Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

Review: A water photoshoot with Ultimate Skating Image

I have a really exciting post to be sharing today! On Saturday 22nd May I attended a skating photoshoot day, scheduled by Kelly (of Kelly Sheffield Off Ice School) and Simon from GB Dance Stars. I had the photos back today, so thought I would write up a whole blog review for anyone who is interested in having a photoshoot, but hasn't yet tried.

Before I get into it, the first thing I want to say is I was SO NERVOUS, but ended up having a really fabulous time.

Background information

Unfortunately due various lockdowns the photoshoot had to be postponed twice! From the original December date, and again from a re-schedule in December. Each time Kelly let us know in advance what was happening and that she would let us know in plenty of time when the new date would be. As it turned it, the rescheduled date was actually my fiancé's birthday! But after waiting such a long time he insisted that I went.

It was a shame for it to be postponed 5 months, but it gave me a chance to start personal training sessions to increase my confidence, prepare my outfits and practice my flexibility for the poses.

Prior to the shoot

Around 2 weeks in advance of the photoshoot Kelly emailed around an itinerary for the day alongside a disclaimer to sign regarding using our own skates and clothing. I was a little bit stressed out as even after all this time I hadn't decided what to wear! I'd been ordering so many different outfits and returning them because they didn't fit or weren't a suitable material (we were advised not to wear black and to make sure anything we chose didn't go see-through when wet)

Luckily I was slightly more organised with my makeup prep and my skates. My friend Shigh had lent me a pair of her old blades and I still had my Chorus boots (despite being a size too small) to fit them to. For makeup we had to make sure it was waterproof (no panda eyes allowed!) so I'd ordered a 100% Waterproof mascara and two colours of  lip tint from Boots and tested them in the shower to make sure they stayed on with no smudging. I didn't wear any foundation for a week and made sure I kept up my skincare every night, Typically, two spots still erupted on my chin anyway!

2 days before the photoshoot I decided on my floaty white dress and my favourite purple skating dress after spending an evening trying things on then jumping in the shower to hose myself down and test the material. I already had a nude strapless bra (absolutely essential - can't go braless when you're a 32H!) and picked up some nude seamless pants from Asda. Both dresses had built-in leotards to hide whichever pants I wore, but I knew I'd feel better with nude ones just in case.

On the day

I woke up really early on the day so we had plenty of time to open Adi's presents before I started to get ready. I curled my hair and applied my natural-look makeup. Even though I knew my hair would get wet, it made me feel more confident having it done!

I arrived at the swimming pool in Sheffield at 1:30pm and we spent around half an hour getting everything set up, going through the itinerary of the day and getting changed into our first outfits. Kelly had pinned pictures from previous shoots on the wall for pose inspiration, and I had already screenshot some I'd seen on Instagram. We wrote down our chosen poses so Kelly could direct us (no pressure though, we could change them if we wanted to or if we struggled with the position), and then the fun began!

The pool was set up with a black backdrop which went into the water from the side of the pool and was held underneath the water by weights. In the middle of the water was a flat black platform. In the water were two helpers, who used small buckets to aim the water splashes at us. To get to the platform I had to crawl on my hands and knees onto a foam floaty, which one of the helpers then floated across the pool with me on it! That was probably the scariest bit, crouching on my hands and knees with my bum in the air, praying I didn't fall off the floaty and into the pool!

Once on the platform Kelly talked through and demonstrated each pose for me, adding little variations in hand and arm position, looking up and down etc. I had been horribly nervous up until this point, but as soon as I got into my first pose I really enjoyed myself! Simon was a wonderful photographer too, and was so enthusiastic that it made the anxiety all disappear straight away.

I had two rounds of photos in two different outfits, however you could have three if you wanted to do a jumping shot at the end. I had a range of poses including standing, lunging, and sitting on a prop. I also had a few with a hair flick, with both wet and dry hair (Simon said I had a lovely hair colour which was really kind of him!) 

I didn't even get properly wet (apart from my bum and feet) until my final pose, where I had a bucket of water thrown straight up my body. I wasn't expecting it to go straight up my nose and screwed up my face! But the picture still came out just right. I finished my second round of poses by 4:30, but as it's so much fun to watch everyone else's it didn't feel like 3 hours at all.

Out of all the things I was worried about (falling in the pool, falling off the platform, mascara running, getting my head underwater, not being able to do my poses) NONE of them happened. There was really nothing to worry about at all, I wish I hadn't wasted months stressing about it as I had the best time.

After the shoot

The next evening I received the proofs of my photo from Kelly via email, and I was SO EXCITED! I had about 35 photos overall, and I had to narrow that down to the 4 that were included in the price of the shoot, and any extras would be £25 each. I'm not being dramatic when I say it took me hours to decide on my photos! I first when through them on my phone, making a note of which ones I liked, then did the same again on Adi's laptop, sent the shortlist to my friends, then finally sat with my dad at his computer going through each and every photo from the day.

I ended up choosing 8 photos in total. 4 included and pair paid for, and they arrived via WeTransfer the following morning (Monday 24th). I couldn't be happier with my choices. I absolutely love each and every one of them, and they made me feel so happy and confident.

Final thoughts...

Overall I had the most AMAZING time. The whole day cost me £260 (£80 deposit when booking, £80 on the day, £100 for 4 additional photos) and it was worth every single penny. Kelly and Simon were so professional and made it all incredibly fun and empowering. Their passion was so inspiring and you could tell 100% that they love what they do.

I definitely want to do another one ASAP!

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