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6 tips on how to prepare for a dance photoshoot


1. Talk to your photographer about what dance styles you would like to showcase

The more information your photographer knows about what dance styles you would like to show and how much experience you have in these styles, the best they can be prepared for your shoot. Styles such as hip-hop, ballet, tap or ballroom have a different visual feel and could be lit and photographed differently from each other.

2. Prepare some music tracks that inspire you to dance

Bring some of your favourite music tracks to the shoot on your mobile phone or other devices. Just keep in mind that not all places have 3G connection or a Wifi, so it might be a good idea to make sure the tracks are downloaded onto your device and do not need internet connectivity. If you have got the time to email the list to your photographer, that might be really helpful too.

3. Have a good think about what are the clothes you are going to wear and follow these tips:

1) Make sure they clothes are really comfortable to dance in but are not too baggy.

Think of the photoshoot as a performance. (With an exception of leotard for ballet dancers)

2) Think of this question: Would people have an idea of what dance style you are doing just by looking at the clothes you are wearing?

3) Where possible, try to inject a bit of your personal style into your clothes. Imagine people seeing hundreds of dance photos - how would you be memorable besides your dance moves? This is the most relevant in different street dance styles but also useful with jazz and contemporary dancers. Google images of dancers to get some idea for clothes and styles to follow.

4) Try to stay away from wearing black colour all over. Some elements in black are ok but having black top as well as bottom half, does not work too well. If you do need to wear black, try to add some detail to the body by adding a colourful belt etc as it helps to add detail and definition to the image and your body lines.

5) Avoid busy small patterns and logos on your clothes!!!!

6) Bring lots of options of outfits with you and the photographer can help you decide what works well

4. When preparing for the shoot, think of what moves you are doing in from of the camera

My suggestion is that you come with a longer prepared dance routine that you know from your dance classes and performances or if you are happy to freestyle, that is ok too. But It is very helpful for photographers if you can also prepare separately from that, a little sequence of 5 or 6 moves that you could do over and over again for the camera. Choose moves that you know you can do really well and perhaps are your signature moves. You do not need to rush from one move to another, instead it would be helpful to the photographer if you take your time between the different moves as it give time for the camera to be ready for when you are too. Try to make each move in your little sequence to be as different from the last as possible in form and shape. The key here is to be able to repeat the same sequence few times and work together with the photographer to get the timing right, as then there is a great chance of having amazing photos from a longer routine and also from the shorter one.

5. Think of creating angles and beautiful lines

Imagine each move you do to be like a freeze in a dance. What do we see when that moment in your movement in frozen into a photo? Same as with your dance performances, the camera and the viewer like to see interesting shapes and beautiful lines.

6. Arrive at your shoot early to warm up and get ready

We all know how important it is to warm up your body before you dance. That should be done before you start your photoshoot. It is also helpful to have time to sort out your outfits and get to know the people working on the set. Anything to maximise your time in front of the camera is a bonus.

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