If you are preparing for your first photo shoot or want to appear more beautiful and graceful on your apparatus, here are five tips to get stunning photos:
1. Fruit picker hands
Yes, your teacher always tells you to point your toes, but hands are super important too! They focus the attention of the beholder. So, whichever part of your body you touch with your hands, the eyes will be directed there.
Also, remember that rigid or broken wrists can ruin your beautiful pose. The secret is to practice “ballerina hands”. Imagine delicately picking fruit or holding something fragile between your thumb and middle finger. Keep your arms slightly bent instead of straight and rigid. Try it and notice the difference!
2. Relax your face
It’s hard not to show effort when we are upside down, spinning or doing something challenging, but your face has to be effortless. There’s no point in doing a difficult trick if your face looks like you’re eating lemons. Try not to grimace and show tension in your facial expression. Relax your eyes (or keep them closed if you prefer), forehead and mouth.
3. Look towards the light
A photographer will guide you where to look. But if you have a friend or family member taking a picture, they probably won’t know how to guide you. As a general rule, keep your face towards the main source of light. If you can hold the position for a few more seconds, look into different directions to see which one looks better. Usually, looking straight into the camera looks a bit unnatural and forced. I prefer to have my models look right above or to the side of the camera. Also, consider that some dramatic or intimate poses look better with the eyes closed or looking down.
4. Getting the right angle is essential!
You might be doing an amazing pose but if it is photographed from the wrong angle, it could look unflattering or unappealing. The photographer may move around you, but the environment or desired background may limit them. In this case, it is up to you to position yourself properly. Sometimes it may be difficult to control exactly where to face but there are two options:
- You can use an assistant to adjust you and/or the apparatus in the right position to capture the perfect shot.
- You can hold the position while spinning until the photographer gets the right angle. This method makes the photos look amazing because they are captured in motion, but it may require a few attempts to get the right angle. If you take a photo by yourself, you can take a video while spinning and later take a screenshot at the right angle.
I like to use both methods during my photoshoots.
5. Wear a daring outfit instead of your usual training outfit
Try something completely different, like a floaty dress, a long skirt, or a creative costume. Of course, you would have to adapt what you do on the apparatus to the range of movement/grip you have with your specific outfit, but the result can be amazing. Especially if you have a fan or someone to help you move the dress/skirt; also, have fun with different styles of make-up and props! You can use many props to make your photos stand out: balloons, fog machines, colorful lights, flowers, themed objects to match your outfit, etc.
I hope you found these tips helpful. If you need more inspiration, you can look at my website, where you can find many photos I have taken of several students and teachers at Bittersweet Studios.
Have fun and be creative!