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Photo-flex Blog

I thought it was time to start a Photo-flex blog. I write one for my normal photography page Lee Archer Photography so after speaking with a client and friend today, the blog starts. Thanks Ian Duckett of Body In Design.

 

Flex magazine article with Shaun Joseph Tavernier

Well, I was browsing facebook as you do, and see Shauns new website pop up. I knew he was working on it, but was overwhelmed to see my images on it., and then to see how they were used for Flex Magazines article. I do get excited to see my work in print. It kind of makes my day and is the aim of this business to have things seen. Have a look at this ultra cool website, Shaun has some great clothing for sale., Id say its unique. Go support him at the Bodypower Expo 2015 where hes competing in the Pro show. Il also be around for a couple of days. Il be representing Crown to Cuff tailors. .

Shauns site

Crown to cuff

Some of the Magazine work I do.

Here are some spreads from last years Nabba Magazine.,I will add a link to view in Full size too. The magazine is owned by Paul Jeffreys who is chief editor, its put together and designed by Jim at JINX

I provide articles, show reviews and front cover images too. I try and contribute as much photography as possible. Also in the magazine is Ask Asgard which is amazing info. Muscletricks.com provides show reviews too, and interviews. Buy from HERE

Paul Rowe Large

 

Paul Rowe Page 2

 

Sally page 1

 

Sally Page 2

 

Gary Lister Poster

 

Pro Gear Muscle Andy James

 

Nrg British classic 2015 Post show photoshoot.

Book your slot now for this low priced event. Any questions please use the contact form

Whey Protein review.

I was recently asked what my favourite protein is and what do some of the uks best bodybuilders use. Clearly the notion that I have inside info from shoots etc. Which to a degree is true. So il tell you what I use which doesnt mean alot as Im not a top competitor or anything I just love bodybuilding. But I am like most people who hard gain and also suffer a sensitive stomach. I found ISO2 nutrition products last year after working on a project with them with some of the athletes I photograph. I had been using a decent enough brand but low cost, not that ISO2 is expensive.

The key benefits are

  • 5 Stage Sustained Released Protein Matrix
  • Added L-Glutamine, BCAAs, Taurine and digestive enzymes
  • 100% instantised for easy mixing
  • Multi-Functional A.M.- P.M. Protein Blend

 

Gary Lister who owns the gym I train at and also a client of mine swears by ISO2 products. I went on the Protein SR and within 10 days I was more vascular and felt better stomach wise. Clearly the product before didnt help me get into a positive nitrogen balance. I just love this product, the taste, the mixing and obviously the extra muscle.  Ive used the fat burner Clean Cuts and the Glutamine etc. Infact i use alot of there range, but for this purpose wanted to share my love for the whey protein.

Here is the link to there website, look for the special offers. ISO2 NUTRITION.

 

My first article in Muscle & Fitness magazine UK.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be asked to cover little jobs for Flex & Muscle & Fitness magazines. My first assignment was a strongman event at the Army Training ground at Harrogate. This was to be an online article. Since then Ive shot a few articles and shows with more booked to happen soon for the UKBFF. Here is the first article.

 

Post show photoshoot at Fitness Connection Dewsbury Oct 20th 2014

UKBFF British Grand Prix July 2014 Brunel University Uk

In July I was lucky to be asked to photograph the show for Flex Magazine - Flex Online. Although I did feel sorry for the photographer who couldnt make it as he is a great photographer I was glad to accept the assignment. So I promply checked the equipment and loaded the bag with spare batteries and off I went. I must say it was a great show and full of class athletes. The images are available from HERE .

There is also a video promo here

 

Adam Foster Interview - New Addition to photo-flex blogs

Before I hand this part over to what Adam sent me, Id like to introduce him as the guy who did his routine to Star Wars theme stune at the NABBA Britain Finals. I loved it. Over to you Adam. Lee

"Hi guys, my name is Adam and Im in my 2nd year of competing as a bodybuilder. Lee has some fantastic coverage of the NABBA shows i’ve competed in, and he has kindly allowed me to share my experience of bodybuilding, balancing gym life with ‘normal life’ along with talking about my journey so far. So lets get straight down to it!

