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Q&A with photographers. A guide to everything you need to know for your Pole Photoshoot.

Now I have done my fair share of photoshoots, many of which have been pole photoshoots and I think they are the most incredible self-love project you can do. But what if it is your first time and you have no idea where to start? I have contacted my 3 favourite photographers and got them to answer all the questions you could possibly have. Whether it is your 1st or 100th time Ray Marsha, Helen Knox and Juliette Lemon are here to help you have the most amazing experience and walk away with stunning photos you will treasure forever.

1. What is the most asked question you get from people who are looking to do their first pole shoot and what is your response?

Ray: My most asked question is definitely “I'm a beginner/I have only been doing pole for a few months, can I still do a pole shoot?” And the answer is 100% absolutely yes! Pole shoots, much like pole are for every person. Levels are irrelevant for photoshoots, we're here to make gorgeous art and capture your personality. They are also a great way to capture your progress and boost your confidence so why not do a shoot earlier in your journey.  

Helen: How many moves do I need to do? I always answer with how ever many you feel you can achieve in your time slot. Keep it simple and within your comfort zone, make sure they are moves you are comfortable doing a few times over

Lemon: The most common question I receive is usually, "I've never done a photoshoot before; what should I expect?" My answer is first and foremost, relax! The atmosphere during the shoot is super laid-back and tonnes of fun. We'll work together to capture your unique style, work through a range of moves and have a giggle in the process so that your personality shines through too. Communication and preparation is key, so feel free to share your ideas and preferences before the shoot and even before each move so we can really get you looking your best. I do pole myself so I can totally relate to what you’re experiencing. By gently directing you into your positions, I will help you look great for the shots and feel at ease too. It's all about making you feel comfortable and confident, resulting in stunning images that reflect the real you.

2. What are the top 3 things you would recommend to bring to your shoot?

Ray: First things first, a plan. It's good to have a plan even if it's loose, of what you wish to capture in your session. It doesn’t have to be written down on a chart (although those people that bring those are amazing) but as long as you have an idea what you wish to capture, even if it's just screenshots of some shapes you love. Then you hopefully won’t leave the shoot wishing you had done this or that. 

Second is Water and maybe a little snack like a banana or something. Shoots can be physically tough. Even posing is tough, trust me. Water is always good for you and the snack is just in case you need a little kick of energy.

Third and final is grip! If you use it, bring it. 

Helen: Grip & a flannel - it gets hot quick A list or ideally pics of the moves youd like to achieve An outfit change incase you dont feel comfortable in your first choice

Lemon: Comfortable Pole Attire. Bring a variety of outfits that make you feel confident and showcase your personality. Vibrant colours and bold patterns tend to work well. If you have specific grip aids or accessories you love, bring them along. Knee pads, heels, and any other items that are part of your signature style will enhance your shoot.

Your Favourite Tunes. We’ll pop your playlist on which will be the perfect sound track for you to get into ‘the zone’ and bust out brilliant moves on the pole.

Positive Energy and Open Mind. Come with a positive attitude, ready to have fun and try new things. An open mind allows for creativity and spontaneity during the shoot, resulting in unique and captivating images.

3. What is the most important thing to prepare for your shoot?

Ray: It's the moves and shapes for sure! You need to make sure you're comfortable in them and that you feel safe executing them on your own without a spot. It can also be helpful to practice getting  the right angle for some poses too. If you are comfortable on spin, we can give you a little push, however if not then it's super helpful to know which way you need to enter a trick so that you aren’t facing away from the camera. If something isn’t working on the day though, don’t worry. I have a plethora of shapes and poses for you to try instead depending on your level. 

I also find people tend to show me poses or moves that someone else has created and although that’s great to take Inso from others, just remember that bodies are different and it may not look exactly on you how it will look in that reference photo, but the cool thing is that you can make it your own and give it a sprinkle of your own magic! 

Another is outfit! Make sure your outfits work with your poses and shapes, same as you would preparing for a completion or a showcase. 

