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  1. #1
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    Sad What to do when you hate your dance photos?

    Having some body image issues.....I recently performed at a big show, I was nervous and excited that I was given the opportunity. I really loved my costume and felt confident that I looked pretty good in it. I also received a lot of compliments that night. The photographer who took the photos is one of my favorites, I have worked with her in the past; The problem is when I went to view my photos from the show to see which one I wanted to purchase, I couldn't believe how large I looked! I was very disappointed in the way I looked in the photos. It made me very sad. I know that I'm not as skinny as I used to be, in fact I'm quite curvy, but I don't think I'm really that large in real life; I guess what they say about the camera adding 10 pounds is true! I'm so sad about that, and realized that I had spoken with that same photographer for a photo shoot that we will do in 2 weeks! I don't think I'm going to dramatically lose a lot of weight before the shoot. I honestly don't know what to do, I feel sad that I seem bigger in the photos than I normally look. The next night I took some photos with friends and for whatever reason I look more like myself, a lot slimmer also. Is it possible that the lense the photographer is using could make a person look bigger than normal? I feel pretty badly about it, and she's expecting me to give her a deposit for the photo shoot in 2 weeks, but based on how I feel I don't know if I should go through with it. What do you do when you hate your dance photos?

  2. #2
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    As you've got a lot of positive feedback, it could be your bad self-esteem playing tricks on you if what you see in the picture doesn't coincide with your inner picture of yourself.

    You may need to give it some time before you need to put on your analyzing goggles and analyze them. Simply ask yourself why are you not satisfied with that picture or in this case why do you appear to be larger than you are. I've seen this so many times from both sides of the camera; the dancer may not be as satisfied with a picture as the photographer and vice versa.

    If it is things like your posture, hands, facial expression, etc this is something you can work on and may be easier to get right in a non dance-performance. Before the photoshoot, practice postures and facial expressions you'd like to use.
    If it is the costume, you can always make adjustments to it or change to a different costume. You could adjust a lot of things to get the result you want to have.

    Remember to bring a friend to your next photoshoot who can give you the feedback you need in action to get as good pictures as possible (giving you commands such as belly in, chin up, adjust the angle of your left hand, look dreaming, joyful etc). Both when it comes to posture and adjusting the costume (also bring alternative costumes). Be sure you've told her/him as well as the photographer what you'd like the result to be so they both can work with you to get the result you strive for.
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  3. #3
    Moderator Farasha Hanem's Avatar
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    I think someone once posted a link on how to pose for bellydance photos, but can't remember where I saw it!

  4. #4
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    If you hate them get rid of them.

    It's worth having someone whose judgment you trust have a look at the images and tell you what they think. You can then look at them more realistically - and I'd like to bet that a photo you find ugly now will be really attractive to you in ten years' time.

    But yes, we are frequently far uglier than we would like to believe, and that's just completely sucky. I have very few dance photos for a reason. I don't photograph well (at least that's what I tell myself lol) and photos seldom capture my real-life charisma and allure. (This is actually probably true, it's not just an ugly person consoling themselves; many people look pretty blah in photos and are amazingly exciting people to be around IRL, whereas people who look incredible in photos are sometimes disappointing and less attractive IRL.)

    There are photographers with a real knack for getting excellent and flattering images, and those are the ones you need to hope will come into your life. They will not make you thinner or less wrinkly than you are, but they will somehow capture you at your best, not your worst.

  5. #5
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    Thanks everyone. I guess what I'm saying is I know I have some self esteem issues, I've been working through that, what I'm really asking is am I the only one that does not like the dancing photos? When I pose for photos I like those better, but when I'm dancing, the actual "action" photos don't come out as good as I would like them to. I get pictured in awkward moments, double chin showing, LOL they just look weird. Do you find that you like better the photos you take in a studio or still shots, rather than when you are dancing?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by farasharaks View Post
    Thanks everyone. I guess what I'm saying is I know I have some self esteem issues, I've been working through that, what I'm really asking is am I the only one that does not like the dancing photos? When I pose for photos I like those better, but when I'm dancing, the actual "action" photos don't come out as good as I would like them to. I get pictured in awkward moments, double chin showing, LOL they just look weird. Do you find that you like better the photos you take in a studio or still shots, rather than when you are dancing?
    I see this with horseback riders at horse shows too. It's IMPORTANT, incredibly important, that the photographer not only be a good photographer, but experienced with their subject matter. What makes a good dance photographer is that they know when to hit their shutter button for the best millisecond of action. At horse shoes, for example, the photographers want to catch the horse's legs in certain positions because the photos end up looking nicer than if the horse is in other positions. The same goes for a dance photographer. The things you're explaining - like double chin moments - those are all on the photographer. We ALL have teeny awkward moments because that's just how bodies work, but the photographer needs to have an educated eye and know when to take the picture.

    My advice would be to dance in the mirror and see what poses you feel flatter you, then explain to the photographer the positions you want photographed. A conversation about the things you're concerned about - like double chin moments - will alert the photographer about what to keep an eye out for, as well.

  7. #7
    Moderator Daimona's Avatar
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    I don't agree that it is always the photographer's fault when the double chin appears.

    Sometimes the dancer get a bad habit of pulling the chin in and/or looking down causing a double chin to appear even if she/he didn't have this habit previously. The only way to get rid of it is to become aware of doing it, understand why it happens and then actually practice not to do it during performances.
    This actually happened to one of the performers at the last local show I attended. On most of the pictures she has a double chin (even if she is a thin person who normally don't have a double chin), and it was even possible to see it in the video afterwards.
    On the other hand, some of the more chubby dancers, did not get double chin - not even when looking down.


    If you want full control and instant feedback, the best way is to do it on a photoshoot.
    Last edited by Daimona; 10-11-2014 at 08:02 PM.
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  8. #8
    Moderator Safran's Avatar
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    If you are performing, awkward photos are bound to happen. Because you're dancing for the audience, not for photos! It is the whole dance - the flow of movement and emotions that matters. So don't get hung up on bad pics - believe me, we all have many unflattering photos of ourselves dancing :P

  9. #9
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Studio photos generally turn out a lot nicer than action shots. Action shots are extremely hard! All the movement makes it very hard and the lighting might not be perfect. With studio shots you can discuss things before hand, bring samples of photos you like so the photographer gets an idea of what you want (photographers sometimes have completely different ideas of what looks good than what we dancers like)

  10. #10
    Moderator Amulya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farasha Hanem View Post
    I think someone once posted a link on how to pose for bellydance photos, but can't remember where I saw it!
    was as it this one?
    http://bellydanceforums.net/threads/...ht=Photo+shoot

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