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Dancer: The Portrait

Sometimes I get the feeling that dancers in my images get lost in the story. That’s not done on purpose. But, as an editorial photographer, my images are meant to tell a story and the story itself is often the focus. When it’s a portrait, that distinction disappears – dancer or otherwise.

The last shoot I did was a continuation of a series I started on ballerinas with tools. The theme of ballerinas in unusual situations certainly isn’t unique to me, but I haven’t seen this juxtaposition before and frankly it intrigues me. All of the wonderful dancers who have participated have added much with their skill and their personality. But it is the overall story, and not necessarily them, that is the focus.

Towards the end of most shoots I try to reverse this and tell a story about them. I try to reserve time for the portraits.

This is Kristen; she is a dancer, but she is also a young woman, and hopefully this sequence does these facts justice:



I’ve written before¬†with some insight, hopefully, of what it is like to be a dancer. Actually, this post explains a lot (although truth be told it applies to photographers, engineers, just about anyone). What separates dancers as people, I think, is the unique combination of athleticism and art. Dance is tough on their bodies (you’ll find out more about this girls, believe me). It is a commitment in a challenging field with lots of competition (am I talking about photography? O wait – I mentioned¬†athleticism, didn’t I).

But in the end it is about an individual, and their pursuit of their art. A performance art, to be sure, but an art. And hopefully I never lose sight of that – editorial photographer or not.

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