Shooting a Dancer
Dani, a professional dancer and choreographer was booked to come to our studio to create some base images for some of our intensely edited sports portraits.
Originally from Peterborough, she happened to have graduated from Old School Danceworks in Halifax.
Based at The Dance Mill Old School Danceworks is a professional dance collage, offering a new, ground breaking course, developed on ‘Old School’ principals.
All trainee professional dancers receive a daily Ballet, Contemporary and Commercial Jazz classes.
In addition to this classes in Pas de deux (partnering), Choreography, specific strength and stretch classes including Pilates.
The Dance Mill is in the same building we have been based for over 10 years now, and of course we Know the founder, Peter Coenen very well.
Dani works and has worked as a dancer/choreographer in a number of places from Dutch Centre Parcs, to putting on productions for Balbir Sing.
Performing at the F1 Grand prix, and working on various mass movement projects with Pro excel at wembley dancing behind foxes, louisa johnson, she is incredibly busy.
We messaged each other a few times, and discussed mainly clothing, hair and make up.
Sometimes loose hair can be a problem, especially if the shots become very animated, as a great shot can be spoilt with some mad hair flying across the face.
Dani runs and is owner of hula hoop fitness: Hoop with Dani, and teaches commercial, tap and ballet at another of our dance school friends, AKA Dance Studios based in Queensbury.
AKA is run by mother and daughter team Kathryn and Itziar Mateo Halford.
Because of Dani’s connections, we had so much common ground, it felt very relaxed from the beginning.
To shoot a Dancer
As usual, we had a loose idea of what we wanted to capture.
I had a specific shot, which was the rising in water one above.
I wanted it to look like she was being lifted by an invisible force in her chest, as if in a trance.
After a few trys, she nailed it perfectly, and the final image turned out exactly as I had imagined.
To see another spectacular water portrait, see the post on this blog post, shooting a roller derby p
We took a short break and to keep warm, Dani put on some leggings and a jacket.
She looked so cool in them, we decided to try a few as she was, and the one above was the result.
Normally we leave the dancer to do what they feel most comfortable doing.
Too much direction can be counter productive, especially as it is the dancer who knows their own strengths and weaknesses.
Another change of clothing from her suitcase – which was full of all sorts – and we had a few shots in boots and a blue all-in-one outfit.
This was a fun, very glee type shot, and the powder coloured to match worked really well.
There were so great images, it was hard to work through them, and chose the best.
From the shortlist, we selected 5 really spectacular ones to process, and were really pleased with them all.
My particular favourite was the first one, where she looks like she is sitting in the clouds looking down.
It is very reminiscent (to me anyway) of a modern take of a scene from the Sistine Chapel Ceiling by Michelangelo.
As usual, we put together a montage which is a reminder of all we did, and more, on the day.
When we delivered the final images to Dani, each one was presented in three versions.
The original colour version, a black and white version, and one with a tint.
All of these were so good that it was difficult to choose which was best.
The tinted ones are an alternative idea, if for instance you want a large print and have a particular colour theme you want to tie it in with.
This may sound extreme, but a black and white image may not work in a colourful room.
Our bedroom is decorated in different shades of creams and browns, and our wall artwork all matches the colour scheme.
Once you start to do this, it’s impossible to place artwork without planning!!
In the example above, the top one is stunning, the second is ethereal, and the third, well this can be tinted to unlimited colours.
Sometimes the choices can be overwhelming.