports and outdoor adventures throughout his life, Erik naturally gravitated towards sports/fitness photography. Whether he’s photographing an NBA superstar with a five-minute time limit or capturing a runner in full stride, each day as a photographer is exhilarating and satisfying.
His clients include: Samsung, Chevrolet, GMC, Budweiser, Modelo Especial, ESPN, Cricket Wireless, Nike, Boeing, Dymatize, Olympus, Bolle’, UCLA, Ogilvy & Mather, Wix.com, Unilever, The Ad Council, Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego Visitors Bureau, Real Salt Lake – MLS, NuSkin Int., Profire Energy, Utah Office of Tourism, R&R Partners, Sempra Energy, Sanuk Footwear, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Beneficial Financial Group, Polynesian Cultural Center, GreenWood Resources, Inc. Sport Court Int, KT Tape, Sports Illustrated, Fitness Magazine, Dime Magazine, Best Health Magazine, Runner’s World, SELF Magazine, Shape, Triathlete, Ski Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Hers, Experience Life Magazine, and Health Magazine.
Erik lives just outside Los Angeles in Rancho Santa Margarita. He speaks English and Russian. Like this photo, Erik will not drop the ball!
Michael Darter is a Los Angeles-area sports/fitness, adventure/outdoor, brand narrative and portraiture photographer who appreciates “light, dust, sweat, blood, and just a little bit of wind.” He writes,
Before photography there was bussing tables and washing dishes, stocking shelves, making sandwiches and screwing up the cash register, splitting firewood, tearing off roofs and installing new ones with putrid hot tar in the heat of summer, graveyard shift processing black&white film by hand and machine (more putrid fumes), and “teaching” conversational English in Osaka, Japan. After that, schlepping gear, catching flights, setting up lights, and lovin’ it as a photo assistant in New York City with a variety-pack of famous and less than famous photographers, their highly-skilled crews showing me the way.
His clients include: Departures Magazine, Bicycling Magazine, Patagonia, Norco Bicycles, Red Bull, Exos, Road & Track Magazine, Go Magazine, and The Trail Magazine.
With over two decades in the industry, Michael’s photos are anything but a drag!
Marisa Guzmán-Aloia is a Los Angeles-based fitness, portraiture, and lifestyle photographer. A graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Marisa’s work is about capturing the stories in front of her lens. Her use of light and composition, in addition to her emotive direction, creates relaxed and natural photographs. Marisa enjoys collaborating with clients to bring their vision to life.
Her clients include: T Rowe Price, AARP, Compass Real Estate Brokerage, Keller Williams Realty, TTR Sotheby’s Realty, CARR Properties, The Washingtonian, Virtuoso Magazine, Boston University Alumni Magazine, Rutgers Alumni Magazine, IBM Power Systems Magazine, Southbay Magazine, and Terranea Resort Magazine.
Marisa has a wanderlust. Her life as a photographer has led her on breathtaking adventures. Documenting new places, cultures and experiences feed her soul. No matter where in the world she is, Marisa will always be a California girl at heart.
Her playful gif shows there’s room for an active lifestyle in the space of a kiddie pool!
From fitness apparel brands to sports drinks, Travis McCoy is a talented Los Angeles fitness photographer whose work demonstrates both skill and creativity. His fitness photography reflects the physicality and competitive nature of athletes, inspiring you to lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement.
His clients include: Asics, AT&T, Body Armor, Bravo Network, Deutsch, DraftFCB, Dreamworks, Greenlight, HTC, Intel, JBL, Lexus, Livestrong, Microsoft, Momentum Worldwide, NASM, NFL, Nike, Nixon, Omelet, Porsche, Reebok, Rodale, Sony, Spotify, Target, Team One, UE Boom, Variety, and Volkswagen.
Travis’ photos are the real McCoy!
Chris Ozer is a self-taught photographer and director based in Los Angeles. He writes,
I began shooting in 2009 with my trusty iPhone 3GS, snapping photos of Brooklyn and Greenwich Village along my way to and from work while living in New York. I’ve since graduated to bigger cameras (though I still love taking pictures with the iPhone) and now shoot photos and videos for clients like Apple, Target, The New York Times, Mercedes-Benz and more.
His clients include: Apple, AARP, Ad Council, Aeropostale, AirBNB, Ajinomoto, Allstate, Amex, Aquaphor, Barilla, Braun, Burger King, Bustle, BSSP, Cole Hahn, DDB, Droga5, Eleven, Estée Lauder, Envoy, Evernote, Facebook, Fitbit, Food&Wine, Gartner, GE, Google, Grey Goose, Herbal Essences, Holiday Inn, Iams, Isopure, Jimmie Johnson Racing, Johnnie Walker, Johnson & Johnson, Lands’ End, The Lincoln Motor Company, LuluLemon, M Booth, MasterCard, Mercedes-Benz, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Mother, The New York Times, Niche, Nike, Nordstrom, Omada Health, Old Navy, PayPal, Pella Windows, Pfizer, R/GA, Samsung, Save the Children, Softcard, Sony, Stella Artois, Tag Heuer, Target, The Woo, Toms, Toyota, Tumblr, Ugg Australia, Victorinox, Vizio, Volkswagen, Waldorf, Astoria, Walmart, Water.org, We Are Social, Weber Shandwick, Wieden+Kennedy, and Wired.
Chris lives in LA with his beautiful wife Erin, and two amazing sons Dean and Grey. His photos won’t leave you hanging!
We hope you’ve enjoyed Wonderful Machine’s selections for the seven best fitness photographers in Los Angeles. Now that we’ve crushed that workout, let’s take a quick water break as you dive deeper into these photographers’ portfolios!