Boy do I wish I knew what I know now, back when I was 15,16, heck even 18. But hey, don’t well all? In 2013 I changed gym, changed routine, and changed diet. I went from a 215 lb frame of chubby muscle, to a lean, 185 (ish) lb on-stage, bodybuilder. I even placed 3rd in the NABBA North Britain, and 6th in the NABBA Britain finals 2014!

If i could take this knowledge, morph back to a 15 year old kid, where would I be now? Who knows. What I do know however, is that I wasn’t always ‘bulky’. I wasn’t always ripped. I wasn’t born with an on-stage physique.

Since I was a teenager I’ve been into ‘weight lifting’, but you see there is a vast difference between weight lifters, and the bodybuilders that Lee photographs. A weight lifter is a recreational lifter. Perhaps someone who enjoys going to the gym. Lifting weights, and wants to get a bit bigger. Gain some strength. Maybe lose a little bit of weight. A weight lifter isn’t a bodybuilder though.

Before 2013, I was pretty strong, and had good size. I was 215 lbs. However I wasn’t always ‘heavy’. I was once skinny. Yes, just like every other athlete, fitness model or bodybuilder out there, I shared a common trait with them all. I wasn’t born with a good physique. I wasn’t born with developed muscles. No one is.

It’s perhaps hard to look at a bodybuilder on the cover of flex magazine and imagine them as a 160 lbs teenager. Surely you can’t look at a fitness model, on a London billboard and imagine them as having next to no muscle mass, and no sign of a 6 pack. Well, everyone starts somewhere, and so did I.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCz5m-UAWvQ

Addicted to staying in doors, spending the summer gaming and eating junk food as a kid I got fat. Not obese, but overweight. My schedule during Summer holidays was pretty awesome for a kid.

12 Mid-day – Get woken up by my Mom for dinner.
12:05 – Turn on my PC
12.10 – Eat dinner consisting of chips, garlic sauce and meat in breadcrumbs. With plenty of salt and bread.
12.20 – Load up Legend Of Mir (An MMORPG)
04:30 – Go to bed

Of course between 12.20 and 04:30 i’d stop for fizzy drinks, crisps, sweets, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, meals. Id have friends round to play. Id break my day up watching Dragonball Z, organising my Yu-Gi-Oh card deck, and watching wrestling. But that was a pretty typical day for me up until around the age of 15.

I was a geek. I still am a geek. The only difference is, im now a healthy, (without sounding like a complete dick) more aesthetic geek. You see the geek side nature of things has actually helped me transition into my bodybuilding lifestyle.

That schedule I just wrote above? IM still on a schedule, although it now revolves around eating every 2.5 -3 hours, and training, and resting. The ‘geeky’ side of me also allowed me to acquire a degree, and a masters degree in Marketing, and set up my own web business. Of course this web business had to be related to something I was passionate about...bodybuilding and supplements. I set up http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk in 2013 as a way to share my experiences of using different supplements, along with passing on supplement savings and discount codes to readers of my blog and viewers of my youtube channel (more on that soon). My University even covered my web business recently in this article.

So with that schedule laid out, you might be thinking well how the hell did this guy get skinny? You’d be right to think so. When I was 15 i’d had enough.

Being inspired by WWE superstars, I wanted to change my physique for the better. Its always been a dream of mine to become a wrestler. So I thought if im serious about that, I best get into shape.

This is where things started picking up, but slowly. See I lost weight, pretty easily. I cut out the crisps and chips. I toned down on junk through the day, and saved it to be a treat. I started curling my older brothers dumbbells, in my first attempt to get the bicep’s poppin’.

I’d gone from the kid who hated P.E class, having chips with everything I ate, and a slight addiction to gaming, to developing a new addiction. A one that has only gotten more and more prevalent within my life as I’ve grown older. Working out and being healthy.

