Flash Shoot: Aerial Edition happened this weekend!
This shoot was a little bit like leaping into the unknown. I've mentioned before that flash shoots are one of our favorite setups, since it means everyone gets to see the images right away - including me! - and we don't leave with any editing work to add to our queue. But we didn't know if the 15-minute time slot would work as well for aerialists as it does for pole dancers. With pole, you can mix it up with floorwork, tricks, spins, and simple poses. Would the aerialists have the stamina to bust out their tricks for 15 minutes with no rest time? Would we be able to capture as much movement? Would the lighting we wanted to use even work?
As it turns out, we shouldn't have worried. 15 minutes is MORE than enough time for these badasses to make magic in the air! On top of that, aerialists seem to be much less likely to want a photo of some crazy trick they've never attempted before. Reaching a little beyond your repertoire isn't a bad thing at all, but trying to get a photo of something totally new to you does eat up a whole lot of time and energy. So we ended up with about a million photos for each person!
The downside of having a ton of awesome shots is the time it takes to cut them down to a manageable number. I edit every single day, so I can pretty much instantly decide whether to keep or discard a photo. But our clients aren't nearly so practiced, and this ended up being our biggest speedbump. When it takes 15 minutes to capture the photos, but 30 minutes to edit them... we ended up with quite a backlog! A huge thank you to our epically patient aerialists.
Happily, the candy-colored lighting that we had been loving for the pole photos worked just as well for aerialists. They flipped, spun, twirled and twisted themselves into amazing shapes all night. One of the upsides of aerial tricks is that they are designed by nature to be viewed "in the round." Aerialists often perform for an audience that surrounds them, so there are fewer poses that have a "front" - the way that some pole tricks do. All of the angles are beautiful!
We're always delighted when our clients like the unexpected photos, things that happen in between tricks, or when their hair whips around and we catch them at a strange angle. Sitting down with each person to choose the photos after their session, I was surprised how frequently they wanted to have the odd shot. Not necessarily the pretty one, where they look like an angel in flight, but the moody, weird shot. Many times, Joe and I fall in love with these shots, but they end up on the cutting room floor because they're not necessarily flattering. The photo below is an example of this kind of thing. Love!
This shoot had a great mix of familiar and new faces. Many of those who came had never done an aerial photoshoot before - total newbies! Those who had been to our shoots before came just to capture a new pose or get a few photos for an upcoming promotion. These are EXACTLY the people we hope to serve with a flash shoot, so it's great to know that our idea is successful. In theory, the way our shoots are designed and priced will actually be useful for our clients, not only convenient/profitable for us.
We finally left the studio at nearly 1am, after sending out the last of the photos, striking our gear and cleaning up. It was an absolutely nonstop night fueled by dim sum and chocolate cupcakes (thank you Danielle)! But we had a wonderful time collaborating with all these talented people, and it was especially great to check out the new Aeriform Arts space! Going from a tiny single room barely 10 feet high, to a huge, light-filled two-room space with truss rigging and seemingly endless height must be like a dream for owners Lea and Al. We're already looking forward to the next collaboration in this fabulous space.