What to Expect From a Dance Photography Booking

As you might glean from the images on my website, I’m a big fan of dance photography. I love to capture dancers in motion – and I love to celebrate the community that dance can create by ‘freezing’ proud moments for dancers’ parents to look back on. 

But for many dancers, especially young ones, having a camera placed in front of them can cause them to stumble a little. 

To make sure you stay on your tip-toes, it’s best to come prepared. 

In this blog, I’m going to break down the barriers between me, the photographer, and you, the dancer (or dancer’s guardians if they’re only little!) 

This guide will run through everything you should consider when deciding on a dance photographer, some tips for the shoot itself and some general dance photography guidance to allow you to glide gracefully through the day and emerge with shots you’ll adore. 

Research your photographer

There’s always a paper trail to follow in the digital age – and for photographers, this means ensuring they have a great portfolio available online. While not everyone has specialist dance photography experience, if you can’t find any examples of a photographer’s past work, it’s a surefire red flag. 

Female dancer on the beach

Consultation is vital

Some photographers don’t offer a pre-shoot consultation – but I’d always advise choosing one which does. It’s a critical part of my approach, allowing me to talk through your questions, discuss your style and gather your expectations for the shoot. Most importantly, it helps reduce any worries you might have so you can dance worry-free! 

Pre-shoot planning

Before the shoot, there are a few things worth deciding to ensure everything goes smoothly, and the end result is as spectacular as your dance skills deserve. Firstly, we must agree on in-studio or outdoor shoots – which depends on personal taste and style. However, it also impacts how the shoot will run, as there are varying factors such as weather and light levels. 

Secondly, I’d encourage you to create a mood board of images you like to influence how the shoot will look. I always make a pre-shoot mood board to demonstrate my ideas – but as this is a collaboration between dancer and photographer, I love it when you put together examples of your hopes for the shoot.

Thirdly, please come to the shoot prepared for collaboration – you may need to tweak your stance, pose or facial expressions for a better image. 

Male ballet dancer at beach

What to bring to the shoot

In addition to the mood board, it’s worth bringing a few things with you to help keep you motivated during the day and to make the most of the shoot. My advice is to bring:

  • A playlist of favourite songs to choreograph your dancing around
  • Food and water
  • A towel to wipe away sweat
  • A variety of outfits – bring as many as you want, we’ll only use a few but a wide selection is good
  • Enthusiasm: we’re here to have fun, after all! 

Techniques for improving photo results

Once the shoot begins, we’ll run through some routines – but there are some key tips you should bear in mind that are worth knowing in advance. These are:

  • Stretch before you begin any dance photography session, just as you would when dancing naturally. Warm-ups ensure you’ll be as fluid and natural as possible and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Relax! Tension causes poses and leaps to look unnatural. As you grow used to the camera, try to unburden any excess tension consciously. 
  • If wearing make-up, wear light makeup to avoid drawing too much attention away from the dancing. 
  • Be conscious of your hands when we’re shooting, as they are a key part of the dance and affect the final result of the images.
  • Don’t over-exert yourself: stay within your comfort zone and we’ll find the right shots without having to push beyond your limits. 
  • Fabrics can help enhance a dance shoot’s motion, highlighting certain movements or adding dynamism to poses. Experiment with using them before your shoot. 
  • Remember to breath: facial expressions are a big part of getting good results – so we don’t want you all red-faced and struggling to breathe! 

Female dancer on the beach

Tips for during the shoot

In addition to these dance techniques, the following general tips apply – and will help keep you feeling relaxed, happy and at your best so we can really capture the core of your movement. 

  • Think of the shoot like an audition minus the pressure: you want to perform at your best for the shots but don’t have to worry about ‘getting the gig.’
  • Don’t expect too many photos – quality over quantity is more important.
  • We’ll review as we move through the session, so don’t worry about not seeing the photographs until the end – we’ll work together to get the right shots.
  • Keep things simple – you don’t need to try anything new to ‘show off for the camera’. After all, it’s my job to take photographs which show the beauty of every part of your routine. 

So now you’re poised and ready for the shoot – with a better understanding of how dance photography works and what to expect on the day. Remember: the most important thing is to have fun. When you’re enjoying yourself, your dancing is at its best – which means all that’s left is for you to lose yourself in your movement as I capture amazing photographs you’ll treasure forever. 

