Throwback Thursday with fitness model Whitney Lockwood.

The Chesapeake, Virginia-based fitness model was instrumental in forging my fitness vision.

This month marks an anniversary for me. It was 12 months ago this month that I got the idea to combine two of my passions, photography and wellness, into something new. At the time there was virtually no one in the area covering this aspect. There were a sprinkling of photographers in a 100 mile radius that were involved in the scene but their images looked nothing like what I had in mind – combining their hard work with the environment using my set of photography skills.

You see, most of the images generated in the field at this time were ones shot in dark gyms, during a competition, or against paper backdrops. This has its merits, mind you. I have done those kinds of sessions numerous times myself and still do but I wanted more. I wanted to go further. I wanted to get them outside and interact with various environments. Use them in a way that elevates the subject.


Since I started to publish my work, others began to join in. Now it’s to the point that you can throw a rock in any direction and hit someone promoting themselves as a fitness photographer. This is fine by me as it gives people choices to select from. My look is still unique – my lighting still stands out in the way it enhances the subjects form and the poses I use further improve upon the goal of making them look awesome.

When I decided to explore the world of fitness and wellness photographically last year I was extremely fortunate to find people that were open to exploring it with me. Whitney Lockwood was one of those people. We were both new to this world but were excited to see what was in store for us and what we could do with it.

She was very patient with me as I figured out how to best bring to life the visions I had in my head. She was a trooper by getting up at 3 am to get ready for sunrise sessions at the beach. She held flexed poses for extended periods of times while I got the light and the composition right for an image. The best part was that she always had a smile on her face and was enthusiastic to try new, untested, things.

It is because of her, and other people like her, that allowed me the opportunity to grow as an artist and expand my portfolio. I cannot thank her and her companions enough.

Mark Knopp is a Virginia Beach-based portrait photographer covering the Hampton Roads community. Contact him at to book your portrait session today.


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