Trials & Tribulations of capturing those Pole Photos!

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Trials & tribulations of Pole Photography
So you’ve been to a few pole classes now and may want a few photos to share with friends and family and to capture your achievements. Great, Just grab a friend and a camera (or probably a phone these days), point and click… easy right?! Oh no no no…..
Well yeah, you could, but you’re more likely to end up with pole mishaps than pole marvel. Here are a few things to think about to try and get those fab pics you deserve in less time.

1) Make sure you’re ready!
Make sure you are comfortable and ready to hold the move you want a picture of for a decent time frame. Generally you’ll need to be able to SAFELY hold the move for more than a couple of seconds before being able to capture the moment on camera. It is fine to have your instructor or spotter in the picture if it’s a particularly tricky move that you’d like but still don’t feel 100% (possibly in the case of a workshop where you’d like the move to remember but haven’t had time to perfect it) but they shouldn’t be actually visibly holding you up in the picture, unless it’s a multi-person move. (Doubles, triples etc..) Also bear in mind you don’t have to be doing the most complicated move there is for it to look impressive, some of the simple moves look lovely as a picture, whilst the difficulty and effort of some of the harder ones just doesn’t come out on the other side of a lens.

2) It’s all about the angles!
If you are getting a non- pole friend to take the picture make sure you show them the angle it should be taken at, I’ve frequently seen people taking pictures so that you have no idea what move its supposed to be and it really doesn’t do the move (or your body) Justice. You end up with that awkward moment when you’re friend is really proud of herself for taking the picture and when you look at it you’re thinking… ‘Oh no, that totally doesn’t look like it’s supposed to.. I look awful!’ but instead you smile and say ‘Aw, that’s great thanks!’ Also try and suggest they stand a bit further back, you can always zoom in and crop on a photo to get closer but can’t zoom out any further than the original shot. This also applies to videos too, I remember when filming for a TV programme, when they’ve edited it they’ve zoomed in on my crotch for some bizarre reason and missed the move in its entirety (Total cringe). I think the move might have been a Cupid drop into Gemini… I remember being gutted because the whole combo was great and it really didn’t show the performance in a great light. And these were meant to be professionals. Don’t panic too much however about the fact you can ‘See the cellulite in my thighs’.. We all have body hang ups, but people will be more impressed you’re hanging upside down by one leg rather than anything else.

3) Check your background!
I’m sure we’ve all seen that unfortunate picture of the poor girl who posted her pole picture online and what seemed to be her pink dildo was sitting on the radiator! It was in fact a ballet slipper, but the press and online community had field day with it. I have to admit I have been guilty of this in the past, (not for leaving my sex toys laying around, but not checking my backdrop before excitedly posting pics on Facebook or Instagram) You don’t want the glory of your amazing move to be outshone by some busybody pointing out that your room is messy or that there are random items in the background stealing the limelight. Also watch out for mirrors.. they can be friend or foe. Used correctly they can reflect your good side to get 2 angle at once, but also picking up people and things not in direct line of the camera lens.

4) If you go Pro – Research your Professional!
There are lots of great professional photographers out there but not all of them specialize in the same themes and Pole is still a relatively new concept. If you’re going to spend your hard earned money on some nice shots make sure you get one that is familiar with the industry. Maybe use one that a pole friend or studio has used and you like the look of the photos they’ve done elsewhere. There have been some really creative and original ideas surfacing recently, take a look around and don’t feel pressured to make a choice you don’t feel comfortable with.

5) Relax and Smile!
Yep.. we’ve all seen that uncomfortable pain/concentration face we pull when trying to get into or hold a move. We’ve all done it, it’s a natural part of the process, but it’s not pretty. So ideally, on a photo immortalized for the world to see, we do not want to look like a panic stricken constipated monkey clinging onto a tree for dear life! I know the ‘Relax and smile’ comment is easier said than done, try and invoke ‘Serene Pole Goddess’… (Is there even a Goddess of pole? If not, why not? We should appoint one!) You don’t necessarily have to smile, you can go for the ‘Yay, I can’t believe I’m doing it!’ Excited/shocked face, or you can be silly and have a laugh- tongues out/thumbs up pose, or go for the ‘serious arty’ look. But the relaxed bit is the important part I feel. Whatever you choose is fine, you don’t even have to look at the camera to get a beautiful picture.

I hope this helps a little on your pole photo mission, but just on a little side note make sure you’re not spending too much time dedicated to just taking pictures of moves, and don’t just learn a move, take a picture and move on to the next. Enjoy your classes; listen to your instructors and peers. Make sure you spend time getting in and out of the moves correctly and learning how to transition nicely from one move to the next. It’s all well and good learning individual moves but if you can’t put them together you may regret it at a later date. Apart from that.. go forth, be proud of what you’re doing and capture those amazing accomplishments for the world to see!

Pole Love. xxx

(Ps if you would like to recommend any pole photographers feel free to comment)

For more reading like this click

http://www.amazon.co.uk/So-hear-youre-Pole-Dancer/dp/1502859424/

Children: To Pole or not to Pole?

