Platypod Max Fitness Shoot

By Ian Spanier

When actor, host and documentarian Andre Bolourchi asked me on a recent shoot if I’d be open to doing some fitness shots with him, it was a no-brainer. YES! Rather than the standard assignment shoot for Muscle & Fitness, I decided to approach Andre’s shoot a little differently, or I should say, from a different perspective.

Pictured: Andre Bolourchi; All images by Ian Spanier

Pictured: Andre Bolourchi; All images by Ian Spanier

I was first attracted to Platypod given my nature to literally end up on my belly to shoot from low angles on almost all my shoots. This is all fine and good when you’re on a nice soft, clean floor, but more often than not, it’s a dirty gym floor, dusty road or rock-hard studio floor. Not to mention the toll it takes on your neck and back. I am not getting any younger after all! Having the ability to put my camera on a variety of surfaces with the Platypod Max and Platypod Ultra has warranted new discoveries on so many shoots.

Andre and I met up late afternoon down in Venice at the local handball courts with a slew of equipment. The concept behind the shoot would be to showcase each piece of workout equipment with Andre performing a recommended exercise as a part of his series of workouts on the site he’s building.  

Platypod Max’s spiked feet is great in situations like this. The cement was actually quite slippery given the dust and sand from the beach, which is right around the corner from the court. Once I set my desired height, I locked the feet’s bolts in place and added a cable release to keep the camera from accidentally moving.

Platypod Max

The idea behind the shoot would feature the equipment so that Andre could write about his various workouts. After the first set up, things fell into place nicely. We shuffled through the various equipment options as I put Andre to task. If one desired shooting in this style would also allow you to combine the two images and have everything sharp, although I was quite happy with our results right out of camera.

After our final exercise was done, I removed the prop ropes and zoomed in tighter on Andre. There’s just something so cool about the rhythmic movement of battle ropes that I decided a clean shot was in order.

On any fitness shoot, I think it’s important to throw in some portraits. First still on Platypod Max, I instructed Andres to take a breather and lean on the wall.

Ian Spanier 2018

For the final image, I picked up my camera and shot a standing level portrait, just to finish up the day. I built this shoot around the idea of making images from a low perspective, so it was a necessity to have Platypod Max as a part of the day. That said, because Platypod Max takes up so little real estate in any camera bag or case, it’s always in my kit. You never know when it may come in handy, even for an entire shoot!

Ian Spanier is an award-winning, LA-based photographer. Check him out on Instagram and at

Ajna Adams