Intuitively, one would have a dancer do some turns or spins in order to capture them as photos … perhaps taking many images in quick succession, or by using burst mode.

Below I show a video of a dancer executing several ‘fouette’ turns followed by a double ‘pirouette.’ You would think you could capture a great photo of her turning, but that’s not always the case. It’s very difficult to capture the 1/125th of perfect technique, and perfect expression in an action shot.

Check out the photos that followed my attempt to ‘capture’ a still photo from the dancer’s movement. None are very pretty. In fact, the camera actually shows the foot turned in, a slight lean and other little defects that will STOP the dancer from buying that pose.

Read on to see an easier way …

Slight lean (off balance) Foreshortening of free leg. Fingers on her left hand cut off at edge of image. Not terrible, but as a high calibre dancer, she likely won’t love it.
Only one leg? Expression is also not as good as it could be.
Note the position of the supporting foot. Also the toe is not touching the knee … a technical error.

A better way to capture the technique of a spin, with great technique and beautiful expression in ONE shot, is to FAKE it.

Have your posing assistant grab the edge of the skirt.

Have the dancer be ready to pose in a pirouette position.

Count down 3 2 1 GO.

On GO, the dancer moves into the position of the pose, and the assistant backs away, releasing the skirt. As long as the assistant is not touching the dancer, she can be easily removed using the 30 second edit. ( See tutorials.)

Perfect technique, Movement in skirt with help from the assistant simulates motion. Sellable image.

Find out more about types of spins by searching posing in the library.