Aerial Photography – How to Get Great Aerial Shots and Meet Mara Hsiung

I love shooting aerial artists. When I built my NYC dance photography studio two years ago, we put in a rigging point and while I haven’t spent much time talking here about how we can accommodate you guys, the word of mouth has picked up among aerial artists all over New York.  And we have some great aerial photos- and aerial photography tips – to share.

aerial photo Rachel Neville red leotard blue hoop

Mara Hsiung, Photo Rachel Neville


I also want to take a moment to feature aerial artist Mara Hsiung, who is not only creating beautiful art, but recently launched an informative, engaging newsletter that is a must read for anyone interested in aerial work, aerial gear and aerial events.  It was a pleasure working with Mara and getting creative with her in the photography studio and it is good to see how she is using the images we created, and the content she has put together, so well.

Definitely subscribe to her free newsletter.  You won’t regret it.

black white aerial photography Rachel Neville

Mara Hsiung, Photo Rachel Neville

Working with clients like Mara allows us to take full advantage of the rigging we have for aerial shots, and to create the kinds of images that best represent the mastery of aerial artists in action.  But as with all movement and dance photos, it is never as simple as the final image may suggest.

Photography Tips for Aerial Photos

1) You can’t go to a photo shoot without an assistant
This first tip is important.  Do not attempt to do a successful aerial shoot without an assistant to get you to the right angles that shoot well for your lines.  A good extra hand that knows just when to stop you or give just the slight touch that gets you rotating again is imperative.
If your aerial photographer doesn’t have an assistant, make sure you bring a friend.
studio photos aerial hoop black background blue
Mara Hsiung, Photo Rachel Neville
2) All the same rules apply to aerial that come into play when shooting bodies
Knowing how to translate what looks good in 3 dimensions into 2 dimension is key, the same way it is with other dance and fitness photography.  Some angles and some body parts always need adjusting to make your shapes and lines most effective in the image.
3) Adding drama is key
Add drama to aerial images by using styling, lighting, and, more importantly, facial expressions.  This is essential to create studio aerial shots that are more original and eye catching than the average performance shot.
aerial hoop photography Rachel Neville cabaret style
Mara Hsiung, Photo Rachel Neville
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