So, for the last few years I’ve been going to Memphis to hang out with a group of friends that were made on a forum for Mpix.com, one of the printing companies I use. We do some shoots, hang out, eat delicious food and talk photography. Since we all share the interest, it’s a great time.
One of the organizers is a very talented photographer and owns a dance school teaching ballet and the other dance forms too. She is such a gracious, artistic, and giving person, I feel lucky to know her. You may recall I did some maternity photos for her a few years back.
While talking about the meetup this year, I told Bing I had always wanted to do some photos of ballerinas that were Degas like , and asked if it would be possible to do that with some of her students. She made it happen and invited the group to come to the studio and do several different shoots. When I got there, I didn’t know exactly what I was going to shoot or how, counting on the space, the dancers and the moment to provide inspiration and clarity on how exactly to shoot it and get the feel I wanted. The muses stepped in and helped me get these images. Some were shot on film for a classic look. The blurred ones were done using a lensbaby lens that has a very small in focus area and most of the rest is blurred, some is barely distinguishable. Very impressionist in feel. I didn’t think to use it till I got there!
I wanted to get the idea that all the beauty of the dance is created by dancers that work tirelessly to create that “effortless” look in the warm up photos. As for the dance… sometimes when I watch dancers, it all kind of blends into an amazing display of energy, talent and drive, but, if asked all I can say is “they did this amazing thing where she twisted like this or that and then, somehow she ended up over there looking like that”. I think I got that feeling in these photos. I’ll post more non-ballet photos from the trip soon.
This first images is one of my favorites. It’s a credit their teacher and their own hard work. I asked the ladies to do their warm up routine or things they do to get ready for class. They did all their “stuff” using proper form and technique, even without their instructor present. Bing and another ballet mom/photographer pointed out the fact they were doing it all correctly, as they were trained, and should always do.