How to Make the Most of your Dance Photo Session

So you pulled the trigger and signed up for your VERY FIRST photo session to show off all those dance and movement skills. That's so exciting!! A lot of the clients that come to me for a photo event have never taken dance photos before, and many have rarely been in front of a camera at all. That can be intimidating, for sure! But don't worry, take a deep breathe - I've got you. 

I'm going to share with you a few things I often tell my clients when they sign up for a photo event (oh and shameless plug, have you checked out my upcoming Double Header Floor and Aerials Event @Empyrean Arts on June 16, 2018? )

What should I wear?

Gosh, I feel like as a woman, I am really plagued by this question a lot in life! But when it comes to getting your photos taken, no gender is immune!

In the case of a photo session, this is really background-dependent. My advice more often than not is to wear solid colors without busy patterns - solids tend to show up best in any environment, studio or outdoor, and allow the shapes you make to really stand out instead of just the clothes you wear! Lace and frills are fine, just avoid too many zigs, zags, and swoops in the actual dye of your outfit.

And don't fret, my rocker gods and goddesses - dark clothes against a dark background is not necessarily a problem either, so long as you're wearing clothing that shows a little skin!

In general, though, my advice is to look around and see how certain clothing stands out in dance photos on instagram or the like - you can get a pretty good feel for what works in different settings from the images I share on my page @emjphotoart, so you can make the appropriate decision for YOUR photo session! Bring 2-3 options just in case, so you can have some variety in your images as well as flexibility when you see the exact setup for the day.


Choosing Poses

Booking time for a photo session is great, but what are you going to DO with that time exactly? I get clients from every spectrum, beginner dancers to rock star experts, and I also get everyone from the "I have every second planned out" type to the "just get me through this" flavor. Neither way is the "wrong way"or a bad thing, but there's room for exploration in every case. 

My first recommendation to clients is this. Go online (to pinterest, instagram, etc...), or grab out your notebook where you've been rigorously jotting down every move you've learned to love. For a 30 minute photo session, pick something like 3-4 moves you want to showcase. THEN pick 3-4 "easy" poses you can do between the hard stuff. You'll be pretty surprised how quickly a photoshoot can wear you out, so these easier moves are here for you to bring it back down - consider this your HIIT interval session for the day! 

If hitting big moves isn't your dance style, there's another way! Like before, find yourself 2-3 moves you're comfortable with, but rather than just getting into each move separately, plan to actually dance from one move to another. Take every movement slowly so those golden moments can be captured, and hold any shapes you find that feel good. And of course, bring yourself music to groove to if you have a particular something that moves your soul! You may still do each combo several times to catch those moments on camera, but you'll want to pay extra attention to your lines, curves, and pointed ankles every time since you won't have as much opportunity for your photographer to refine your shapes as you move. 

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Okay friends! These are the first things I go through with every dancer I photograph, so now you know. Cover this, and you're golden! And don't forget, this is a collaborative process. Communicate your desires and your ideas to your photographer - the more you work together, the better the art will be! 

And keep an eye out here for more photo session tips, tricks, and ramblings, to be continued!