By Taylor Rossi
As flutists, we learn how to play the highest notes, the fastest passages, and some of the most beautiful music, but do you ever feel like when you have to pose for photos that are used to advertise a concert or your private studio, you suddenly don’t know what to do with your hands? I’m about to fix that for you.
Hi, I’m Taylor, a flutist, and photographer based in the flute capitol of the world, Boston, Massachusetts! As a photographer, my mission is to help you feel as authentic and comfortable as possible in front of the camera so that not only can you walk away from your session with beautiful photos but a positive experience.
Here are my top 5 tips to level up your photoshoot experience!
1. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO CONVEY?
Before you even start thinking about who you want to work with, what to wear, or the location of your photoshoot, it’s important to think about what you want to convey in your photos.
If you’re a private flute teacher, incoporate the mission behind your studio into your photos – is it to be welcoming and nurturing? Is it to hold your students to the highest standard and that you’re there to help them win orchestra jobs? Or maybe it’s that you’re a fun and whimsical and that’s what your students can expect out of their lesson experience!
If you’re more on the performance track, maybe you want to communicate an inviting look into your photos. Maybe you want to highlight the qualities of a piece you’re premiering. Or perhaps you want to channel the age old flute diva persona in your photos!
Having a clear understanding of what you’re hoping to convey will save you from ending up with photos that don’t align with your personality or marketing.
2. CHOOSE YOUR OUTFITS WISELY
Now that you know what you want to convey in your photos, next up is figuring out what you’re going to wear!
Depending on how long you have for your session, I always recommend 2-3 outfits so that you can have as much variety in your photos as possible and because sometimes the outfit we think is going to be the best, doesn’t actually photographing well. When in doubt, bring options!
The other important aspect when it comes to choosing your outfits is to wear SOLID COLORS!
As someone who has historically been a big fan of prints and patterns, in the years since becoming a photographer, my closet has slowly shifted to 90% solid colors because of how much better they photograph. While prints and patterns can tell a beautiful story, they can often be a distraction. If you’re taking outdoor, natural light photos, there’s going to be so many textures around you such as trees, water, or a the texture of a building. Even your flute has a texture to it, and since our instruments are something we want to have prominently featured in our photos, it’s important to make sure nothing from our outfit is causing a distraction.
After picking out your outfits, be sure to try them all on before your session to make sure nothing is see-through, that it fits you comfortably, and you feel confident in it. If you have any doubts, ask your photographer! They are there to help you and will know a thing or two about what looks good on camera.
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
If you’re having photos taken for the very first time, it’s absolutely okay if you just want something simple. But maybe you’re someone who’s had photos taken before and wants to spice things up and have a result that’s memorable! So how do we do this?
Think outside the box and outside the industry!
My favorite ways to find new inspiration for poses is to look through fashion magazines or how photographers style objects that may be similar in shape to a flute – like an umbrella, baseball bat, baton, etc.
See how creative you can get or how you can incorporate movement into your poses, while of course, maintaining the safety of your instrument.
4. PRACTICE POSES PRIOR
Once you have some poses in mind, try them out in front of a mirror or record yourself holding the poses! Just like recording a practice session, practicing photoshoot poses may show us some aspects of our posture that we may not be aware of! For example, I find that many of my clients need extra, loving reminders to extend their torso for photos since many of us spend too much of our time slouching at our desks or rehearsal!
This step is completely optional, but I find that the more understanding of your own body and tendencies, the more confident you will feel going into a photoshoot! Most photographers will guide and pose you during your sessions but it never hurts to be extra prepared.
5. CHOOSING A PHOTOGRAPHER
When the time finally comes to hire a photographer, there’s a few things to consider:
- Their editing style – does it match what you’re envisioning? Are you looking for editing that’s dark and moody? Clear and bright? Grainy and film inspired? As these styles are a form of a photographer’s artistry, it’s important to find a photographer whose vision and style align with yours so that you have a clear idea of what to expect for the final product!
- Do they seem like someone you could feel comfortable working with? Photoshoots can be a very vulnerable experience, and making sure you feel safe to be yourself is important to consider during your search.
- Does this photographer have any experience working with flutists/instrumentalists? While it’s not required, having that experience is a huge benefit so they can make sure your keys are properly aligned, the finger prints are wiped off prior, and that they’re never asking you to endanger your instrument.
I'd love to work together if you’re in Boston, Greater New England, or NYC! Have any other questions about poses or photoshoot tips? Ask away, my friend; I’d love to connect via Instagram or email!
You can find me on Instagram @taylorrossi photography or on my website www.taylorrossiphotography.com!