So you want to take gorgeous photos like Bellydance by Amartia? If you want to look like this Maryland entertainer, then do the following:
Take photos with you. If you have a pose that you’d like to reproduce, print it out! A photographer can usually help you recreate it. They are able to see through the lens to tell you if you need to make any adjustments. Having photos with you will also help stimulate ideas if you get stuck. Also don’t be afraid to pull out your fashion magazines. Sometimes a great fashion pose can make a great bellydance pose. Feel free to check out my photo gallery for inspiration.
If the pose feels good, then you’re probably not doing it right. I’ve come home sorer from photoshoots than I do from a day of workshops. Most of the time, an arched back in a photo is actually an excruciating lean back that results in screaming abdominals, shaking muscles, while the photographer asks you to hold that pose, for “just one more minute” (See layback photo) More extension is usually required to translate onto media. Point that toe! Flex those leg muscles! Now HOLD, for what seems like EVER!
Take a buddy with you or a mirror. Even with all of the practice possible, nothing beats having a photoshoot helper. They can sit on the other side of the lens and let you know if the shadow isn’t in the right place or if that twist makes you look ten pounds heavier, if your smile is fading, if your veil is crumpled, your skirt looks wrinkled, your cane isn’t straight, etc. There are also those photoshoot mavens (myself included) who are available to help you for a small fee.
Dance vs. not to Dance. I am a fan of the static pose when having a photoshoot done. Aside from a veil toss, I do not dance during a photoshoot. I do have music playing to put me in the mood for the particular look or theme I am going for, but I do not dance. This has worked for me to get the most out of it. If I am dancing, then I may be moving too quickly for a great moment to be caught. Also it doesn’t allow for a great pose to be adjusted by subtle movements. There are those candid moments when I might stick my tongue out at the photog or laugh but aside from those, it’s Vogue-ing the whole way!
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