We’ve talked about your body positions and the way the camera can warp a 3 dimensional object. We’ve talked about your facial expressions and eye positions. Frankly, this is an awful lot to keep in your head, and trying too hard can lead to stiff, sterile pictures. At some point we have to let go and breathe some life into your images!
In some ways this we embark on a silly, Sisyphean task each time we photograph dance. We’re going to take movement- something designed to take place through time and 3 dimensional space- and squash it into a 2 dimensional instant where no time ever passes. No wonder it’s easy for dance images to start to look posed. Boring. Not everything has to be a big, explosive jump though. Quiet images can still have life and energy- we just have to be sure we’re supplying that life and energy. Sometimes this is as easy as a little breeze through your hair or skirt. Often, it means moving through a position instead of trying to hold it like some big dance statue. Sink into a lunge, reach, fall through, lean, stretch, MOVE. You’re a dancer- dance. It’s my job to freeze your action, not yours.
Hear me first- your safety is paramount. The world of a dancer is already treacherous and tenuous enough. No image is worth injury, and you are the only person who knows what’s going on inside your body. Never suffer in silence.
However, it’s not always our natural inclination to do hard things. Not dangerous things, but difficult things. You have to push yourself. Arch further, stretch more, point your darn toes. At the end of a dance session you should be three things: tired, sore and proud of yourself.
Here are the the first two articles in this series. I hope they help you feel prepared for your session!
Part One: Body Position
Part Two: Facial Expressions and Zombie Eyes
Featuring Dancers Colby Foss, Morgan Sicklick, Sharmaine Perea, Sabrina Gentry, Abbey McWhirter and Gwen Phillips
Love the article and your dance imagery even more! Beautiful job showcasing these talented ladies and gentlemen.
What a great idea for a post for your dancers to read before their sessions! Sounds like excellent advice!
powerful images and lovely guide!
Gosh I love your work. These images are beautiful and the dancers are so talented!
What a great series! I love these tips for adding energy to photos!
What an amazing set of images! I am in awe of dancers! Great set of tips too.
Gosh these are gorgeous! You did an amazing job capturing the skill & movement of these talented folks! Lovely!!
All of your work is so stunning! And such a smart idea to put together a little guide, it can be so nerve-wracking to get photographed, but having some tips always makes it that much better!
What a great piece Amanda! Such beautiful images and wonderful tips.
Pingback: A Complete Guide to Dance Photography Sessions Part 1 | Amanda Tipton
Wow! All of these are amazing, but I especially love the Downton Abbey-ish one, with the dancer in the hat. I would love to see more from that series if you ever post them. Wonderful work!!!