Pole Photo Shoot Considerations

On the assumption that you are paying for the shoot and not you getting paid as a model, make sure that you know what you want and tell the photographer so that you get it. Even the most talented of photographers are not mind readers!

What sort of shoot do you want? Do you want to document you moves or do something more artistic? Who will see them; friends at work, your mum, or you and your partner. Do you want sexy shots, do you want to emphasise your face, hair, abs, legs or bum? Do you want a studio or location shoot? Do you want any special effects or editing?  Don’t just assume that you will get what you want without asking, although do expect quality photos.

The better your preparation the better the photos are likely to be.

What are the shoot limitations?

  • Cost – there is a huge variation in prices depending on photographer, type of shoot and location. The post shoot editing can be significant particularly if you want original artistic effects.
  • Number of poses?
  • Length of time of shoot?
  • Studio or location? If it is an outdoor location shoot, for example on a beach, there are totally different considerations.
  • Experience of the photographer, can they get the sort of photo that you want?

What outfit(s)?

  • Try them first to check that they are not too restrictive or expose too much
  • Take and use tit tape if you think you might suffer a wardrobe malfunction 
  • Don’t wear clothing that is too tight, it creates unsightly bulges (if this does happen you can normally ask the photographer to remove them with Photoshop)
  • Matt black outfits do not show your curves well.
  • To show your rear off well it is best wear an outfit that is either very skimpy or goes into the crack of your bum (sorry to be so unsubtle).
  • If you want your rear fully covered then wearing boots often looks good, although I’m not sure why
  • If you wear underwear under your costume make sure it is a thong so you don’t get lines under your shorts. Photographic studio lights will make any underwear lines stand out
  • To make your legs seem longer wear high cut shorts / outfits, heels help too.
  • Cut out any labels.
  • Changing facilities for outfits? If none and you want privacy try an elastic waisted long skirt or maybe a dressing gown.
  • If it is an outdoor or a long shoot take loose, warm clothes to put over your pole outfit to keep warm.
  • Props – these can not just add to the picture but help some people feel more comfortable in front of a camera more quickly.

Write down a list of moves you would like for the shoot and practice them. Look on Facebook / Instagram etc for inspiration of what poses would suit you. Note that difficult moves are not necessarily pretty moves. If you want to hang a nice photo on the wall at home simple poses are often very effective but if it’s for your pole studio the go for the awesome tricks to show off your pole ninja skills.

Consider some photos just posing, not on the pole.  When it’s just you and the pole most people get tired so some pictures off of the pole can give you a break. This does of course depend on what you are paying for; if you only have 10 poses then make the most of them!

Get someone to take test photos with your phone / camera.

Decide which angle you want, or multiple angles for each pose.

If you are pale do you need a spray tan? Very light skin does not show much contrast so does not show curves / muscles etc very well. If you have a spray tan get it done a couple of days early as some are slippery on the pole.

Depending on the shoot you may need to touch up your make up. Take your makeup bag and mirror with you.

If it is an outdoor shoot:

  • If sunny you may need sun cream. Try a cream that does not need to be re-applied and put it on in plenty of time. Try this out with a pole before the photoshoot as most will be oil based so you would end up in a heap on the floor.
  • Depending on location you may need insect repellent.
  • If its a sunset shoot, take a torch.
  • It can be a nightmare photo-shopping people out of the background who are unintentionally spoiling the image. Early morning before people arrive or evening when most people have gone home is best. You also get an opportunity of interesting light from sunrise or sunsets.
  • Think about what to do if some creepy guys just stand there watching. I have had to ask people to move on as they made the models uncomfortable but the funniest was when I got the model to put more clothes on, gave her the camera, and did some pole tricks myself in just my undies – they soon moved on!

Don’t train the day before, make sure you are fresh for the shoot.

Don’t go out for a night on the town the night before, try and get a good night’s sleep.

At the shoot

  • Make sure you know where the shoot is and leave plenty of time for parking, makeup and getting changed.
  • Have a photo shoot buddy to help remind you of pointing your toes, reposition hair/costume etc…. the photographer is usually taking photos and cannot do everything. If this person is your instructor, even better.
  • Have bottle of water / snacks if it is a long shoot to keep your energy levels up.
  • Warm up before taking to the pole; often you have to hold a pose longer than normal so shoots can be physically very hard work. Don’t get yourself injured.
  • Take a hard copy of the pose you want and style to give to the photographer.
  • Talk to the photographer. Make sure they understand the shots that you want, particularly for dynamic moves like spins. For example ‘I want to do a pike to reverse attitude spin. Take the photo when my legs are together at the top of the pike.’. Otherwise you will both be disappointed.
  • Point your toes!
  • Pull in your tummy
  • Smile
  • Have fun 

Final point, if you have done a themed shoot, remember to take make up remover with you. I once had an ‘alien’ leave the studio and drive home!