Costume and Prop Tips for Creative Dance Photos

Halloween is almost here. I’m a dance photographer. Do you think my 2.5 and 5 year old kids want to be ballerinas in tutus and tiaras that they see on my screenshot or the butterflies they love to pretend to be in pre-ballet classes? Oh no. I wish.

Or something creative like.. a slug, or a Rubik’s cube or a Japanese flag. Well, that might be projecting a little.. but no. It’s Elsa 1 and 2 from Frozen for us.

Which of course got me thinking of all of you.
What to wear is a common topic of conversation in our dance photo consultations. For those focused on audition photos, it’s often mostly about what leotards will look best and shoot well, sometimes a few tutus or skirts thrown in.
creative dance photos costume prop
Sarah Gabrielle Ryan, PA Ballet 2, Photo Rachel Neville
For those doing more images for marketing and perhaps for beginning to learn how to shoot dance photographs, we can have more fun with costumes and materials. What works well?
A few tips for you on using costume and fabric in dance photos…
Flowy material is a given, whether it’s skirts or dresses (the current Instagram fav) or a loose top. you can’t go wrong. But be careful the material doesn’t cover too much.
Stretch leggings or jeans and a more pedestrian top work well, too.  Focus on any fabric or cut that helps you see your shape (tight) but that you can move in.
Don’t forget props…
We love Michaels, thrift stores, and set and prop shops. Look for props to use that accentuate a concept without overshadowing the dancer. Oh yah, and Home Depot… you’d be surprised!
apple prop halloween wicket once upon a time green
Alexandra Polaski, SFB Trainee,  Photo Rachel Neville
So get creative and have fun with your dance photos.  And yes… I will post a photo of my little Elsas.  Happy Halloween!
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