Mermaids are one of those creatures that have always fascinated me. Ever since Ariel, I’ve wanted to be a mermaid. I have tried my hand at some mermaid flavor before, but never did a full on mermaid shoot with an actual tail…….
Early this year, my photographer friend Ross happened to bestow upon me one of the eco tails from the Mertailor. Much cheaper than the silicone tails with all the mermaid fun! We did a shoot in a studio in February and I learned that being a mermaid is not easy. For one thing, once the tail goes on, there’s no more of that walking stuff, that is simply impossible. When I needed to move from one back drop to another, I actually couldn’t do it. What we ended up doing to get me over there without taking the tail off, was I flopped my way onto a tarp and Ross and our accompanying photographer Tasha dragged me over to the pace I needed to be.
It was a very awkward and humbling experience, let me tell you. lol
Working in the studio was one thing, but actually shooting on a beach was a whole other realm of difficult. In July, I was a mermaid once again with Zappone Photography and learned first hand that shooting on a beach is not easy. Wind is to be expected, but you don’t really think about the wind and the sand combo until you are sitting on the ground. I got sad in my eyes so much I teared up. I also learned the hard way that false lashes may look great…..but don’t work so well on the beach with the wind and water. Another vastly important note is this: shooting outside in the early afternoon on a sunny day is an awful, awful idea. In order to have my face in the light properly I was forced to look directly into the sun….over and over. Trust me not a fun experience. Luckily, we still managed to get some great shots:
If I get to shoot on a beach again I will definitely abide by the following tips, and if you are a model/photographer, you should too :
- On a sunny day, shoot before or after “high noon”. Best times to shoot outside, as a general rule, are before the sun is directly above you in the sky. Around noon-3pm the light can be particularly harsh. This may force the shoot to be either really early, or just around sunset, but it will be a lot more bearable in the end for the model, trust me.
- Leave the falsies at home when shooting on the beach. the wind and the moisture will not be kind. Your lashes will be coming off within minutes, especially on a windy day, so opt for mascara. Also, don’t bother with doing your hair. The wind will toss your hair everywhere and that’s okay. Roll with it.
- If you can, try to go out when it is overcast. Having some cloud cover is good, and another bonus from that is beaches are generally less crowded when it is not a sunny day, so you won’t have to worry about photo bombers.
Finding flattering poses can be difficult in full mermaid as well. When the average person sits down, you have rolls. IT HAPPENS. The best way to cure that problem, I found, was to elongate the torso. Arching the back helps, also leaning back or lying down will work. The best poses to show off the tail are to lay on your stomach and flip the tail up. This produced some of my favorite shots.
Either studio or on location, mermaid shoots can be difficult but also a lot of fun and an amazing addition to your portfolio! My next goal: underwater shots! We’ll see how that goes, when the time comes.
Until next time…..