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Nailing Your Pole/Aerial Shoot

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Katherine Elizabeth and I specialise in performance photography. This year I’ve been attending different dance studios to put on days in which members can book on to get professional pictures of themselves. I’ve worked with many different levels from beginners to fully committed professionals, each who had their own skills and talents to bring to the photoshoot. However, a quick picture in class or open practise is very different to a professional photoshoot so I have whipped up this blog to give you the information you need to nail it!

Faith Gandhi (Pole shoot at PoleFire)


The best shoots I’ve had are definitely the ones where people have come prepared. This means looking through pintrest and your favourite IG accounts for some inspiration of moves you have already learnt that you’d like to do. Then, using the free time you get in classes to practise these moves.  If you come to the shoot with a list of strong moves you feel comfortable in I can promise a very successful photoshoot. Feel free to send over any pictures of lighting you love so I can recreate it!

Another thing to think about is your outfit! The backdrop is black so outfits that are colourful are the best so you don’t disappear into the backdrop.  However, if you do really want to wear black that’s fine, I will make sure you’re clothing doesn’t completely disappear I just personally suggest wearing anything but black!

Nadia Traynor (Hoop shoot at PoleFire)

The Night Before

Everyone gets a little nervous before a shoot, especially if it is his or her first one! The night before I suggest relaxing a little, making sure you get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water. The camera picks up everything, while I can edit out any spots etc you will naturally “glow” on camera if you listen to these tips!

Chelsey Roberts and Katherine Gammon (Doubles Pole shoot at MMU)

The Shoot

Make sure you turn up to your allotted time at least 30 minutes early to get warmed up and changed, you don’t want any injuries mid shoot and to feel nice a flexy to nail those moves!

The biggest issue I find people facing during shoots is trying to overachieve, trying to nail moves they’ve only done once or twice. This usually only goes one way where they are unable to get the move to a good standard after many attempts and by this point have tired themselves out to even attempt other moves. This is a physical exercise and anyone who has had a shoot will tell you it is much harder than class. Make sure you have come with a list of strong moves you are confident it, I have always found the simple moves always look the best as they are done to a high standard. Usually we blast through these moves super fast and then we can move onto moves that are a little harder, however, do not pick any moves you have never achieved on your own without mats and spotters repeatedly.  This way by doing the simple moves first we guarantee you some fab images that you are super happy with!

Gel Lighting
Beck Abrahams (Gel Lighting Pole shoot at MMU)

These types of shoots are so much fun and I’m yet to find someone who hasn’t absolutely loved the images they receive at the end. If you’re a beginner or a complete professional, these shoots are for everyone and an amazing way to feel confident about yourself. Not to mention, they are also great to start of with progress pictures as you’re only going to improve in your practise. This way in a year you can look back on the images and compare them to the next shoot you do.



Many people get nervous about these shoots and sit on the fence, that is completely normal so here is a few reviews from previous shoots to help you decide! 


Had my first shoot with Katie & I’m blown away! I’m quite camera shy & she has such a natural, encouraging way of setting people at ease & capturing great shots that almost make you double take on yourself! Highly recommended & will definitely be booking her again in the near future for some creative ideas. – Jen Ova (Hoop and Pole shoot at PoleFire)


I’m far from a natural in front of the camera, but Katie made me feel so comfortable and at ease and I’m thrilled with the images she captured for our pole photoshoot, especially the beautiful gel lighting! – Sarah Precious (Pole shoot at PoleFire)


Amazing photographer (even though aerialists aren’t exactly known for staying still). I would highly recommend for all your magical photographical needs! – Amber Woodward (Hoop shoot at Cloud Aerial Arts)


Had such an amazing time, she made the whole hour really fun. Great personality and dedication to making sure I got the pictures I wanted! And they look amazing! – Bredan Greville (Hoop and Silks shoot at Cloud Aerial Arts)

More reviews can be found at

Jen Ova (Silhouette Pole shoot at PoleFire)

I absolutely adore these shoots and something I’m very passionate about. I hope these tips have helped you and if you have any further questions don’t hesitate to email me at

Check out more of my performance work at


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