MICHEL BAL PHOTOGRAPHY
I am Michel Bal, fitness trainer and photographer. I love helping others get in the best shape of their lives and capturing their success on film.
I picked up a camera for the first time when I was nine years old. Folks in my hometown of Antwerp, Belgium quickly became used to me shooting photos of everyone and everything in my path. In 1994, I moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment business.
At first, I primarily worked in front of the camera as a fitness model, SAG/AFTRA actor, and Chippendales® dancer before helping others sculpt their bodies as a private personal trainer. Throughout this time I never lost my passion for photography.
My experience both in front and behind the camera helps me bring out the very best in those who pose for me, whether for headshots, a model portfolio or for fitness and glamour/boudoir photography.
View my online portfolios:
Prepare for a photoshoot:
These helpful tips below are for male and female models, but some of them won't apply to men.
It is always a good idea to meet in person before a photoshoot to get to know each other a little better, so you won't be so nervous during the photoshoot. This can be done any time before the day of your photoshoot. Or we can meet 20 to 30 min earlier on the actual day of the photoshoot.
Music may also help you relax during the photoshoot or even a little bit of wine just to take the edge off.
Look through magazines and catalogs and tear out pictures that you like and email them to me, so I can look at them and find the right location and props for the photoshoot.
Get to know the style of pictures you want. If you’re shooting with me, check out my online portfolios:
Locations - If you know great locations you want to have your pictures taken, please share with me before the day of the photoshoot, so I can plan my time and what photography gear I have to bring. Is it indoors or outdoors or both? I am open to go to new locations as long as you tell me before the day of the photoshoot. If you don't have any location in mind, no worries, I have plenty of ideas and places.
Get plenty of sleep the night before and give yourself enough time on the day of the photo shoot. You may want to take the day off, so you don't feel rushed and you don't have to worry about getting to your next appointment. Sometimes we as photographers get creative and therefore your photoshoot may run a little longer than planned.
For women: Make-up. This is going to depend on what you’re shooting but the more natural the better! Think day-time-date make-up and don’t go too crazy with a bold lip or brow.
Fake tans are generally not the best idea either – no one wants to be streaky, orange or have hands the color of pennies in an otherwise beautiful (nude) shot.
For women: Body hair. Put simply – anything that you want to look hairless…should be hairless. Photographers can’t easily photoshop your stubbly legs so it’s a lot easier if it’s sorted out in ‘real life’. I would recommend waxing in advance to avoid shaving rash and speedy regrowth.
Nails. Do your best to keep your nails and toenails in good condition, plus your feet in general. For women: No need to paint your nails if you don’t want to, but a little bit of attention won’t go a miss – pamper yourself!
Drink plenty of water in the days running up to the shoot and eat clean foods. If you spend a week boozing and eating pizza and turn up to your shoot feeling knackered, bloated and moody, you’re unlikely to get your best images.
If you consider shooting some semi-nude or artistic nudes, please wear loose clothing and no underwear or bra for at least one hour before the photoshoot, due to the marks you get from them and it takes about an hour to get rid of them. As far as your private area hair goes, please trim a little bit or if you want that clean-shaven look, I would recommend waxing in advance to avoid shaving rash and speedy regrowth. However – if you want to keep it all natural then that’s great. I love all variations of what you can create ‘down there’ with or without hair.
On the day of the photoshoot:
Be on Time! There’s going to be nothing worse than arriving stressed, in a bad mood and probably sweating only to be late.
Also being late is only going to shorten your photoshoot if I have another appointment on that same day.
Please bring a large variety of outfits. More is better. I will help you choose what looks best on you. Bring clothing that you feel good in and that really reflect who you are or want to be. Bring a mix of sporty, casual, upscale/business, swimwear and sexy clothes. For women, bring lots of cute dresses and lingerie. Make sure you cut out tags so they aren’t going to stick out at any point during the shoot.
Props - Bring some playful props with you. Props can add to a photograph and make a good photo a great photo. Look at pictures and magazines and see what props they are using to give you an idea what could help you with your posing. Again, more is better. I rather have to many outfits and props, than not enough.
PS: If you want to have nude pictures taken, please bring a copy of your ID, DL or passport, so I can verify your age.
I photograph indoors and/or outdoors.
We can meet at an outdoor location at no extra charge or I can travel to your location with my full portable studio including my camera gear, flash lights, backdrop, etc. or we can meet at a professional photo studio at an additional fee.
I charge $375 for any photoshoot up to 2 hours with unlimited wardrobe changes and unlimited pictures taken. If more time is needed, I will charge $125 for every additional hour.
For mobile studio photography, I charge an extra $100 for travel and set up fee.
For shoots at a professional photo studio I charge an additional fee per hour to rent the studio for the time we need it.
Rates may vary based on the studio.
A non-refundable deposit of 50% is required to schedule the photoshoot and the remaining 50% is due the day of the photoshoot.
If you need to reschedule, please contact me 72 hours before the photoshoot, otherwise your deposit will be forfeited.
I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE TO WORK WITH ANYONE WHO DOES NOT RESPECT MY TIME AND EFFORTS TO SERVE ALL OF MY CLIENTS FAIRLY.
When do you get your pictures?
10-14 days after the photoshoot via a digital folder like Dropbox or iCloud. If you need to have your photos sooner, you can pay an extra fee to expedite them.
Retouches are $25 in advance per photo.
My online portfolios: