Making your fire spinner look good (or ugly)

One of the first things I had to get over when shooting fire spinners (or having photos taken of me fire spinning) was that no matter how a shot’s taken, there’s a nonzero chance the subject is going to look…odd.  They might look angry and frustrated, they might look different than how I normally remember them, or at worst they might look downright ugly.

But once you understand the reason this happens, it lets you relieve yourself of a certain feeling of responsibility or failure, and it isn’t as surprising or frustrating when you see those “bad” looks.  These three videos are the most powerful explanations I’ve found.

Notice anything strange when pausing this video at different points?

No computer animation, no photoshopping, no switching out models, just one woman.  And I’m betting you can make her look like three or four or more different people – some better looking than others – just by pausing at different points.

Same thing with the older video it refers to, which features a man as well.  I don’t find it as powerful as the newer one because the actors aren’t trying to keep their facial expression constant, but it still gets the idea across:

http://youtu.be/IEyt2z1fuNA?t=44s

For a little more narration, there’s Joe Edelman’s the story of the egg

I’m betting you can already see how this applies to fire spinners:

20130921-IMG_9932 20130921-IMG_9933 20130921-IMG_9931 20130921-IMG_9929 20130921-IMG_9930 20130921-IMG_9928 20130921-IMG_9927 20130921-IMG_9926

You’re better off not stressing over how some pictures won’t look perfect.  In your more patient moments, practice enough that you learn what you want.  The rest of the time, “let go” enough to just have fun spinning or watching someone spin, and enjoy the exceptionally-taken moments when they do happen.

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