A photoshoot is a fantastic way to capture all your hard work on your chosen apparatus professionally. Many “beginner” movements look amazing in photos, so photoshoots are not just for the “higher-level” folks. A photoshoot of any kind is an investment, so you probably want to be as prepared as possible. This can include things like getting your hair and make-up done, buying new outfits, and maybe learning some new shapes (but make sure you are confident before trying them in front of a camera).

I host photoshoots from my own Pole and Aerial Studio, Aradia Fitness Calgary. We are lucky to have a great setup for both pole and aerial, so I can easily set up backdrops and lighting. I also travel to studios, bringing all my equipment with me. I am a pole and aerial coach, which is so beneficial for photoshoots. Having someone who understand pole and aerial helps a lot in setting up the shot, conserving energy and getting the right angles.

Before the Shoot

Preparation before the shoot is what will help your success the most. Below are a few things to think about and put together ahead of time.


Pick tricks and poses that you are comfortable getting into and holding. You may get adjustments for your shape/hands/toes/etc. The photographer may try to get multiple angles if the apparatus is spinning.


Simple outfits can work very well for a photoshoot. Consider your background colour when choosing outfit colours. Pole outfits, lingerie, dresses, shoes or no, anything can go! Try practicing in your outfits and shoes ahead of time to ensure you can do the moves in them. Consider bringing or booking with a friend if you need an outfit wrangler. If you have costume changes, figure out how long they take so your time isn't completely eaten up.


Practice everything you might do during your photoshoot. Wear your outfits, shoes, test out any props you might have. Sometimes it can be an option to spin the apparatus to get different or the right angle - try spinning ahead of time. Think about your lines, hands, toes, expression. Record yourself to see what you are doing.


A list of moves is one of the most important things you can bring with you. Your photographer doesn't know what you know. And your brain may forget everything you know on the spot. Some people organize the moves according to outfit, difficulty, by shoes, etc. When you arrive, set out all your items for easy access.


Props can be a fun way to make your images unique, and show off your personality and even other hobbies. I’ve even had human and animal “props” show up for a shoot. If you would like to bring an animal, make sure it is okay with your studio or the location that the shoot is happening. On the left are some of my favourite prop photos – from cheeseburgers, to ice skates to books, these clients had some fun ideas!

Coloured Backgrounds

Coloured backgrounds are a new option I have started offering for my shoots and can create eye-catching photos. Because my set up is mobile, the coloured background set up limits poses and shapes to within the width of the paper backdrop. Some considerations for these types of shoots include outfit colour choices, avoiding shapes that are long horizontally and make up and accessory colours.

During the Shoot

There are some things you can do the day of the shoot and during to help you feel the most comfortable and ready to show off.

If possible, try to keep your day mostly open before your photoshoot to keep you relaxed and unhurried. Give yourself lots of time to do your hair and make-up or to get it done by someone else.

Have a light meal before your photoshoot and keep snacks on hand that are high in energy but that won’t upset or bloat your stomach. Make sure you have been hydrating leading up to the shoot.

Calgary, where I am based, is very dry so people actually do use lotion to help their grip. Maintain whatever works for you through the week and day leading up to the shoot. In some cases, it’s absolutely no lotion.

Start with some simple moves to boost your confidence and to see how you feel under the lights and in front of the camera. Then try some of your hardest moves. It’s good to have a few attempts, but if it isn’t working for whatever reason, move on and try something else. You can always come back to a move. Take breaks in between your attempts. I set up my shoots so that there is ample time to get the allotted shots/moves in – in fact we can usually get quite a bit more poses if everything is going well.

Poses will generally have to be done one at a time and not in a combo. Lights may need to be moved, the apparatus may need to be adjusted, the angle from the combo may not work, and so on.

What to bring:

  • Outfits/shoes/props
  • List of moves
  • Grip aids
  • Towel/alcohol if not provided
  • Brush/make-up for touch ups/hair accessories
  • Wipes
  • Water/Snacks