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Beginners’ Guide to Mermaid Photoshoots

Guest written by Tanya The Mermaid

Image by Candiiphotography

Shello! My name is Tanya. Within in the merfolk community I’m known as Mermaid Princess Tanya. Ever since I was 17 I decided to become a mermaid. Within past 8 years I have had the resources to do many photoshoots. It has been one shell of a ride looking back at my first photo compared to my most recent shoots! So much improvement has been made!

Image on left is from my first mersona photo taken by a friend in his backyard back in 2012. The image on the right is my recent mersona photo taken by Candiiphotohraphy in February 2020. As you can see, improvements are not made overnight, so don’t worry if your first portrait isn’t perfect! In this blog, I’ll be giving tips to the beginner merfolks on how to model for your first photoshoot!

Finding The Right Photographer

Booking a professional photographer is a great investment. They usually suggest flattering poses, take high quality photos, and know how to edit the photos. My personal favorite photographer is Candiiphotography! She is a DFW photographer who builds these cute sets and I always try to incorporate my mersona into her sets.

If anyone wants to book a photographer, make sure to check out their reviews and portfolio first! It’s also helpful if you know a photographer you can trust. Otherwise, bring a trusted friend, partner, or whoever to come with you to a shoot if you’re not sure! If any photographer asks you to come alone that’s a huge red flag to stay away from!

However, no one is required to book a professional photographer since I’m aware that not everyone can afford one. There’s always the option to ask a friend/family member and shoot from your own digital camera or smartphone! At least there is that security that you can trust a friend or a family member. There is also the option to set your smartphone/camera on a timer and take self portraits! Lots of mermaids also owns their own waterproof camera/housing. Finally, if you’re a beginner merfolk I don’t suggest doing an underwater shoot until you’re comfortable swimming in a tail and holding your breath underwater. Do dry shoots to test different poses.

Image by Candiiphotography

How to prepare for a mermaid shoot

Know what time, location, and date the shoot will be. The photographer you book might be someone you’re paying so it’s important to be punctual and respectful of their time. Otherwise if you’re taking your own photos you can be flexible!

Now that you decided to book the shoot, it’s time to decide what mermaid tail you want to wear to your shoot! Figure out accessories that would go well with your tail too! Never scramble on the day of the shoot by throwing together an outfit at the last minute! Save yourself the stress by figuring out your mersona’s design at least a week in advance. If you’re commissioning a tail and/or any accessories be sure to have those in procession before the shoot too!

Image by Candiiphotography

Practice doing makeup ahead of time! There are plenty of mermaid makeup tutorials on Youtube to watch to get some ideas. Otherwise, there is nothing wrong with doing a natural makeup look. I’ll admit that’s what I usually do for most photoshoots!

If you’re doing an underwater shoot, it is advised to practice swimming and opening eyes underwater ahead of time! Your safety and confidence underwater is important! If you want to look authentic it’s better to not wear goggles in an underwater mermaid photo.

These are not requirements, but a suggestion to amp up your mermaid game! Decide what props to use for the photoshoot. My favorite would be a dinglehopper or a trident. Other nautical items such as a conch shell or pearls necklaces are also great props to play with!

Image by Candiiphotography

High quality wigs can also look great in a mermaid portrait especially when they match your tail! Wigs are not required for those wondering, but if you do choose to wear a wig make sure you have it ahead of time! Make sure to brush it out with a wig brush and style it if needed. My favorite places to get wigs are Amazon and Ardawigs. Lace fronts are my favorite to use because the hairline looks natural. They also have built-in combs to keep your wig secured especially of you go underwater. I personally would stay away from Party City wigs because they are low quality and fake looking in my opinion.

Finally, it’s helpful to look up what poses to do for your shoot. Your photographer can suggest some poses, but it will make their job easier if you figured out poses ahead of time. Look up mermaid models on instagram or google for inspiration!

Pose Suggestions

As stated in my last paragraph it is helpful to look up different poses to do. However, here are some of my go-to poses that are flattering for anyone!

Image by Scott Fischer

Laying on your back will flatten your belly. This is great if you’re self conscious about your belly like me. Arching your back will make your chest bigger too! It will feel like a workout to arch your back on the ground, but do this enough times and you’ll get used to it.

Image by Candiiphotography.

I call this the “Ariel Pose” because this is what she does on the rock during “Part of Your World (Reprise).” It’s like doing the Cobra/Upward facing yoga position. This is a classic mermaid pose!

Image by David Hamblet

This pose is what is normally used for fashion shoots, but can be used in a mermaid shoot. It’s elegant and mer-jestic! Wearing a waist sash is helpful to cover a muffin top or your belly.

Image by Candiiphotography

The classic “Fins Up” pose is a simple classic! This can be a little more work with a silicone tail but still just as beautiful.

Image by Candiiphotography

If you’re doing a pool photoshoot, floating on your back is a good way to showcase the tail and accessories! It takes some practice beforehand to do this because floating on your back with a tail on is tricky!

Photoshoot Time So the time has come to model for your photoshoot! Make sure all the items you need is packed and ready to go before heading to the photoshoot! I tend to wear my mermaid top under my shirt, leggings, and crown before heading to the photoshoot. It saves me time and effort to put them on beforehand! Most mermaid tails should be able to fit in the back of the car or your trunk. If you have a mermaid tail bag or a big luggage those are helpful too!

Make sure to arrive with makeup already done to save yourself time. It would be best to show up maybe 30 minutes before the shoot. Always be respectful of the photographer’s time!

Play with different poses, props, and accessories! Remember that it can take a lot of practice to get beautiful the mermaid photos you desire! Don’t worry if your first photos aren’t perfect because improvements can be made later on. Being a mermaid is about having fun and bringing magic in each photo!

If you want to follow more of my mermaid modeling and cosplay here are my pages:

Instagram: Mermaidprincesstanya

Facebook: Mermaid Princess Cosplay

Youtube: GlassShoesProduction

Tik Tok: MermaidPrincesstanya

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