These are a lot of work, but they really do turn out nice.
Amy is the Danceworks Cover Girl for 2011. Click the image to embiggen.
Dance schools are a lot of work.
We spend an entire week at each dance school we photograph, bringing a very large part of our studio with us.
The ages range from toddler to teen, with the oldest students graduating high school. This means a lot of up and down, bending over and kneeling, squatting and standing tall.
My back, it is feeling the burn.
The little girls in tap shoes are the worst. I like watching tap. But dozens of screaming little girls in tap shoes running and playing on wooden floors in an echoing dance studio, I could do without.
The poses are mostly arranged by the teachers, with minor tweaking and suggestions by us. Sometimes it’s pretty fast-paced; others we get a little frustrated at the slow teachers backing up the schedule.
But at the end of the night, when things are winding down, I can slow down a little. I can experiment a little.
I can take the time to fine-tune a pose, or try something completely different than a typical dancer’s pose. Something that will make the dancer and the mother look at the preview picture and say “wow”.
And that makes it all worth it.
Seven days of hundreds of little girls in tap shoes, tap tap tapping me into submission.
Seven days of networking and Wi-Fi problems.
Seven days of long, long hours.
Seven days of mayhem.
I do enjoy it. I enjoy coming up with new poses, and trying to get the difficult action shots. The people are nice, the owner of the dance studio is wonderful, and the smiles and squeals of the girls seeing their images is well worth it.
But I have to say I’m a little tired of the fake smiles caused by all the people saying: “Say cheese! Smile for the camera! Show your teeth! Saaaay, Pizza!”
Yes, I know some of the kids need this prompting. But sometimes, you just gotta shoot the photo without a smile.
Yes, it was fun. But shots like this are what I really love.