Here are some tips to help you get ready for your Sports Portrait photo shoot. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
1. Work with your photographer to organise your photo shoot. Think about the kind of photos you want – the sport you play and your personality will help determine the style of shoot that’ll work best for you. Do you want
- dark and gritty;
- beauty and elegant;
- or maybe a couple of the styles above.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what style you want – discuss this with your photographer when you meet them for your consultation session before your shoot. If you have reference photos (eg something your favourite athlete has done) show them to your photographer when you meet so they have a clear understanding about the look you’re going for.
2. Think about what positions would photograph well. If you want your photo shoot to include technical or artistic poses, think about which ones will look good in a photo and which positions can be held while stationary or in a confined space. For example it can be difficult for a skater to stand still on one skate as they are balanced on a single thin blade and a cyclist might find it difficult to simulate cornering while stationary (even when using a wind trainer or roller).
3. Practice Posing. If you want to do technical or artistic poses, practice the poses in front of a mirror until you feel comfortable. It might feel a little strange to do these poses away from the playing field so make sure they’re technically correct eg. arms and legs in the correct position etc.
You might be asked to hold a position for a few seconds so practice holding the position for 5 – 10 seconds. Use a spotter to stop you from falling if you find it difficult to remain balanced. Alternately you might need to adapt your position slightly to be able to hold it.
4. Choose your outfit carefully. Consider whether you want to wear something that can be dated back to a particular year or event (eg your team uniform). We generally recommend wearing clothes that don’t date however some sports portraits can be an exception – for example an Olympic athlete might want to wear their uniform from the Olympic games to commemorate the occasion.
5. Make sure your clothes and accessories are in good condition. If you wear your sports outfit a lot you might find it’s suffering a little from wear and tear. In most cases (unless we’re going for the dirty mudder look) the photos won’t turn out as well if the outfit is not in good knick. The same goes with any shoes and equipment you bring with you.
6. Bring extra outfits with you. If you have a team tracksuit or dress uniform, bring it with you. If you have multiple outfits bring your favourites and you can decide which ones you want to wear on the day.
Bring complete outfits, not just the top or bottom. Can’t decide what to wear? Bring more clothes than you think you need – it’s better to bring more than you need and your photographer will be happy to help you choose which outfit to wear.
7. Choose your underwear carefully. Sporting outfits are generally fairly fitted and underwear lines can become visible, especially under the bright studio flashes. If your outfit is a little transparent (or thin) bring similar coloured or flesh coloured underwear to minimise its appearance.
8. Bring props or equipment you want to use. Bring any sporting accessories that will compliment your outfit and the look you’re going for eg. helmet; gloves; protective equipment; towel; skates / special shoes; glasses; stick / bat etc.
9. Style your hair to compliment your outfit. If you play a sport where you wear a helmet, there will be photos taken without the helmet so make sure your hair is clean and styled. If you have long hair consider if you want a few shots with your hair out before moving onto more serious photos with your hair tied back.
If you want to cut or colour your hair, do it at least one week before the shoot to allow it time to settle.
Ladies - don’t forget to remove your hairband from your wrist on the day of the shoot.
10. Ensure your makeup is consistent with your look. It is important to wear at least a little makeup to cover any imperfections, to smooth your skin and to bring out your eyes and lips. A natural look generally works best however if you want to go for a more dramatic look or if you already wear makeup for your sport eg. Cheerleading, gymnastics or figure skating, feel free to apply heavier makeup – just don’t overdo it.
It is important that your makeup has a matt finish (shiny, sparkly makeup, sequins and rhinestones generally don’t work well with studio lights). Make sure you blend your makeup into your neck and bring the powder with you to touch up any shine.
Gentlemen – if you have a receding hairline or if you are bald, consider using a little powder to minimise any shine on the top of your head.
11. Give yourself a manicure and moisturise your hands (and feet if they’re going to be photographed). It’s important not to chew your nails, as it is difficult to hide bad nails in photos.
12. Drink plenty of water the night before to keep your skin hydrated. Avoid alcohol as it can give you puffy eyes.
13. Moisturise your lips. Exfoliate your lips the day before the shoot by lightly brushing your lips with your toothbrush and moisturize before going to bed. Apply a moisturizing lip balm the morning of the shoot will keep your lips moisturised.
14. Get lots of sleep. Go to bed early the night before the shoot to avoid bags forming under the eyes and a pale, tired appearance.
15. Have something to eat before the shoot. A photo session can be hard work, requiring concentration and strength, as you might be asked to hold difficult poses for a while. Make sure you eat something before the shoot to ensure you have enough energy.
16. Warm up before the session: If you’re going to be holding technical positions, you might find it beneficial to stretch or warm up before the session to ensure you’re limber and to prevent injury – don’t go to hard though as you don’t want to get sweaty.
17. Arrive a little early to finalize details with your photographer (get posing advice, run over the shoot etc ...)
I hope these tips have answered your most of your questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me by email or by phone if you have any further questions - I will be happy to answer all your questions.
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