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!
Featuring Dancers Colby Foss, Morgan Sicklick, Sharmaine Perea, Sabrina Gentry, Abbey McWhirter and Gwen Phillips