So you have your gorgeous Belly dance costumes delivered from Egypt…..bravo! Now it is time to get some professional photos taken. But where to start? What do you consider in this whole process?
I have just had the privilege of visiting my favourite Belly dance photographer Tracey Gibbs, whilst on holidays in the UK. I’ve worked with a bunch of photographers over the years and her images always come up best. I was thinking today about the number of awful photographers I’ve wasted money and time on. There are so many little tips that I wish I knew before embarking on my belly dance photography adventures. So here are my tips for your belly dance photoshoot. I hope they help you out.
1. Choose a photographer that has worked with dancers before. Preferably a photographer who specialises in belly dance photography.
Experienced belly dance photographers are as rare as hens teeth, but a treasure when you find them. They will be familiar with the body positions that look great for belly dancers and can direct the position of your body with speed and expertise. Time is money and you don’t want to be messing around on your photoshoot and thereby miss out on some great shots because the photographer is inexperienced.
2. Consider the gender of the photographer. Are you more comfortable being photographed by a man or a woman?
I’ve been photographed in belly dance costumes by both men and women. And when in a Bellydance costume, I have to say that I feel more comfortable being photographed by a woman. Hands down! Lets be honest….sometimes you need to have candid conversations about your cleavage or underwear positioning, and I am much more comfortable in discussing these topics with a woman. I’ve been photographed by wonderful male friends, but with the benefit of hindsight, I have to say that I was definitely a tad uncomfortable.
To summarise…..choose whoever you are most comfortable with. The camera never lies and it will be blindingly obvious if you are uncomfortable in the shoot. You will have wasted your money and a great opportunity.
Nothing is more beautiful than a woman who is comfortable and in her power. Choose someone you feel 100% comfortable with.
3. Book a (great) makeup artist
If you can afford it, please book a professional hair and makeup artist. Makeup for a photoshoot is much more overdone than in a usual gig (I sometimes call it belly dance drag queen makeup) and makeup artists have trained for a long time in perfecting that look. Invest in yourself.
For years I thought I would save money and do my own makeup for photoshoots. Looking back, I only made it harder for myself. Yes, I was able to do a passable job but not the best job. I definitely didn’t make the best of my photoshoot opportunities…..the last one was in Luxor, Egypt by sunrise! How often is that going to happen in my life?! During the shoot I was constantly worried about my hair and makeup, and I couldn’t focus whole heartedly on the shoot because I was worried about my makeup and hair. A silly decision indeed.
Invest in yourself and make the best of your photoshoot. You want to be able to use these photos for many years.
4. Bring along your own foundation
If you think that the makeup artist might have trouble in matching your skin colour, then bring along your own foundation. I, for example, have had problems with makeup artists in the past matching my olive skin. Sad but true. This is also another reason why it is worth paying a bit more for a top, recommended makeup artist.
I hope these small tips will help you when you book your photoshoot. You want to be able to use these photos for many years, so invest in yourself. Here are some test photos from my shoot today! These are sneaky peeks! So I can’t wait to see the end product!
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