On Sunday 17th I got the chance for a shoot purely to indulge my own creativity and get a chance to try out some ideas that I’d had in my head for
some time but no way to let out. I booked a session at a local fully equipped studio and asked some girls from the dance school I attend if they’d be interested in being my models for the day at a dance photoshoot.
The resident photographer at the studio is Brian Smith whose extensive knowledge and experience of lighting was on hand to help me achieve my goals and the look I wanted.
I had three specific looks that I wanted to achieve. The first being a colourful and fun “warm up” session. I asked the girls to bring usual dance warm up clothing, for example leggings, dance sneakers, and bright coloured leg warmers, sweaters and headbands. This section was all about colour and fun.
I shot the set against the white painted brick work of the studio with the laminate flooring lending itself to a “dance studio” look. We had a lot of fun with loud music blasting and the girls dancing about and mucking around. At one point I couldn’t shoot for laughing so much!
The second section was “serious ballet” so I got the girls to wear what they’d wear for a ballet exam. We did some ballet
poses and tried a few leaps and soon discovered that even a relatively large studio it is very difficult to get shots of a dancer leaping with arms and legs extended without getting limbs off backdrops or out of frame. Of the three sets I shot that day I was least pleased with the ballet set they look a bit static and boring after the fun warm up set, I think if I were to do it again I’d forget the white background, add some harder lighting to show form better and add more movement and less “looking at camera poses”.
The third part was ” The Moody Performance set”. For this I wanted dark performance costumes, loose and wild hair, dramatic lighting and a black background. Brian has a large black perspex sheet which we used to produce reflections on the floor. This set worked much, much better than the ballet set and I managed to achieve something approaching what was in my imagination.