FS photographer recommends

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Here it is – off-season! That’s the time for thinking, creating and preparing. I mean for adult skaters. We have a lot of memories from passed season, someone has a lot of pics: favourites and pics where “I look here so-so”. I think it’s the right moment to listen to a professional FS photographer, a person who is watching us attentively though the camera. And now we have such a prof! Natasha Ponarina is well-known not only among adult skaters, but among publishers, and not only in Russia, but abroad as well. She loves FS and skaters, and her works reflect it.  Her recommendations with no doubt will be useful for adult skaters and will help to keep the memories of happy and thrilling moments on ice in good pictures where nothing spoils nothing.

Natasha Ponarina

Natasha Ponarina: “I have been photographing FS for many years, and no matter if I take a picture of a kid or the Olympic Champion, I always see a skater, and I know how hard they work to perform, to compete and to achieve.  When I see an adult skaters on ice – I admire because it is really challenging  — to enter the ice being a grown-up. I respect their hard work and persistence.

To perform on ice adult skaters must throw away a lot of doubts, stereotypes and complexes. Working on adult competitions I try my best to make great pics for them.

That’s really pity that many adult skaters underestimate themselves and do not order photos.

But I always say you can see on a photo more than you see on video, photo camera captures the moments, shows your emotions and mimics, your mood and posture  and having good pics you have good material for work over mistakes.   At the same time video reveals your level – sometimes lack of speed or some unclean elements, a good photo could make you a star!  By the way people look through their photos more often than watch videos.

Maybe you perform some element only for 2-3 seconds, a photographer can catch it making a great pic that your friends and family will admire. And it will be a good reason for performing the same elements even better. You just wave your arm during your performance, and sometimes judges and audience miss it, and photographer can catch that moment and you can see not only your gracefully waving arm but your inspired glance on it at that moment.

It is very important how a skater looks like on the ice.

You would look better on photo in a costume that combines contrast colors or shades, not white or light blue, rose or pale yellow – those colors blend in with ice. Very often there are dirty boards in the rinks and it is difficult for optics to stay focused on pale colors.

Plese, no velvet dresses, they are so childish.

The male look is often spoiled by short trousers that don’t cover boots and short waist, that open naked backs and below in sit spins for example.

Be careful with dresses which parts imitating skin: net fabric should be the same shade that your skin and your tights. Otherwise, a skater looks like a doll made-up from different details. Don’t forget about face – it also should be the same shade.  Very often a skater has arms, legs, backs and face of different shades and it spoils a pic for sure.

White skates look great on photos.

If your dress is black it is better to use bright make-up, a photo will be better with red lips and clearly outlined eyes.

Try to avoid gloves, they hide the beauty of your arms.  Thus happens a skater performs an exquisite move and on the photo we can see holey gloves. And the photo is absolutely ruined!

I am against boot covers, especially for men.  Male black boots with covered heel don’t look masculine, they look like valenki.  And ladies too – try to avoid covers and let the heel be seen.  And if you can’t skate without boot covers be sure that it covers your boots completely.

Making the program pay attention to composition because even very-well performed beautiful element can be lost in the wrong place of the rink.  Sometimes skaters perform elements turning their back to judges and so to a photographer. 

During your performance watch you mimics and don’t let your tongue out.

Performing spirals and exits from elements try to prolong the movement a little for judges to estimate and for a photographer to take a pic. Remember Carolina Kostner who performs the whole rink beautiful spirals and how audience always like it.

Have finished don’t drop the final pose at once, count up to 5 at least, and thanking judges and audince don’t look down into the ice. And again smile)«

That’s the view from out the boards by Natasha Ponarina. I think these recommendations are useful for adult skaters because nobody wants to be imprinted for  history with the tongue out skating in valenki. And great photos are joy both for skaters and photographers.

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