As i’ve said, if I only knew now, what I knew then I’d be so much further on with my physique, but fitness is a learning curve. I could have avoided a bro bulk and a super skinny cut.

SO getting back on track, how did I end up skinny? Well like I say i began working out and eating ‘healthy’. After spending every night on the bodybuilding.com website, reading article after article, bombarding my brain with diet information, supplement information and everything in between, I did what every bodybuilder does.

Overcomplicate things.

Rather than being content with the information I was reading, I got the silly notion of ‘protein = muscle’ into my head. Reading diets that would recommend x amount of protein, x amount of carbs and x amount of fat, I would ditch the carb intake. I would eat them, but no where near as much as I should have been. Looking back now, I have no idea why I did this. I was stupid, young, and did I mention I was stupid.

My diet would consist of Eggs for breakfast, a mid morning protein shake, wholewheat chicken breast sandwhich for lunch, meatballs and pasta for dinner and eggs before bed. My carb intake was lacking. Coupling this with excess amounts of cardio, and weight training every day. I was getting no where fast.

I was healthier and looking better than I used to, but damn, looking back at those pics, I can’t believe what i’d let me body become. If only I had listened and took advice on board.

So after battling with being over weight, then getting skinny, then bulking up again, 2013 I took the plunge and joined a new gym. Xtreme Fitness. Ran by none other than legendary bodybuilder, Eddy Ellwood. A 5 time Mr Universe Winner. I took his advice on board, and the transformation pretty much speaks for itself....

 

Bodybuilding Is More Than a Hobby

So 22 years old I began, for the first time, training for a bodybuilding show. My workout routine changed to a more demanding 6 day weight training split, with more time spent on cardio. My diet, in terms of the foods I had been eating for the past year, was pretty much the same, albeit with smaller quantities to cut from 215 lbs. I actually document my NABBA training and diet over on my personal blog, http://www.shreddybrek.com along with my Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/shreddybrek . See, thats where the inner geek has stuck with me! Digital!

What once was a big part of my life, was now taking up even more of my life. Not just physically, but mentally. No matter what stage condition I see a guy bring in any of the NABBA shows that Lee covers, no matter how poor they look, I still have an enormous amount of respect for them for committing to the goal, and getting on stage.

For me bodybuilding took a bit toll on my relationship with my fiancé. I would (and continue to) see her every day. However when I was with her, I wasn’t with her, if that makes sense. The toll that dieting, training and feeling tired and hungry took on me made me distant. 4 weeks out from the NABBA Britain Finals, I was no longer the fun loving , laughable person I once was. I was miserable more often than not. My productivity working on sections of my site diminished. When I first started with cheapproteindiscountcodes, I was putting up reviews regularly. For example I published an Impact Whey Protein Review, Mutant Mass Review, along with posting lots of cheap supplements offers on the site, on a weekly basis. This dwindled down to one new post whenever I could be bothered.

My youtube channel and blog suffered, with me posting less and less often.

So what makes bodybuilding worth while? For me, it’s the drive.

Now I feel fine. Up until that 4 week out mark, I felt fine. Competing at the NABBA North Britain, i had no problems during prep. I think mentally, I hadn’t prepared for the additional 4 weeks of contest prep, and for this reason, i struggled.

Tips For The 18 Year Old Reading This

Now i’d like to take just share, from my experiences, some of the things I wish I had known as an 18 year old with the distant goal.

Balance

Up until I started competing in 2013, at the age of 22, I had already missed out on a lot. I stopped drinking at the age of 19. I never went away for a lads holiday with my mates. I rarely ate out. I shy’ed away from social gatherings such as parties, bbq’s, as I didn’t want to feel awkward pulling out my tub of chicken and rice. For what? Nothing.

I should have dedicated myself to training, and making gains, like I did. I didn’t regret that. I should have balanced my gym life and social life a bit better though, as I wasn’t competing at the time. I would advise anyone, with the goal of competing, to enjoy the times you can when you’re not dieting. Because for 12,16,20,24 weeks of the year when you are in contest prep, there is absolutely no lee-way and you can’t enjoy yourself during those times.

