Monday, July 30, 2012


Are you ready for your close up?

Many dancers aren’t, and since we live in a very visually oriented society, beautiful promotional shots are one of our best marketing tools! Even the thought of booking a shoot fills many dancers with dread, but it doesn’t have to…

For the past few years, I’ve taught countless dancers how to look fab and feel good in front of the camera in my Strike A Pose: How To Make The Camera Love You workshops. I also do a full day mini-intensive called Glamour Garage, which includes a stage make-up class along with the posing workshop and personal coaching during a session with a professional photographer.

The pictures you see here are all results from my workshops!

I have many of these events coming up in the near future- for a list of where they’re taking place, or if you’d like to book me for either of these courses, scroll down to the end of this article.

But for now, let’s get you looking and feeling good in front of the lens: this article is a re-post from November 23, 2009… enjoy!

My promotional photos always get a lot of comments, and sometimes even I am amazed at the results. Personally, I love taking photos. I am lucky enough to be very photogenic, and I also feel very relaxed in front of the camera. But one of the keys to feeling confident while doing a shoot is to know that you are fully "ready for your close-up". If you have done all your homework, then your photo shoot won't have to be stressful, and you can relax and have fun.

Make sure to discuss your objectives and goals for the shoot with the photographer beforehand, this way surprises won’t crop up for either one of you. Let the photographer be aware of how many costume changes you are planning to do, or what sort of props you will be working with. Once the photographer know what you had in mind for your shoot, you can various discuss ideas together.

Take some quality time a few days before your photo session and make sure you are truly prepared. This means that before your shoot, you have everything you will need, from costumes and props to hairpieces, jewelry, cosmetics and grooming tools at your disposal. Make a list and refer to it as you pack. During a quick costume change at a photography studio is not the time to discover that you didn’t bring your hairspray, or forgot your veil or your make-up bag!

Do a photo session “test” or run-through at your home, trying out your poses as well as full hair and make-up a few days before you shoot, especially if you are planning on shooting using a new hairstyle or different cosmetic application. If you want to use a beauty aid that you have never used before, like false eyelashes or a new fall, allow yourself enough time to become familiar with using that particular item. Don’t experiment with new products or hair styles moments before you get in front of the camera, use hair and make-up techniques that are proven to work for you.

You may want to budget in a professional make-up application on the day of the shoot. Again, don't wait until the last minute-book your make-up artist in advance, and then discuss the effect you’re after with the make-up artist beforehand so you'll both be on the same page.

Many models cut salt, processed foods and sodium-packed snacks from their diets for a few days before a photo session, because doing so will get rid of any facial or body bloating. Drinking a lot of water will help with this, too. If you are going to have a facial, get waxed or use a chemical depilatory, do it the week before, not the day before, so your skin won’t look blotchy or red.

Get up early on the day of the shoot and relax for a few minutes with some hot tea bags on your eyes- the tannic acid in the tea will help reduce any puffiness. You can also use cold slices of cucumber, or stick two tablespoons in the freezer the night before and press them onto your eyes for a few moments. Eat breakfast to keep your energy up, but stick to proteins and keep your food intake light so that you don’t feel full and sluggish.

Models and athletes often do a few sit-ups, push-ups or even lift lightweights just before doing photos, because the blood pumping to the muscles makes them appear more defined on film. You can use this trick too, just don’t work up a sweat and ruin your make-up… and of course, it’s really not advisable to do this in costume!

Speaking of looking good in your costume, on the day you will be shooting, make sure you don’t wear street clothes that are binding or that will leave elastic marks on your body. I usually wear soft sweats on the way to the photo session, and roll the waistband down so it doesn’t leave a mark on my abdomen. The moment you get to the studio, change into a comfortable caftan or robe to further prevent any marks or redness on the skin. A cover-up is a good thing to have anyway, in case you get cold- even with strong, hot lights, many photo studios are drafty.

Bring water and a light snack to your photo session, or check ahead to see if they will be provided. You need to keep your energy up- posing is hard work... now you'll know why models get paid so much!






To book me for Strike A Pose or Glamour Garage in 2013:

Email me:

To purchase the instructional DVD, "Bombshell: Dramatic Make Up For The Stage, Photos & Glamourous Occasions" click here:

To see more pix from my workshops, click here:

PHOTOS: Opal Zapphira by Michael Helms, Greta Grenade by Dusti Cunningham, Shaunte Jackson by Wayne Miller, Nancy Vagillant by Dusti Cunningham, Princess behind the scenes coaching Layla Soleil by Lee Corkett

1 comment:

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