If you’ve been around for a while, you know that Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah loves a fun, quick, outdoor photo shoot on her portable dance floors.
In fact, when she and Jeff first started the business back in 2020, they made sure to spend time having a few photo shoots around town in Sacramento, California, where they make the dance boards.
Below are 3 tips for places to take photos if you’re planning on bringing out your dance board for a photo shoot this spring.
In Front of Cool Garage Doors: Saumirah absolutely loved this red garage on a wide street in Midtown, Sacramento. She’d wanted to take a photo in front of it for a long time and finally got the chance one day when Jeff was her photographer! We like the sold color of the garage door, the shape of the building for adding some character to a zoomed-out photo, and the in-the-street look for a “diamond in the rough” effect for the background space.
2. On a College Campus: Many college campuses have great grassy areas that are open for the public to use! In the fall of 2020, Jeff and Saumirah had an iPhone photo shoot at a local campus. They loved the background of trees, leaves, and grass that the campus provided. However, it was tricky working with shadows on a fall afternoon! The sun was great for that Golden Hour glow, but the shadows were coming in strong during this photo shoot!
3. In Alleyways: I’m not sure how it is where you live, but many big cities have areas of town with alleys or space between buildings, which often are decorated with incredible graffiti art or painted murals.
If you have any additional tips, be sure to drop the in a comment or send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy dancing!
Have you ever had your own photo shoot, where you were the model, photographer, lighting director, and stylist?
Dance Daze Dance Boards Co-founder Saumirah McWoodson does this all the time.
Keep reading for some tips about how to use your Dance Daze Dance Board in your own photo shoot, with just you, your board, and your phone!
#1: Prepare all your materials in advance. When planning a solo photo shoot, Saumirah likes to get out everything she needs so that she can be efficient with her time (and also so that she can simply get the shoot done quickly, because people may be watching!). Saumirah typically gets out the following items for a solo photo shoot:
Tripod (Did you know they have tripods made exclusively to hold cell phones? They are only about $20 for a really basic one on Amazon.com.)
Small, folding tables (Saumirah uses 1 or 2 dinner trays because she always has these at home, they’re lightweight, and can be easily taken outside or placed in the backseat of a car.)
Outfits (An easy way to “change” outfits is to wear all black or all white, styled with bold, colorful jewelry and a bright sweater, statement jacket, or hat that can easily make it seem like you’ve changed your entire ensemble, when you’ve only changed a single clothing item.)
#2: Find the best lighting. Saumirah’s favorite place to take photos is outside on her front lawn! She likes to do this anytime between 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm. Yes, this happens to be the hottest time of the day, which isn’t pleasant. Some people prefer to NOT take photos directly in the sun and to sometimes use a simple reflector device to create the best lighting. But since Saumirah likes to keep things simple, she typically likes to face the sun so that in captures her natural glow. When facing directly into the sun; however, take note of how it may be reflecting on your face or clothing! (If you are wearing makeup for your solo photo shoot, you may want to keep face powder on hand to aid in blocking out some of the sunlight that may show directly on your face.)
#3: Play with your angles. Since you’ll likely be doing a dance-related photo shoot if you’re on your Dance Daze Dance Board, Saumirah recommends playing with different arm positions, showcasing different positions of the legs (even when that means showing off your foot that isn’t the most arched or your leg that doesn’t have the highest extension!), and even showing off different shoes in close up photos. If you’re doing your solo photo shoot outside, be aware of where your body may be casting shadows on your legs or other body parts. (Saumirah has ended up deleting many photos because she was casting a shadow on her face with the position of her arms.)
#4: Take your time. And user your phone’s timer. It is common for Saumirah to take anywhere from 10 to 20 shots in the same pose to try to get 3 to 5 that she LOVES! Even though it can be time-consuming, after each photo, she typically looks at the picture to analyze what she likes or doesn’t like about it. For example, she will pay attention to whether or not her legs or dance shoes are covered by a shadow; she will take note of whether or not the merchandise (i.e., a DDDB shirt or hoodie) is bunched up in a way that doesn’t showcase it in the best way, etc. Typically, taking about 20 photos, using the 10-second timer on her iPhone, will only take a few minutes.
#5: Have fun! What’s better than being completely in your own world, twirling around on your Dance Daze Dance Board, and taking photos?! Sometimes, absolutely nothing is more fun. So enjoy it, friend!