Goal Setting

Think about why are you training. Is it to compete as a bodybuilder? Is it to deadlift like Benedikt Magnuson? Is it to become a fitness model such as Simeon Panda? Is it just a hobby to keep yourself busy for a few hours a week? Are you just a teenager looking to workout?

Your goal will dictate the balance I previously spoke about. Why restrict yourself, and make your partner miserable if its just a hobby? Why should you care about how much you can bench press if you want to be a fitness model?

If you’re unsure of your goal, its going to be hard to progress and to enjoy the gym. I would seriously urge anyone youngster reading this to have a think about what you want from the gym.

Don’t Expect Anything

You can’t enter a gym with the expectation of making a living from lifting weights. You shouldn’t turn up at your first show expecting to win. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Be realistic.

Im not saying don’t aspire to be better, and don’t have the vision that you can achieve something. Just don’t expect it to be handed to you on a plate.

Thank you to Lee for allowing me to share my experiences of gym life, and my transition from weight lifting to bodybuilding."

 

May 31st Nabba Britain Finals Southport. Photography

What a weekend. Had a great time again this year. And i think this was a very tough show. It was great to see old and new friends and capture this great day., Images will be on sale at some point but for now Ive got photoshoots to edit. Its always best to pre-order though email lee@photo-flex.co.uk or send a message through this site. Here are the winners.

May 11th 2014 Nabba North East 2014 at Batley Frontier club

Great Day at the Nabba North East Show 2014. Photographs will be on sale tomorrow, the pre-paid orders will go out first later this week. I take paypal, credit and debit cards, bank transfer. Disc is £18.50 posted.
I have comparisons, Routine, awards, miss and Mr yorkshire overall. If your in them you get your shots on disc posted. See the sample below.

April 27th 2014 Shaun Joseph Tavernier photoshoot

I had a great shoot today with British pro bodybuilder Shaun Joseph-Tavernier. We shot over at Fitness Connection Gym Dewsbury thanks to the owner Moe.
Shaun is due to compete at the Bodypower Expo later in May. Look forward to tha
t. Photos to follow soon.

February 7th 2014 Happy Birthday Gary Lister.

Today is the birthday of one of Britains best Bodybuilders. Not only that but a true gent and ambassador to the sport. Its a pleasure to train at Garys gym Listers Universal Gym and know him as a friend. He is now also offering PT sessions so make the most of that. If you want the number for PT please inbox me and il pass it on.

Heres the Big man in his 2012 prep.

February 2014 Tips for Fitness Models

This month is already looking promising. Over the last 2 weeks ive shot studio, gym and on location for fitness athletes looking to get into the world of modeling. Its a tough world with lots of people wanting to do it. I have a few tips for this.

First of all decide what area will suit you or what kind of modeling you've seen people like you do. And be realistic. The most popular work is for fitter looking people with a general look. Its harder for large bodybuilders to get work although it is possible. But as a model larger isn't always better. The same applies to condition. In most cases visable abs is enough, if your totally ripped/shredded you may not get picked.

Secondly, get some proper high quality photographs taken. Find  photographer who offers the style you want and who you think you can work with. Tell them what you want and how you want to look. Its always good to email ideas from shoots you've seen etc. Once you've booked your shoot, take it really serious and make sure your ready. Some people diet as hard for shoots as they do for shows. But the camera wont lie, and depending on photoshop isn't the answer.

Thirdly and this is the GET NOTICED part. Don't just sit on Facebook hoping to get noticed. Get out there. Be seen. Also don't just email model agencies and think you'll be seen, they get loads of emails and yours may even go to spam. Get some prints made or model cards of your favorite photo or selection of images and post these to the agency with your age, height, weight, and other relevant details. This will put you direct infront of someone. The chances for you are therefore higher.

If you have any questions please do email me. Im happy to help.A good way to get seen and meet others is to visit the Body Power Expo 2014 at Birmingham.

