Summer is coming to an end here in Europe and when we look back we have some lovely memories to share! One of them for sure is underwater pole dance.
Get to know pole dancer Rae Marii! She took her underwater photos with photographer Brett Stanley, and the results were amazing, as you can see from the photos below! I’m sure you’re tempted to try for yourself!
So together with Rae we wrote all the best tips and tricks you need to know when preparing for underwater pole modeling. But before guiding you through the process read all about her experience. It’s a rare occasion to hear about this kind of experience from the first hand.
So, Rae, the spotlight is on you!
My underwater experience with Brett Stanley
My photo shoot was in Atlanta, GA in May of 2017 at a Diver’s Supply Shop. When I arrived at the shoot, I was greeted warmly by Brett Stanley’s assistant. She made sure I signed all the consent forms before the shoot began and showed me to the dressing room, where I was able to change into my costume (which was made by Karina Doig Couture Costume Dancewear; if you’re curious, my train was approximately 180cm). I recommend getting to the shoot early, so you will be relaxed and have enough time to get used to your surroundings.
Stanley hired makeup artist Jessica Vaugn, who arrived shortly thereafter. She set up and asked what kind of style I wanted. After I showed her a few pictures, she told me what she thought might look best with my outfit and face. Of course, all the makeup was waterproof, and she layered it on well. Once my makeup was in place, I had to shower before I entered the pool to (1) rinse off and (2) set the makeup. After I was rinsed off, I put all the items I’d need (eyedrops, eardrops, etc.) on a plate that I set by the pool.
Stanley’s assistant took my phone so that she could pull up the poses I needed when I requested them. I recommend bringing a friend for this, as they can assist you with things like this in case the assistant is busy or signing other people in. Stanley’s assistant was great with this, though.
Stanley then explained his technique for breath holding and let me try the underwater nose plugs — I wasn’t a fan. I’m quite used to swimming without them, as I actually used to swim for exercise fairly often. I highly recommend swimming a few laps with your mouth open and face relaxed if you have access to a pool before the shoot. This practice definitely aided me during the shoot. Once Stanley explained everything to me, I was ready. I did one quick practice dive, and then we were off!
Within the first 30 seconds, I realized underwater modeling is… well, difficult! It’s much trickier than I’d anticipated, and I am thankful Stanley was so patient with me throughout the shoot.
When modeling underwater, you only hold one pose at a time. If you can hold your breath for 30 seconds above water (this was my average), cut that in half for underwater. Aside from that, poses are nothing like they are on land. I figured simple poses would work best, but that is definitely not always true. For me, some of the most difficult poses were carousel and chairspin. Pole sits are pretty easy, but I wanted to challenge myself to think of moves that wouldn’t normally be possible on land. Crazy as it sounds, some moves that are very difficult on land are actually easier underwater! Nothing works the same, it seems, so playing with moves beforehand is a great way to test everything out and get your sea legs…er…mermaid tail…
I found the absolute hardest thing to deal with during the shoot was my hair. I wanted my hair down, and I hadn’t practiced underwater with it down prior to the shoot. It was difficult to keep it out of my eyes and face. Stanley’s technique for hair is throwing your head back to clear your face. Keep in mind that both hair and fabric can be tricky if you’re not used to them. I recommend practicing in your costume.
The last thing that I have to say about the shoot is that time moves SO quickly when you are shooting. My hour-long shoot passed by in what seemed like ten minutes. I highly, highly, highly recommend booking at least a two-hour shoot. I thought it would be a waste of money, but TRUST ME — it’s worth every penny. If you want to redo a pose, that eats up your time. If you want to put in eye drops, that eats up your time. If you want to blow water out of your nose, that eats up your time. Of course, I only booked a one-hour shoot and was able to get some pretty good shots, so it’s definitely possible. I just recommend two hours so you are less pressed for time and less anxious about getting good shots.
Overall, my underwater pole photo shoot was a great experience. Definitely look up some pretty poses before you go or get some recommendations from friends on which poses might look good under the water. And last but not least, relax. The key to the whole underwater thing is just… well, remember you’re a mermaid.
Stay tuned for next post “26 best tips you need to know (when preparing) for great underwater pole modeling”. It will come in handy!