It was 2013 and I had just returned back to Tenerife after my time in bonny Scotland. It was around this time that Poling for Kids was a new topic doing the rounds on the online communities.
Whilst in Scotland a couple of sensationalised news stories had made the news headlines. One focused on a British school in Kent that had a student perform a gymnastic type routine on a pole at a school fête. This got misrepresented and scandalised as totally disgraceful by a reporter who was trying to make a name for himself even if it meant trampling over someone else to do it. Such was the spin on the article that it created the controversy he was obviously keen to inflame. There were two camps, those for and against. Simultaneously, there was an online scenario in which a group of enthusiasts were innocently posting pictures of their kids on poles.
The fact is that only a weird misfit could interpret any of the moves as being provocative or salacious. The organiser was trolled by finger pointing witch hunters who accused her of all sorts of deviancy including being a paedophile enabler. Really, some people have such illiberal minds I would be surprised if they visited art galleries. There they could be offended by seeing Victorian artworks illustrating naked children bathing.
What was pole dancing seen through the eyes of an innocent child? It was simply a more demanding and sophisticated form of climbing frames than could be found in any urban playground. Ironically, pole dancing is more appropriate to children than it is for adults because of their suppleness and agility. As soon as kids see a pole they are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. They see it’s potential more quickly than does an adult. A child’s first instinct is to ape monkey life and shin up the pole, swing from it and generally show off. The best proof was seeing my own son’s appreciation of a pole’s potential.
During a family visit in which we were joined by my niece and nephew, the pair pestered me to be able to use the pole. They were begging me to show them a few challenges. I did so, which caused neither me nor the two children any problem at all. I suppose if people see ugly they will spout ugly. I was abused after I posted a video of one of my pole routines on YouTube.
During the video, and in the corner of a reflection in a mirror, you can see my mum in the room holding my son whilst they watch me. He was around one-year old at the time. The matter was of no consequence. In truth, such was the triviality of it I never even noticed it. I was made aware of it only when some idiot commented: ‘How disgusting it was that someone had allowed a baby into a strip club’. There was very recently, in the last couple of weeks a video/picture of a mother holding her child whist spinning round her pole in her own home. This again made the headlines an overly negative manner and received onslaught on facebook. My own son has been drawn to the pole ever since he could crawl and is forever wanting to pull himself up and swing round it. In my own personal view I think so-called child beauty pageants are far more irresponsible in having small children mimic a certain type of adult in dress, cosmetics and behaviour.
You only need to Watch 11-year old, Olga Trifonova’s videos to see why how amazing and talented kids can be when on a pole. This talented athlete who won the hearts of millions went on to win Russia’s Got Talent. It is a pity some muckrakers and sleazy reporters cannot demonstrate a similar talent in doing what they do. Times have moved on. I know many many youngsters who have gravitated towards pole school. Obviously not all pole classes have the same content, and yes those that are geared more towards the ‘Pole Dance’ side of the spectrum may not be appropriate. As with everything, some amount of sensibility is needed. There is now however a variety of official courses specifically aimed at for children’s pole fitness and Gymnastics. (Eg Vertical Dance Kids Pole instructor training)

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*Photos have been used with Parents permission.

For more reading like this click

http://www.amazon.co.uk/So-hear-youre-Pole-Dancer/dp/1502859424/

Pole dancing and pregnancy – MY personal experience.

It was mid 2008 and Pole classes were growing at a good rate, but that wasn’t the only thing expanding. In April I was to discover I was pregnant with my son, Valentino.
This was a little problematic. Pole dancing, let alone teaching the art, is not the sort of occupation you expect to find a pregnant mum taking part in. Where was I going to fit in? Fortunately, I had the full support of my husband, the girls and especially Emma. So I set my mind on all carrying on regardless.
As it was still early days in the world of pole dancing there wasn’t much research to do. After all, we were writing the rules for others to be influenced by. What is the saying? “Do not follow your dreams, lead them,” Yes, we were trailblazing pole dancing. I broached the subject with my doctor but pole dancing as a fitness regime was foreign to him. I don’t think he properly understood my concerns and he wasn’t much of a help. Just kept telling me to ‘Do lots of walking’ and try not to put on too much weight.
He did reassure me that both me and my baby were very healthy, there was no need for concern and to live life as normal as possible. Great if you are living a normal life. Pole dancing hardly qualifies for ‘normal’.
I neither smoked nor touched alcohol, I ate healthy so I did what everyone suggested I do. I listened to my body. Keeping up ‘as normal’ for the first six/seven months of pregnancy I then became acutely aware of a heaviness and my balance was a little off normal. Time to take stock, so I called it a day on the Handsprings, inverts and the more extreme movements. I was fine with the basics such as spins and perfectly up to it when instructing the students. I also kept doing some the floor based classes and stretching right until the end. Since then there have been plenty of stories, pictures and videos of pole dancing mums-to-be. There again, has been some outcry and controversy over it, but I have yet to hear of a negative outcome? (and I hope there are none) Please note, it is not recommended to start any new sport or fitness activity if you are already pregnant.
Valentino, bless him, arrived a few days late but fine and healthy. All went well with the birth. Well, as good as can be expected. At the time, the birth was still the most horrific and painful experience I had ever been called upon to endure. Although as they say… ‘You do forget’.
While I was in the early stages of labour I took a walk to see my friend Lisa who had coincidentally had her baby a day earlier and had not yet been discharged from the ward. When I asked her how it went she smiled brightly and said “Oh a bit painful but fine!”
She later apologised profusely for lying to me, but couldn’t bare to tell me the truth at that point.
The delivery took all of eight hours and all of it without any pain relief or stitches. And it was it worth it.
I brought our baby boy home on Christmas Eve. My gorgeous son was the best experience in my life and continues to be so. Did I do well? The midwife apparently thought so.“Wow, your flexibility is the best I have seen,” she said extravagantly whilst I had my legs spread in stirrup type holders. True Story! Not the most appropriate of remarks but I am sure she meant well. I did also note that my post labour/pregnancy recovery seemed to be a lot quicker than my non-poler friends that had had babies at the same time. Other than that, it is important to know, I am not qualified to offer advice to anyone who, whilst learning to pole dance or already practising the art, discovers they are pregnant. This is solely my personal story, everybody and every pregnancy is different. Please see your doctor, get professional advice, do some research and listen to your body.

Extract taken from ‘So, I hear you’re a pole dancer?’.

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