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Policies and Procedures

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Your safety and welfare are of the utmost importance to me.  The following policies and procedures have been created to protect everyone at each photo session.



When you arrive

  • Please call me on my cell (540-915-7531) so that I can open the door for you.

  • I ask that you remove your shoes and leave them in the hall. Exceptions are allowed for people requiring footwear for medical or religious reasons.


Welcome to my studio!

  • You will be provided with your own space to change clothes in private.

  • There is a small supply of complimentary disposable hair and makeup items but there will not be any hairbrushes, combs, or makeup on hand due to the COVID pandemic. Please bring any items necessary for you to make your own basic hair and makeup touchups. Mirrors are provided for these purposes.

  • There is a warmup area complete with a barre and Marley flooring for your use. A small selection of foam rollers and other stretching devices are available and cleaned after each use.

  • Bottled water, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available.

  • Please bring any snacks you anticipate needing during the session.

During your session

  • Friends and family are welcome to wait on the couch and chairs provided. They may be enlisted to help should we need an extra hand or two to work with a dress or toss fabric.

  • I shoot "tethered" which means that my camera is connected to a computer monitor. You and I will occasionally look at images as we shoot them for the purposes of making adjustments. I will make every effort to face the monitor in such a way that your family and friends can see it from where they are sitting.

  • At the end of our session one of my favorite parts is looking back at the amazing shots we captured. You can stay and pick your favorites right away or I can upload all photos straight out of camera to an online gallery where you and your family can see all the images up close in the comfort and safety of your home.

  • I am always happy to hop on a zoom call to review images together or to help pick out your favorites.

 

As you leave

  • Do not forget to pack up everything you brought with you.


GETTING READY FOR YOUR SESSION

  • Drink water & get sleep the night before

This is an effortless way to put your best face forward. Water will hydrate your skin and help it glow and sleep will give you lots of energy and patience for the big day ahead.

  • What are your goals for the session?

When preparing for a dance photo session it is important to know your goals. Are you looking for amazing photos to share with friends and family? Are you looking for internet or social media content? Are you applying for a summer intensive? Are you looking for a job? Your answer to these questions should guide the shoot.
Let us say you want to get into a certain dance/theatre company.  Notice how the dancers' profiles look on the company website.  What does every headshot have in common? Are they natural light photos taken outdoors, or clean studio headshots? What kind of poses for action shots are they using?  Do you see dramatic jumps or more grounded experimental moves?
With that in mind speak to your photographer about the shots you are looking for and show them examples so you can get a similar style image for your desired use.

  • How should I pose?

Spend some time on Instagram or Pinterest looking at poses or photos that you are personally drawn to. Practice some of these poses in front of the mirror so you have an idea of how to move into them during the session. Be careful not to get too attached. Sometimes we see a pose we love but it is beyond our technical ability as a dancer just yet. Be okay with the idea that you will not get every pose you save. That is what next year is for.

  • What should I wear?

Think about the style and color theme you want for your photographs. Consider if you will keep the same color scheme throughout the entire series of pictures, or if you will have vastly differing costume choices. Will you require photos for ballet, contemporary, jazz, commercial, tap, ballroom etc.? If you need images for different genres, will they all be displayed on the same website? If so, you need to consider coordinating your costumes. Choosing a basic color family and finding leotards, skirts, tutus etc. that all tone with that color family is a simple solution. You have a favorite color and your own leotards in that color. Start with what you have. Simple is usually best.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare your dance clothes, iron anything which may look creased. Cut off stray threads and check for stains and pilling. Cameras capture everything! Have a checklist and every item ready the night before. Transport your items on hangers so they do not get crushed.

  • What about hair and makeup?

Practice your makeup before the day of the shoot and allow enough time on the day to do it nicely. Avoid makeup with metallic elements or glitter as these reflect the light and do not look good on camera. Foundations with SPF (especially those with zinc oxide) can reflect light differently and give your face a different color cast from your body.  Stage makeup is good and false eyelashes look striking. If you are having headshots done at the same time, you will want more natural make up for those pictures.
Think about your hair styles. If you plan to have some shots with your hair down, it is often easiest to do them first and then put your hair in a ponytail, then a bun and add spray at the end.

  • Be patient on the day -

Understand that still photos are different from video and it will take several attempts for you to achieve a good-looking shot for each pose. Be kind to yourself and realize that this is normal.
We want to get the shot from the best possible angle, with all the elements working perfectly at the same time. That means face, arms, hands, legs, feet, body, lighting, etc.

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