August 31, 2010

How To: Procure A Partner With Perfect Pictures!

If you or your kid are looking for a skating partner, I don't need to tell you how hard it is to get one. It's not enough that the person needs to live close enough and have compatible training times. Oh no, then come the physiological constraints. Height, weight, mass, ability, and yes, financial capacity (shock horror!).
So we all know how hard is it to find that perfect match, whether you be in pairs or dance. You're probably either aware of, or actively using, the website IcePartnerSearch.Com or another partner search resource such as the one over at Ice-Dance.Com. So how are you going to stand out from the masses? That's what we're going to look at today.

The obvious answer to the above question is "well, I'm a great skater! Who wouldn't want to partner me?!". That's all fine and well, but those prospective folks from out of town don't necessarily know how great you are, certainly not just by reading an autobiography of 3 paragraphs. And anyway, why should they believe you? After all, you're trying to sell yourself.

This is where the title of this post comes into play. Pictures. Photos of you, looking your best. Skating and non-skating alike. If you sift through the majority of profiles on aforementioned sites, you're going to find a lot of webcam images, or worse, self-held-camera-arm-in-view shots. So you're serious about finding a partner, just not serious enough to ask someone else to take a decent image of you? That's not gonna work.

On Ice
Use some nice skating pictures from recent competitions (recent to define your silhouette, and current skating abilities. No use using a picture from 3 seasons ago). Avoid podium photos. They feel showy and show nothing of your skating ability. Positions in full extension are best and will show off your lines better than a starting or finishing pose. Think spirals, ina bauers, laybacks. No images of you mid-cross-over. Who's that gonna impress?

If you decide to take some shots during training, wear make-up (if age appropriate obviously), wear a pretty dress or an all-black outfit to show your lines. A partner needs to know by looking at photos whether physically, you might be a match. Try to avoid taking pictures at the end of the session when you're tired and your hair is falling out. Fresh faced and ready for action is the message you're trying to send.

Use at least one good headshot. If you're a natural stunner, then lucky you, this'll help. Sad, but true. If you don't know anyone available to take some really good images of yourself, use a pro or semi-pro photographer. You can use networking websites such as ModelMayhem.Com to get in touch with people in your area willing to shoot "TF". This stands for "time for", and is usually completed with P (for prints), or CD (for a CD of the images from the shoot). You won't pay the photographer for his/her time, and you won't get any money back as their model. They can use the images they have taken of you in their portfolios, and so can you (in this case, your "portfolio" is your partner search profile page).

If you go down this route, exercise caution as you would when meeting anyone from the internet. Go accompanied, and meet in a public place. You can usually browse their portfolios and see who else the photographer has worked with, and contact said people to get references. Discuss your preferred style with the photographer in advance, and decide on a location (relaxed park shots or more formal studio images?).

Having (semi) pro shots is going to help your profile stand out. The more you tend your profile page, the more traffic it will get (your professional photo is going to make folks want to click your link more than others!), and hopefully, just maybe... this will lead to the perfect partner!

Until next time, keep looking your best !

1 comment

  1. Great post! My daughter is a professional ice dancer now, but she actually had her best luck finding partners through her coaches. I think that IcePartnerSearch and are wonderful as well. I had never heard of Model Mayhem before. What a great resource!

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