Ultimate You Change Centre

Interview with GW Burns


Tell me a bit about your background and how did you become interested in fitness photography?

I had shot with several fitness models including Jaime Eason in the past but it was Natalia Muntean (Bikini Universe Champion) that first introduced me to some of the more prominent promoters in the industry.  Being a former Tennis Pro who had worked with trainers in the past it was a good fit for me as I appreciate the dedication the athletes have to possess to train their bodies to be in the kind of shape it takes to compete..


What was the major turning point for you that helped your career to become so successful? 

Louis Zwick of Fitness Universe and Paul Dillett of the WBFF both helped promote me at their events and that in turn allowed me the exposure to make further contacts with magazines and fitness companies.


What advice would you give a fitness photographer who is starting off in the industry?

Know your craft (photography) and know your clientele.  This is an industry of who have you worked with and at first that might be difficult to shoot with the best but do whatever it takes to get those iconic people in front of your lens.  Be willing to spend a lot of money before you ever expect to see a positive return.  Be willing to attend the big expo’s to network and never underestimate the power of social media.


You run photography workshops and your suggestions have been published in books and on websites.  What inspired you to help others?

As I mentioned I taught tennis for 27 years and always enjoyed sharing information with people who share the same passion.  I think it stokes your own fires and for me it allowed me to travel to places I might not of otherwise.





What do you enjoy shooting the most and why?

I love shooting on location at exotic and interesting places.  Take a beautiful person and drop them into a exquisite background and it is the best of all worlds.  There are times when I have shot in the past and looked up from my camera and just had my mouth agape at the beauty in front of me.


What is your motivation for capturing the perfect human physique?

It’s the person themselves.  I love knowing that years later they can go back and look at our shots and feel proud of themselves.






Name some of the professional models that you have worked with.  How do they help you to capture the perfect shot?

I have shot everything from models signed with top agencies like Elite to Playboy centerfolds.  Fitness Cover models like Jaime Eason, Natalia Muntean, Lindsay Messina, Nicole Costa, Morris Mendez and Ulysses are a just a few that I have had the honor of shooting.  Quality like that makes it pretty easy to do your job from a photographer standpoint.  I like to joke that with people like that you just need to push a button.


What advice would you have for those wanting to break into the modeling industry?

Be willing to travel and move if you have to.  Be willing to be super aggressive in attaining your goals.  Work with the best photographers you can.  Be willing to spend the money developing a great portfolio.  Just like in building muscle there is no gain without pain.


Plenty of your shots picture the models with some very artistic scenery in the background.  Where does your creative inspiration come from?

That’s kind of like asking a musician where does the sounds come from he envisions in his mind?  I think in part we are always influenced by others and our past.  When you are in love it is easy to capture an image that conveys that or for that matter when you are sad as well.  Emotions are universally felt, so if you can convey an image with emotion it is sure to hit someone’s hot button.


What is the most unusual set that you have used to shoot at?

Nothing is unusual for me but then again I am unusual so that goes without saying I guess, lol.


What are the 3 most important things to get right when acquiring the ideal shot?

Of course the lighting would be paramount.   Without light we can’t have a shot.  So that would be priority one.  I have already talked about the mood of a shot so I would have to list that a key element as well.  Furthermore, I am pretty much a composition freak so that would be high on the list also.


Do you have any exciting shoots or projects coming up?

I have learned over the years to keep quiet on that front as some never manifest themselves and others exceed expectations.  Photography is totally based on the past.  Your work speaks for itself but always in a past tense.  I have a project that I am currently planning but have to keep it under wraps until it is time to release it.  I know that is a bit of a teaser but this business is so competitive that you have to keep tight lips even when you want to tell the world.