January 2014.

Hello everyone, well 2014 is here and what a year its looking to be in Bodybuilding. The new Pro section at the NABBA Worlds in Belfast is going to be huge. We have the great local shows at Batley, and castleford and a very promising NABBA Britain Final. Il be there to capture you on stage. Keep visiting this page for news and photos. Good luck with your prep.

 

October 21st 2013 NABBA UK Batley

This show was awesome. for now il keep the review short but here are some sample photographs.

 

October 2013 NABBA Universe Southport

Another absolutely amazing show, this year saw the return of Lee Priest to bodybuilding. Some will remember him from the Olympia stage. Lee is now 44 and looks amazing. He took class 4 and the overall. NABBA has introduced the pro card again. So all mr class winners won a pro card. The worlds final will be in Dublin next year and will also host a pro show. A stand out athlete was Kim Junho from Korea. There is confusion over the correct spelling for his name so im sorry if its wrong, email and il correct. Well done to Stuart Garrington for winning class 1. Photographs are on sale.

September 2013  Open Yorkshire Classic.

Wow what a show, this year really did ROCK. A play on words there as the guest spots had an awesome guitarist playing live, not something you see often. People were sat with mouths open, jaws to the floor. here are some preview photos. they are on sale now.

5th Aug 2013

Yes ive been slow with the blogs. Its been busy over on the wedding side. But ive had a busy time with it all. 2 weeks ago a fitness shoot in Surrey. A long 5 hour drive as the satnav wasnt happy but we got the shoot done. It was for a personal training website. Il post links when thats live.

Yesterday was a shot with Karina Akmens WBFF Pro over at Ziggys Workhouse Gym Rotherham. Great shoot with a professional lady. Look forward to some work in the future. A joint project maybe. Also its finalising the articles for the Nabba Health and Fitness Magazine. Ive a few articles this time and the front cover again. Il post photos as we go on.

Keep coming back and also look up photo-flex on facebook.

9th June 2013

Nabba Britain finals 2013 were awesome. Here is a little sample for now and il write a full blog once ive sent the photos to NABBA. As youll see the photo quality is what you would expect. High quality, hi res and the right colour.

 

12th May 2013

Highlights from the nabba North East 2013 show Available to purchase now.

9th May 2013

Its only 1.5 days until the Nabba North East show. Im really excited about this show as its my region and alot of my friends will be there and in the show. Just been to see Becky Williamson and shes looking awesome. Then next week a very busy week with fitness shoots. Not long until the nabba britain., Il do an update over the weekend. thanks

26th April 2013.

Its been a good year already for photo-flex with gym and studio fitness shoots. Some of the shoots have been NPA athletes as those shows start early on. And recently the NABBA athletes are starting to close in on there condition. A few weeks ago i shot Becky Williamson, a previous Miss Britain who is preparing for the Nabba North East show and hopefully the Britain. Becky loves Metal music and combined the metal interest with being a bodybuilding lady too. The shoot was at Listers Universal Gym harworth, Doncaster. I do 90% of my gym shoots there. I also had the pleasure of a shoot with Paul Rowe. An over 50's athlete. In great shape and looking to do well this year.

I've worked with some of Ian Ducketts clients this last few weeks too, this morning being a location shoot in an old mill. Sunrise was the aim and the morning was cold but good. I took all sorts of lighting equipment. With it being location i had to take portable power to power my mains flash heads. I have 2 big power packs, each with 2 sockets and can power upto 4 heads each if required. So we can shoot just about anywhere. Then it was the Body in Design boss himself. A real gent of this sport. A fly on the wall fast paced training session, very intense. So keep an eye out for those photographs too. Its like talking to someone youve known for years talking to Ian. Anyone with a signed Stallone photo has got to be cool, Yes? :)

So to wrap up and not go on too much. I will be photographing the NABBA North East show on May the 11th at Batley frontier club, Batley. This is a NABBA Britain qualifier too. Organised by Paul Jeffreys.