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How to Prepare for Your Dance Photoshoot

Male dancer in off-balance passe in plie wearing dark red tights and a unbuttoned black shirt.

Your dance photoshoot should be a highlight of your year. Creating your dance photographs with a professional photographer is incredibly exciting. However, if you’ve never done it before, it can also feel a little overwhelming. At Andrew Bowen Studios, my goal is to always create a fun, memorable experience. A little bit of preparation can make your day at the photography studio absolutely amazing!

Whether you want contemporary dance photos or a classical ballet photoshoot, here are five tips that will help you rock your dance photoshoot, enjoy the experience, and leave with photos of your best artistry.

1. Meet Your Dance Photographer

You’ve probably looked at the photos on Instagram, but you don’t really know much about the photographer. I always start our first photoshoot with an in-person or virtual tour of the studio. I want you to feel like you are coming back to a familiar place and familiar face when you arrive.

Share Your Dance Photoshoot Inspiration

Which poses make you feel most creative? Which ones would you rather avoid? Do you have inspiration images for poses, lighting you love, or just general vibes that inspire you?

Send me an email with your ideas, preferences, and inspiration images before your photoshoot. I’ll have the images printed so we can easily reference them and have ideas on how to achieve the looks that move you.

2. Pack More Than You Think You’ll Need

Pack anything and everything—as many outfits and props as you’d like! We don’t have to use everything you bring, but we definitely can’t use what you don’t bring. Having many options can keep your creativity flowing. Plus, I have more props at the studio, like angel wings and a huge array of skirts and fabrics for some amazing, flowing shots.

Andrew Bowen Studios is the official photographer for Tutu.com! That means we have a selection of tutus from their rental closet at the studio at all times. Additionally, if there is a specific tutu you need to make your dreams come true, we can get you a discounted rental rate and have it waiting for you when you arrive!

As you’re packing, don’t forget to bring extra makeup for touch-ups. Plan your hairstyle changes (usually down first, and then up later) and keep makeup minimal. Don’t overdo it. Less is more! (Plus, removing makeup can make for irritated skin.) Pack your favorite brush and hair accessories too.

3. Get Plenty of Rest & Fuel Up

While a dance photoshoot is a ton of fun, it’s also hard work. You can expect to get a workout and spend time working through different poses. So, make sure to get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and eat a meal that will give you energy.

For the record, I always keep the studio fully stocked with snacks and drinks (some healthier than others). And if you’d like to bring your own, feel free! I have a refrigerator with plenty of room to store your favorites. Tell me what you like, and I’ll try to add it to my next shopping trip before your photoshoot.

4. Bring a Friend or Family Member

At Andrew Bowen Studios, I always encourage dancers to bring a friend or family member. Not only is it nice to have someone there for support, but it’s also fun to have behind-the-scenes images of your day, an extra set of eyes for selecting favorites, or help toss some cloth. It never hurts to have someone on hand for hair or makeup touches, either.

One note—if you’re under 18, I do require that a parent or guardian come with you.

And bring some music too! Your dance photoshoot should be memorable and fun. So, go ahead and queue up your favorite playlist. You can take over the speakers in the studio! This will be an experience you won’t forget.

5. Speak Up!

No one understands your vision, dreams, talents, or strengths better than you do. So, during your photoshoot, speak your mind! If you want to try a new pose, have an idea for a prop or background, or aren’t crazy about the lighting, it’s okay to say so. The best images come from empowered dancers working in collaboration.

Now You’re Ready for Your Dance Photoshoot

With a bit of preparation and a collaborative photographer that sees you as their peer, a dance photoshoot will be an experience you’ll never forget.

My Promise to You

I believe that I have a huge responsibility to every artist who comes to my studio. Working in front of a camera is a vulnerable process; every detail is there to be examined. I promise that I will support you, encourage you, guide you, coach you, laugh with you, and inspire you along your path to creating the photographs that make you proud of your accomplishments, and excited for your future.