Dance Photography

How to Host a Neon Black Light Glow in the Dark Dance Photography Photoshoot


Want to add some more tools into your Dance Photography Tool Belt?

Host a black light glow in the dark body paint photo shoot! 

This kind of shoot takes a little planning and some basic photography skills, but is quite simple to do!

One of the most important factors is understanding how to shoot in very low light.  There are a variety of black lights you can use, but I chose to use three of THESE KIND of black lights I found on Amazon. I used simple zip ties to attach them to a normal photography light stand so that I could adjust the height of them depending on if the dancer was standing, or on the ground.  They do still have a slight “directional” type of lighting to them, as I discovered when I thought I could just place them on the floor.  I found that the “uplighting” was too severe and not at all flattering.  You definitely want to be able to light your subject from a proper height as you would in any other kind of photography.  I did these right inside my garage with just a simple black cloth backdrop, and a piece of black vinyl marley flooring on the ground.  (I do use 1/2 inch thick foam padding under my marley for dancer safety during leaps, etc).

As for your camera settings, you need to have a relatively high ISO so that your shutter speed can in turn be high enough to freeze motion in the low light. I almost always choose to shoot with a “wide open” aperture, meaning a lower number such as 2.0 or 2.8 depending on how low your particular lens will let you go.  It may be helpful to use a tripod, but anytime I have tried, I always end up just hand holding, just a personal preference.  Since your subject will be moving as they are dancers, a tripod doesn’t make much sense anyway.  I try to keep my shutter speed higher than 250 for these particular kind of shots, and generally have my dancers only do poses they can hold relatively well for a second or two.  It is possible to capture a leap, turn or kick, you will just need to bump that ISO up temporarily, and then bring it back down for the more stable poses.

Body paint dance photography is a super creative way for dancers to be able to express themselves in unique ways outside the dance studio.  It washes off easily and is endlessly creative! I like to suggest a wardrobe that has some colors, not much black or white, and no small prints.  All black will just be black, and all white will be a bright glowing spot in your image, you can tell from the photos here what kind of clothing, leotards and dance wear works best for glow paint black light portraits.  We had fun with my Ambassador Team – they enjoyed painting each other, coming up with words that allowed them to express themselves, and it was a great team building exercise.

I did a quick search on Amazon for the best types of glow in the dark, black light body paint, black light make up, nail polish and. more.  Here are the links to what I have used in the past, as well as a link to the particular camera and lens I used in this shoot.  However, you can use just about any camera you have handy.

Have fun and I HOPE YOU GLOW!!!!



Much Love,


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