Eight Wardrobe Ideas for Your Dance Shoot!

Wondering what to wear for that dance photoshoot you’ve got coming up?  Here are a few ideas from my dance photography portfolio to spark your imagination!  

1.  Tried and true.  As a dance photographer, I want to make sure dancers bring as many options as possible using solid colors, and especially black, white, and nude.  I want to take very clean, graphic photos, where the dancer is the center of attention, not a busy background or wild pattern or costume.  I also want clothing that is as form fitting as possible so we can see muscle tone and those beautiful shapes she’s making.  If you bring nothing else, it should be a neutral leotard!

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2.  A little edge.  I love to see ballerinas introduce a little rock and roll edge to their (usually very soft, feminine) look.  Here, we have a leather jacket, tall socks over pointe shoes, and fishnets all serving to amp up the looks.  As long as it’s age appropriate, have fun and show your style!


3.  Flowing skirts.  I keep these on hand in a few colors.  They’re great for covering skimpy leotards and for showing movement in a kick or leap.  Whenever possible, I try to match the top with the skirt.  I want everything to flow together to emphasize the line of the dancer.

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4.  That recital costume!  I know it seems impossible when parents have spent so much money on competition and recital costumes, but sometimes they forget to bring them to the shoot!  That performance was brief and that costume was expensive.  Make sure you have gorgeous photos of it!


5.  Prints, but very very sparingly.  Notice when you watch TV that very few people wear busy patterns on camera.  It’s because they don’t photograph well.  Larger patterns work better than small, but you just don’t know until you see it.  If you love something, bring it, but make sure you have lots of other options.  Here are two prints that work because they’re bold and uncluttered.

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6.  Wide leg pants.  These are fun!  You can lose precise shape from the leg with a wide hem, but they can make for some fun photos.  Play with shapes, but be sure to keep the top form-fitting. Notice the large, bold print. It works when there are large areas of solid color alongside it.


7.  Branded clothing.  Is your daughter a dance ambassador or sponsored in some way?  You know you need to deliver photos of her promoting the brand, but what if she isn’t sponsored?  Do it anyway!  If you love Lucky Leo or Russian Pointe, bring them to the shoot, get great professional photos, and tag the heck out of them!  They might repost your photos or send you free stuff!  The leggings in this photo were sent to the dancer for free, just for her help in promoting the brand! Thanks www.forgottentribes.com!

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8.  Think outside the box.  Last but not least, bring things that show your personality, even if they don’t fit within these rules—as long as you have options!  This dress was a vintage piece worn to the prom by the dancer.  It’s a print, which doesn’t always work, but (because it’s large and simple) it looks great here.  In other words, don’t be afraid to try something quirky!