www.thehoodedlens.com - we knew exactly what we wanted! We were very much of one (tribal) mind (as we are about most things, bar Slipknot). We dance Gypsy Caravan style because we love it - love the joy, light, colour, laughter, sense of connection. That's what we want to portray when we dance, and that's what we wanted to come across in our photos. Yes, it would be nice to get some beautiful, serene shots, but we also wanted to get across the naughty side of Sakura - the fun, friendship, sisterhood and sheer shenanigans that we get up to most of the time when we're together.
We even managed to get a rather arty shot, albeit unintentionally - how do you like Samuel Luke Fildes' 'An Al Fresco Toilette' - Sakura style?!
So, with all that in mind, how exactly did we end up with such fabulous photos? This is what worked for us ..... we aren't exactly the world's most experienced models, but some of this might just help you!
1) Use a photographer whose work you like and who you get along with and can be yourself with (we are lucky to have a couple such folk here in North West England!) That photographer/model relationship is so important!
2) Be really clear about the image you want to portray in your photos (we have a really strong sense of identity of ourselves as dancers and that's what we wanted to come across!)
3) Be realistic about that image (Let's face it - I was never going to look like Rachel Brice now was I?!)
4) TALK! Before, during and after the shoot. Talk to one another if you're in a troupe, talk to your photographer. Share examples of photos/styles you like ... make sure you all know exactly what it is you're after, from both sides!
5) Choose your location and costuming carefully so they fit the image you want to portray
6) Be flexible and open to different ideas -- we had our own thoughts, but Ian had some great ideas too and they all worked! It's a two way thing!
7) Laugh! Relax! Have fun! We had one another to play off ... if you feel really nervous it might be worth taking a friend along who helps you to feel more laid back!
8) Finally - when you get those photos through (squeal!) look at them through the eyes of love! Be kind to yourself! Don't get a magnifying glass out on those wrinkles, don't scour them for that stray grey hair, don't lament the fact that you aren't supermodel thin! What you see there is YOU, you in all your shining glory, just as you are, your own unique self! And you are beautiful!!
Huge, huge, HUGE thanks go to Ian Woodward for sharing his talent with us so wonderfully - visit his site, The Hooded Lens, here to see more shots of us and get a taste of his other work! Thank you to Jan's husband, Ian, for arranging the location for us, guarding the various belongings that we left strewed gaily around the walled garden and for the coffee. Thank you to Tribal Jane for deigning to make a guest appearance, to the security staff for helping out in various ways and to the audience member who waved and shouted 'You're beautiful' to us as we sat on the hall steps!
And mega huge thank-yous to one another - to us Sakura sisters - who had such good times and will continue to dance on as our photos portray - in love, light, joy, colour and sisterhood. Tribal Rocks!