Black and White film
From a series of articles by Sallamah Chimera in Middle Eastern Dancer magazine:
- Well-defined lines allow better reproduction on publicity materials.
- Distorted red areas are common, including reddish complexions: some reds may look black. An orange filter will eliminate the color distortion, or use brownish lipstick and blush with ivory foundation make-up.
- Pale reds next to dark blues cannot be distinguished from another. Use blue or red filters.
- Blues may be distorted, fading into body and background and eliminating definition. This can be corrected with filters.
- A solid, unwrinkled, light grey background as wall and floor is an excellent background.
- Make yourself the focal point by extending background behind and underneath so that attention is not drawn to where colors or patterns meet. Props should be faded into the background for the same reason.
- Light hair and costume will not provide contrast against a light background. Dark hair and costume will not provide contrast against a dark background. Lighting behind the dancer can be of assistance.
- Color photos do not reproduce as well as black and white, but make great posters.
- Color film is more forgiving as far as colors than black and white but it picks up all details, no matter how minor. Greater care must be taken with makeup and costumes; a color photo will easily show blemishes, dark circles under eyes, wrinkles and even loose threads on a costume.
Makeup for controlled settings such as studio or stage:
- Cover sticks, light and dark foundation, eye shadows, blusher, high lighters for eyes and cheeks, eye and lip liners, mascara, lipstick, lip gloss, and translucent powder to set the make-up.
- Apply your make-up under the same lighting conditions as the photographs will be taken in.
- Lighting overhead and to the sides of your face so you are bathed in light from forehead to neck.
- Bring out best features, camouflage and minimize the worst. Disguise prominent noses or chins with deep shades of blush. use cover-sticks for dark circles and blemishes. Blend in exposed areas that are noticeably untanned. Lighten smile lines on the face.
- Dancers with large bodies will have a problem with light reflection off their lower abdomens, creating a shine. A deep blush or foundation and apply to the lower abdomen just under the navel.
- Deep shades of makeup can be applied to the torso to give contours and slim it.
- Makeup applied to cleavage can make breasts look fuller or rounder.
- The colors of makeup and costume should be complimentary with each other and with your skin and hair coloring.
- Avoid fad hair styles and make-up, they will quickly date your photo.
- The pose should accent your physical and technical assets: arms, posture, figure, hair, special costuming, style and personality.
- Pose as a dancer, not a glamour girl or sex kitten.
- Poses should be natural and as straightforward as possible. Remain relaxed with shoulders pulled gently downward and back, chest up, stomach in. This posture will slenderize, alert and professional.
- High heels add length, bring out leg curves, taper the ankles.
- Very slender dancers can show a more rounded appearance by posing in a seated, kneeling, or curled-up position.
- Hip placement is important. Turn the hip at a 45-degree angle and turn the upper torso and face into the camera to create curves and eliminate tummy. Avoid twists that create double chins, extra stomachs, deep crease or folds.
- Do not pose with feet, palms, or elbows angled directly into the camera. Make sure your feet are clean - dancing poses often expose the bottom of a dirty foot.
- Arms should frame the body, promote good line, and be alive - no limp hands and limp wrists. Elbows should point to the sides or angle into the corners.
- Kneeling and lying down poses: watch posture, place legs and feet behind the torso or with only the shoe tops showing.
- Fingers should not be stiff, splayed, nor claw-like, and do not allow them to cover the face or body.
Sallamah Chimera: Do a practice session of makeup and poses with a friend or family member taking pictures. Then critique the results honestly. Concentrate on photo technique as well as makeup, costume and lighting successes and failures.
From an interview with Delilah in Middle Eastern Dancer magazine:
Make it exciting and informative, even for people who do not dance. Spice it up with history, make-up, performance, humor and good music.
- Outline the material you want to present.
- Prepare a storyboard, a cartoon strip of what you want the ultimate product to look like, so that the shooting staff know what your vision is.
- Scout for good locations: large, quiet, and able to handle heavy electrical demands without blowing fuses. If you need more than one set, then a larger space that allows you to build all sets before you shoot will save you money on the cost of equipment rental.
- Everything will take longer than you think. Nevertheless, draw up a schedule and try to keep to it.
- A miniature set made from tinker toys and cardboard will help you figure out lighting and camera angles so that the shoot goes quickly.
- The lighting is the most crucial aspect, and should stay consistent for each set.
- Be sure to review what you have just done, no matter how much of a rush you are in; it is easier to do it over right then.
- Every shoot needs a designated stage mother, someone to make sure their is always a pot of hot coffee ready, give massages, go on a lunch run and so on.
Delilah at Visionary Dance.
Middle Eastern Dancer magazine.