When I was 16, my mum Carol, bought me a beautiful Lois Greenfield dance calendar for Christmas. I thought the photos looked like magic; and they took my love of dance to a whole new level and that was when I first thought
"I want to create photos like that!"
That calendar has been my motivation for the last 10 years.
I've always loved dancing and I've always felt that dance has this magical power - It can make you feel happy, empowered, creative and strong, it can take you out of your headspace and transform you into a world of peace and calm, you can express yourself through theatrics or choreography, body movements, shapes, and all types of music suddenly become a canvas to create a dance to - if that isn't magic, then I don't know what is!?
So when I'm photographing or directing a dance photoshoot, I use the magic of dance to inspire the shoot! My heart becomes so full of passion and creativity, it's likely the excitement will usually explode out of my brain and I'll end up collaborating with the dancer/s to create something insanely beautiful and something we all love!
Keep reading below, where I reveal how to make every shot count and be amazing at your next dance shoot, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro!
Know what you are good at!
The first thing I ask a dancer is, "What can you do? What are you good at?"
Ability is not a limitation, I simply want to know what you are good at.
Tricks, leg stuff, back stuff, jumps etc, If you can do it, I wanna see it.
If you can do a left leg split AWESOME!
If you have the flattest first position in the world, I'll be photographing it!
If you can do a backhand spring with a jete landing in a penche, kudos, show me!
Remember that, often, we haven't seen you dance before, so we don't know what you are capable of!
A dancer of any level can participate in a photoshoot!
Have some of your own poses & photo ideas!
Okay so we LOVE to see what you have in mind for your own photos!
"A split jump in the black outfit," "something flowy in my blue lyrical" and "an arabesque in the tutu" are simple, yet perfect responses.
We have had dancers come with printed out example photos for each outfit, and we have had dancers come with a few ideas in their head - it's all helpful!
We will still guide you throughout the entire session, but why not give suggestions!
**If you can incorporate knowing what you are good at and using them as ideas, extra brownie points for you!**
Let your hair down and relax your face!
So even if you are a ballerina, I always suggest doing photos with your hair down!
Why? Cos it's pretty!
Hair is flowy; it frames your face and creates beautiful movement.
WE LOVE MOVEMENT!
It's also super important to try and keep your face relaxed when you are doing everything in a photoshoot! Go for a small smile with no teeth... or just a nothing look.
Unless we specifically discuss looking happy or fierce, relax your face!
Bring the right outfit choices!
First of all, you DON"T have to bring all dance costumes,
You can bring normal clothes as long as you can dance in them!
Bring atleast 4 options!
Movement is our favourite, so we always suggest any costume or outfit that will be flowy.
**Please think about appropriate clothing options...**
Bring a prop!
Material, pointe shoes, feathers, a ball - whatever it is, we can totally make it work!
Props are another great way to incorporate movement into photos.
It's also lots of fun trying to get said prop to co-operate!
Remember your technique!
I think this speaks for itself... Yes I am a dancer/dance teacher, but I don't want to spend the whole shoot telling you to point, pull up and lengthen, cos it will just take time away from us creating pretty photos!
If you are doing a shoot with a non-dancer photographer, your end result will, unfortunately, be disappointing, because you will see all of the mistakes.
Be a smart dancer.
Don't Be Static, Get Creative!
Okay so we've done all the boring stuff, let's have some fun!
Make shapes, pretend you are a wave, try something new, create something abstract.
You'll often hear me say "okay what if..." that's when you know something crazy is about to be suggested... but don't be afraid to try it, the results could be AMAZING!
**When in doubt, leg mount**