Helen: Feeling comfortable and confident in the moves you want to achieve. If you dont feel either itll come across in the finished picture

Lemon: The most crucial preparation is to be yourself! Authenticity shines through in photographs. Practise your favourite moves, choose outfits that reflect your style, and trust the process. Embrace the experience with confidence, and we'll create magic together.

4. What can a student expect once they have done their shoot?

Ray: Hopefully they feel great and have a little post shoot buzz! That’s the goal, however more specifically.. they will receive their proofs (this means all of their images unedited and watermarked) via email a couple of days after. There they can select their selection for their final edits. 

If they are unsure or there are some similar, I'll be available to help them choose. Then once the selection is made I'll get working on them and get them back to you so they are perfect and ready to share!

Helen: A huge sense of achievement and feeling like a rockstar when they see their images

Lemon: After the shoot, you can expect a sneak peek of some of the best shots. Once the final images are ready, you'll receive a beautifully curated collection capturing your strength and grace. It's a moment to celebrate your achievements and showcase your unique style on social media or in a stunning album.

5. What is a preconception that just isn’t true of pole photography

Helen: Hmmmm interesting one. From a none poler I'd say they would assume it was a seedy thing to do. From polers I'd say that shoots are expensive for just a pic - the taking the pic is the easier (fun) part. The editing is the longer time consuming part

Lemon: A common misconception is that you need to be an advanced pole dancer to have a photoshoot. This is far from true! Pole photography is for everyone, regardless of skill level. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, we can create images that highlight your journey and individuality.

6. How would you recommend students go about finding the right photographer for them?

Ray: Instagram is a great way to find photographers! There are some amazing pole photographers in the UK so there’s so many to choose from but everyone has their own take on pole photography which I love . I think generally take a look at their work, and see if you vibe with it and if you do, feel free to email and ask questions if you have any. Many studios host photoshoot days so that’s also a great and safe way to try out different photographers especially if you are based in a different location to the pole photographer. Maybe even contact your studio and see if they can host them one day for a shoot day! Me personally, as a pole photographer LOVE visiting studios and working with groups of people and individuals at their home studios. 

Helen: Ensuring that you have looked at their style of photogaphy. Editing, lighting, colour choices to ensure you like their work. Also ask others who have shot with them for feedback on their experience or read reviews.

Lemon: Research is key! Look for photographers with experience in pole photography who understand the unique challenges and beauty of pole fitness. Check portfolios to ensure their style aligns with your vision. Reviews and recommendations from other pole enthusiasts can also be valuable in finding the right fit.

7. What is your favourite thing about being a pole photographer?

Helen: Meeting some many bad ass humans! I love seeing how happy people are after they have achieved some awesome badassery on the pole

Lemon: I love the real and meaningful connections I create with the people I photograph. I’m welcomed into their pole journey to capture stunning shots and to me, it feels like the photos celebrate their hard work, commitment and success in pole. Capturing their strength and the beauty of their form really is an honour. Seeing the beaming smile on their face as I show the shots on the back of my camera during the shoot then receiving glowing feedback upon delivery of photos is so fulfilling. I especially love working with students I’ve photographed previously as it is so joyous to see and document their progress.

8. What is your favourite photo you have ever taken?

Ray: Oohh that’s hard. I have so many in mind. It's all down to the amazing dancers I photograph. 

Probably my most memorable is one of my lovely friends Alice, it was one of my first ever pole shots back in 2018 and she’s literally doing a scissor sit but  I feel like it was the first time I realised I could and wanted to pursue this full time. It was the first image that showed my “style” even though it’s definitely changed and improved a lot since then thankfully 😆

But I love it and it still gets shown to me to this day as reference when shooting which is really nice! 

A female in a Pole Layout
Ray's fave photo

Helen: Ohhhh thats a hard one. Gotta be this bad boy.

A female poler in an Iguana
Helen's Fave Photo

Lemon: Any and all of your photos Alex!

Alex in a Jade Split
Lemon's Fave Photo

Well I don't know about you but that has got me excited to book a shoot! I truly hope this Q&A with our glorious photographers was the perfect guide to everything you need to know for your next Pole Photoshoot. Who's joining me, what moves are you going to do, and most importantly... What are you going to wear?


Alex :)

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