If you’d like to enquire about dance photography, get in touch now

What to Expect From a Dance Photography Booking

As you might glean from the images on my website, I’m a big fan of dance photography. I love to capture dancers in motion – and I love to celebrate the community that dance can create by ‘freezing’ proud moments for dancers’ parents to look back on. 

But for many dancers, especially young ones, having a camera placed in front of them can cause them to stumble a little. 

To make sure you stay on your tip-toes, it’s best to come prepared. 

In this blog, I’m going to break down the barriers between me, the photographer, and you, the dancer (or dancer’s guardians if they’re only little!) 

This guide will run through everything you should consider when deciding on a dance photographer, some tips for the shoot itself and some general dance photography guidance to allow you to glide gracefully through the day and emerge with shots you’ll adore. 

Research your photographer

There’s always a paper trail to follow in the digital age – and for photographers, this means ensuring they have a great portfolio available online. While not everyone has specialist dance photography experience, if you can’t find any examples of a photographer’s past work, it’s a surefire red flag. 

Female dancer on the beach

Consultation is vital

Some photographers don’t offer a pre-shoot consultation – but I’d always advise choosing one which does. It’s a critical part of my approach, allowing me to talk through your questions, discuss your style and gather your expectations for the shoot. Most importantly, it helps reduce any worries you might have so you can dance worry-free! 

Pre-shoot planning

Before the shoot, there are a few things worth deciding to ensure everything goes smoothly, and the end result is as spectacular as your dance skills deserve. Firstly, we must agree on in-studio or outdoor shoots – which depends on personal taste and style. However, it also impacts how the shoot will run, as there are varying factors such as weather and light levels. 

Secondly, I’d encourage you to create a mood board of images you like to influence how the shoot will look. I always make a pre-shoot mood board to demonstrate my ideas – but as this is a collaboration between dancer and photographer, I love it when you put together examples of your hopes for the shoot.

Thirdly, please come to the shoot prepared for collaboration – you may need to tweak your stance, pose or facial expressions for a better image. 

Male ballet dancer at beach

What to bring to the shoot

In addition to the mood board, it’s worth bringing a few things with you to help keep you motivated during the day and to make the most of the shoot. My advice is to bring:

  • A playlist of favourite songs to choreograph your dancing around
  • Food and water
  • A towel to wipe away sweat
  • A variety of outfits – bring as many as you want, we’ll only use a few but a wide selection is good
  • Enthusiasm: we’re here to have fun, after all! 

Techniques for improving photo results

Once the shoot begins, we’ll run through some routines – but there are some key tips you should bear in mind that are worth knowing in advance. These are:

  • Stretch before you begin any dance photography session, just as you would when dancing naturally. Warm-ups ensure you’ll be as fluid and natural as possible and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Relax! Tension causes poses and leaps to look unnatural. As you grow used to the camera, try to unburden any excess tension consciously. 
  • If wearing make-up, wear light makeup to avoid drawing too much attention away from the dancing. 
  • Be conscious of your hands when we’re shooting, as they are a key part of the dance and affect the final result of the images.
  • Don’t over-exert yourself: stay within your comfort zone and we’ll find the right shots without having to push beyond your limits. 
  • Fabrics can help enhance a dance shoot’s motion, highlighting certain movements or adding dynamism to poses. Experiment with using them before your shoot. 
  • Remember to breath: facial expressions are a big part of getting good results – so we don’t want you all red-faced and struggling to breathe! 

Female dancer on the beach

Tips for during the shoot

In addition to these dance techniques, the following general tips apply – and will help keep you feeling relaxed, happy and at your best so we can really capture the core of your movement. 

  • Think of the shoot like an audition minus the pressure: you want to perform at your best for the shots but don’t have to worry about ‘getting the gig.’
  • Don’t expect too many photos – quality over quantity is more important.
  • We’ll review as we move through the session, so don’t worry about not seeing the photographs until the end – we’ll work together to get the right shots.
  • Keep things simple – you don’t need to try anything new to ‘show off for the camera’. After all, it’s my job to take photographs which show the beauty of every part of your routine. 

So now you’re poised and ready for the shoot – with a better understanding of how dance photography works and what to expect on the day. Remember: the most important thing is to have fun. When you’re enjoying yourself, your dancing is at its best – which means all that’s left is for you to lose yourself in your movement as I capture amazing photographs you’ll treasure forever. 

If you’d like to enquire about dance photography, get in touch now

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