LeightonD's Photographic life.
Like most starving artists, when I started dancing professionally as Asada Belly Dance I didn’t have much money to spend on a premium photo shoot package. I cut a lot of corners and had family snap action shots of me with whatever camera they had handy. This was fun and did it’s job for my personal photo album that’s kept on display on my coffee table haha! Now that my hobby has finally become a career, it’s time to step it up and dish out the cash for that first impression image of me that’s going to help further my career.
When a dancer finally makes that leap from being an amateur to being a professional they really need to consider the long term benefits of a professional photo shoot, and see it as an investment. Here are 3 reasons why all Belly Dancers need to invest in a real photo shoot.
1. A Professional Photographer vs Aunt Sally and her digital camera: Just as you pride yourself in years of training with the best instructors and lots of money invested on the top workshops all over the country, the Photographer will pride his or herself on their knowledge of the camera, angles, lighting, and more. The same way you want your clients to trust your judgment and hire you, you want to be able to trust your photographer to recommend the proper settings for your photo shoot.
2. Professional is in the name so Professional should be the game. You get what you pay for right? When marketing yourself as a professional, all that comes with the name needs to represent that. If your photos are taken by an amateur photographer then the potential client will believe that you are worth way less than what you deserve. Clients don’t know how long you’ve been dancing, but will pre judge and decide from that photo what you’re worth.
3. First Impressions can make or break you: They don’t have to be in person, but can come from the website and marketing materials. A potential client may have never met a belly dancer before, yet may decide to hire one for an event. They’re spending more money than usual so they want to make sure who they hire will be worth every penny. Let’s say they’re given 3 business cards to choose from…. one with no photo, one with a distorted photo taken from a cell phone, and one with a professional photo. The two with photos are of two very beautiful dancers but who will the client call first? If I’m the client I’m calling the third dancer. My first impression of card 1 is that the dancer probably never danced professionally and I don’t want to be the guinea pig. The second dancer probably just started dancing and doesn’t have much experience either. The third dancer is in a gorgeous and clear costume and looks just like a glamorous Hollywood star so I’m going to see what that dancer has to offer.
The more professional experience a dancer gains the better the photo shoot should become. It’s time for me to practice what I preach. I will be joining forces this spring with LDPhotography and will have a photo shoot that will step up my game. I am very happy with the photo’s I have so far but it’s time to add to the virtual album and see how far LDPhotography will take me and my belly dance business. To find out more about my journey as a Kissimmee Belly Dancer visit http://asadabellydance.com/blog/. To see the outcome of the photo shoot visit http://asadabellydance.com/gallery/