Having a photo shoot is a great way to capture your passion! You can get some amazing pictures of your favourite moves and they look so much more professional and artistic than a few snaps at your studio. Professional photo shoot pictures are a lovely thing to show your friends and family, great for building your social media and it's such a fun experience! It can also be quite stressful so I've put together some tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.
Every photographer has different styles so you need to go with someone who has a style that suits you. Looking at other pictures they have taken will give you a good idea as to whether you like the sort of pictures they take. It's great if you can pick a photographer who has some previous experience or specialises in shooting aerialists. They will know what angles look good and if they have shot the pose before they will know where you need to look and put your hands so you don't need to spend too much time trying different positions. They're also aware of how difficult some moves can be to hold so they'll try to get the picture quickly!
Prepare and Practise
Make a list of moves you want to do a few weeks before your photo shoot and practise, practise, practise! You need to be able to do a move well enough that you can hold it for a while and relax in it. Try to have a mix of difficult moves and easier moves, the simple ones often look the prettiest! Put the moves in the order you want to do them, so you're not wasting time wondering which move to do next. Try to do an easier move first to relax you, then your harder ones while you still have energy, then finish with some easier ones. Make a back up list of moves so if one doesn't go right on the day, you have others that you can do. Film yourself doing the moves so you can see which angle is best, where you need to put your hands, whether your leg should be bent or straight etc. Take pictures of the moves with you to show the photographer, this will make it easier for them to know what you're aiming for and when you're in the move.
Photo shoots are a great opportunity to go all out with your outfit and wear something incredible! I don't think it's possible to be OTT with a photo shoot outfit! Sparkles look amazing in the right light, and flowy skirts or dresses look beautiful! Definitely practise the moves you're planning on doing while wearing your outfit, so you can see how the outfit sits. You might find you need to adjust your outfit when you go into the pose. Some outfits look great when you're standing but fall the wrong way, dig in or totally expose you when you're upside down! Taking a few outfits will give you much more variety in the pictures but you'll probably have limited time so make sure they are easy for you to change quickly. It's easy enough to get flustered when you're trying to change quickly in a changing robe or a tiny space, without having to worry about a fiddly outfit. And remember to take your hairband off your wrist!
Hair and Make Up
You probably won't have time to change your hair between shots so pick a hairstyle that looks good for all of your poses. I find having hair loose looks great with pretty much everything. Try to avoid having anything in your hair that can get caught when you're going upside down or squeezing through the silks. Take a hairband with you in case there's a move that you can't keep you hair out of your face for. You can really pull off heavy make up in a photo shoot, if you feel comfortable with it! I'm useless with false eyelashes so I just layer up the mascara but if you can apply them they make a huge difference! Also take wipes with you to clean your feet, so you look gorgeous from top to toe!
Know Your Equipment
Equipment can vary from studio to studio, knowing exactly how your apparatus is going to feel will make the experience a lot less stressful. Hoops can come in different sizes and thicknesses, tape can be sticky or smooth and silks have different levels of stretchiness. If you're doing fairly simple poses then this won't be an issue but if you're doing a move that you find quite hard then this will make getting into the move and holding it a lot harder! Practising on the equipment you'll be using in the photo shoot is the best way around this, I tend to take my hoop and silks with me if I'm doing hard moves.
Take someone with you if it's a private photoshoot. Or if you're in a group, have someone nearby ready to help you. It's really helpful to have someone that can move your hair out of your face, turn you for a better angle and adjust your outfit, without trying to do it yourself or have the photographer do it while you're holding a pose.
Photo shoots are hard work! Remember to eat something a hour or so before to give you enough energy to get through it! Energy Balls are a perfect snack if you don't want a full meal. If you're struggling with a move, try it 3 times then move on. You can always come back to it if you have time but you'll be using so much energy and getting flustered if you keep trying it when it's just not happening. It's easy to get caught up in the moment but try to rest between poses, shake off your arms, have a breather and take some water to sip. You want to save your energy and make sure your last moves are as good as your first moves.
Enjoy it! Photoshoots are supposed to be fun and if you have a great photographer and stay calm, then you'll hopefully get amazing results even if it does all go wrong! Do you have any other tips? Tag me in your photos on social media #uniqueaerialists so I can see how they turn out!