Studio Dancer Portraits
I had a new gray handpainted canvas backdrop all the way from Europe! I knew that photographing a dancer would be the perfect photoshoot to break it in. I’ve been dying to get a dancer muse in the studio and a friend sent the talented Dominique my way. So we coordinated a day to capture some beautiful studio dancer portraits. When it came to styling, it was important that the makeup was soft and wasn’t distracting but still defined Dominique’s beautiful features. The blue dress in the first set was a gift from a past client. She told me found a stack of dresses at a garage sale and had to send them my way. I am SO incredibly grateful, because they’re gorgeous. The dress in the second set was Dominque’s and I love how the color complimented her skin and the warmer energy of the photographs.
I decided from the beginning that I wanted to capture intimate dancer portraits, I didn’t want to be too far from Dominique and have a lot of negative, empty space in the final images. This meant that Dominique had to keep her movements small and limbs close to her body. It was an interesting challenge that meant we had to be creative.
For the first part of the photoshoot, I used two strobes and you can see the result in the first image. I loved the way the light lit her evenly but wasn’t too flat. However, there was a storm going on outside and while looking through the view finder of my camera, I noticed how having Dominique facing the windows to camera right were casting some beautiful dramatic shadows. So I turned off the strobe for the rest of the shoot. In the second set of images, I wanted something more ethereal. I moved my canvas so the windows were behind it and reflected light back large white v flats. I loved the warm glow.
Does the model need to be a dancer?
Possibly. When I photograph clients, I am very directorial and pose them. I don’t expect my clients to know how to model. That’s my job. So, this dancer style photoshoot is definitely possible for non-models. But for this shoot, I wanted to work with a model who could move on her own. And then all I had to do was make small adjustments.