DIY Motivational Workout Calendar Athletic Photo Stickers

DIY Motivational Workout Calendar Athletic Photo Stickers

Well, the new year is upon us and we are expected to make resolutions. Like most of you, some of our goals include some physical fitness aspirations. I decided that what we needed to stay on track is a big calendar on the wall that each of us can put a sticker on for every day we exercise. And I thought, hey what would be cooler than custom stickers with pictures of us taken in the typical “athletic photo shoot” style? It just so happens we had most of what was needed to pull this off on hand so we decided to make it a reality.

The Setup

One of the most common types of athletic photography features a dark background with the subject being lit from either side but not so much from the front. This creates high contrast on the subject’s face. We were able to produce a similar setup in our office:

My wife got me that black collapsible background for Christmas and I have been eager to try it out. I also set up two speedlights, one on either side of where we would be standing.

The Photos

The raw, unedited photos ended up like this:

After some adjustments in Lightroom, we ended up with the following:


Hardcore athletic super stars??

Making Stickers

The rest of this project relies on my wife’s Silhouette Cameo (if you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s a machine that you can hook up to your computer and use to cut out vinyl, card stock, paper, sticker paper, and a lot of other stuff). For the next step I opened up Silhouette Studio and used it to create a page layout with several stickers of me and my wife. The software has a neat feature where you can draw a circle (or other shape for that matter) and then drag and drop a photo into it. The red inner line on each one is an additional circle that will be the cut line. It’s important to have some “bleed” or extra space where the image is still printed around the cut line because the Silhouette won’t be perfectly accurate with its cuts (but it’s pretty darn good). The blue line around each circle and the red line inside each circle will not be printed, they are only visible in the software.

While the Silhouette does a great job cutting, it doesn’t print. So what we did was first print the design on a sheet of glossy photo sticker paper using a photo printer and then run it through the Silhouette for cutting through the top layer of the sticker paper. You may be wondering how the Silhouette could possibly align its cuts with pre-printed images. Well, that’s where those strange black markings in the corners of the design come into play. The Silhouette Studio software inserts those markings in the design when you want to use the “Print and Cut” feature. The printer prints the marks along with the rest of the design, and then before the Silhouette starts cutting into the paper it scans the corners of the page to find the marks in order to align itself with what has already been printed. Pretty cool, huh?

After printing and cutting (and using a few stickers), we ended up with the following:

As you can see, the cuts lined up very well with where we wanted them to be and we have a sticker sheet ready for about the next half month of exercise days. Go team.

The Calendar

My wife designed a calendar, printed it across four sheets of card stock, and cut and taped it all together, along with a motivational quote to get us going. As you can see, we’ve been consistent for about the last three days (which is as long as we’ve had the calendar). The smaller stickers were from a first draft before I realized how big the calendar days were going to be.

Make Your Own

Silhouette CAMEO 3 Wireless Cutting Machine – AutoBlade – Dual Carriage – Silhouette Studio Software

LD © Glossy Inkjet Photo Sticker Paper (8.5X11) 100 pack

Fovitec StudioPRO – 5′ x 6.5′ Black/White Double-Sided Pop-Out Muslin Backdrop – [Collapsible Background][Matte Finish][Carrying Case Included]

YONGNUO YN560 IV Wireless Flash Speedlite Master + Slave Flash + Built-in Trigger System for Canon Nikon Pentax Olympus Fujifilm Panasonic Digital Cameras


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