You’ve done all the prep work and now it’s the day of the shoot! Wahoo! You’ve got butterflies in your tummy and a twinkle in your eye. We know how much preparation you’ve done, how hard you’re training, and how important these photos will be to move your career forward. As former dancers themselves, Rachel and Andrew have been there and they know how you feel. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of the big day:
× Eat a nourishing breakfast that makes you feel good (your go-to for audition or performance days). You want to have energy for your long day of dancing and make sure your tummy is feeling good, too. Go easy on the coffee and instead focus on drinking some extra water in the morning and throughout the whole day.
× Pack your bags the night before so you don’t stress out about it in the morning.
× If you’re supposed to come hair and makeup ready, leave extra time in the morning so you look and feel your best.
× If appropriate for the shoot, remove any body jewelry, cover up visible tattoos, keep nails natural. (allow this to be a reminder to make sure there are no hair ties on your wrists!)
× Give yourself a proper warm-up before you head to the shoot. Go through a few sun salutations and a ballet barre to get your body ready to dance. Always make sure you are adequately warmed up to accomplish each shot. Do some plies and tendus and some light jumping to get your whole body warm and moving in the space.
× Wear layers en route to keep your muscles warm. Photography studios tend to be a bit chilly!
× Leave plenty of time to get to the studio in case there’s traffic or subway delays.
Pack like a pro
× Hair accessories: hairbrush, bobby pins, hairspray, and gel
× Makeup touch-ups: concealer, powder, lipstick, blush, and makeup wipes
× Dancewear (de-linted, steamed, and folded/hung nicely)
× Nude undergarments
× Shoe options (If you’re planning on shooting outside, make sure you bring shoes you’re comfortable getting a little beat up). We recommend bringing ALL of your pointe shoes with you. Sometimes we will want a harder shoe for some shots, or a softer shoe for others.
× Water and snacks
× Odds and ends: floss, tissues, phone charger, sewing kit, compact mirror, deodorant, and props (if applicable)
× List of poses and requirements for the company, school, or summer intensive you’re auditioning for
On set etiquette
× Ask permission before posting anything to social media. If you get the green light to post behind-the-scenes content, be sure to tag everyone on the team (photographer, hair/makeup artist, etc.).
× Greet everyone on set and be respectful of their time, energy, and artistry (they’re working to make you look your best!).
× Listen to the direction you’re given on set and take time to play and explore yourself. A photoshoot is a collaborative process and working together (with dialogue or just your energy) can make or break your shoot. If you feel like something isn’t working, talk to your photographer about it so that you can find a flow that feels comfortable, organic, and true to you. As dancers we are all people pleasers. Don’t be afraid to say if a pose or shot feels uncomfortable or unsafe for you.
× Clean up after yourself (don’t leave any trash, empty water bottles, or makeup wipes behind).
× At the end of the shoot, thank everyone on set and give them a follow on social media to stay connected.
Next week we’re focusing on all the goings on after the big day…How to follow up with your photographer, how to pick your images, and how and where to share ‘em.
Visit http://www.rachelneville.com for more information.
Photo: Briana Djurasevic by Rachel Neville