Chicago Dance Photography - Aubry Blake at North Ave Beach
Aubry's First Professional Dance Shoot
If you are going to have your first professional dance photoshoot, what better location than the gorgeous city of Chicago? Aubry's family drove from central Illinois and I wanted their photo shoot to memorable, and North Ave Beach is one such location.
Let's start out with a couple of headshots of Aubry, and go from there.
Headshots Are A Must
First impression is everything! As a dancer, you literally have a couple of seconds to make a great impression. Believe it or not, your headshot is your first audition! Casting directors, talent agents, use headshots to determine if you are the right fit. It should show what you look like without too much alteration. The last thing you want to do is having someone alter the photo so much that it doesn't look like you and leave a terrible impression when you arrive at the audition.
I went with couple of different look that includes both black and white and color. One that flashes Aubry's killer smile, and one that showcases her more serious and confident side. It's always good to have couple of different looks to choose from depending on the type of audition.
Something about shooting on location that brings about the unexpected. We were walking towards the area I had planned out, but I saw this gem of a spot out of the corner of my eyes, and I just had to capture a few shots here. I just love the juxtaposition between the water and the stunning skyline. I absolutely love Aubry's interpretation of the movements. The maturity she's shown at her young age was nothing short of impressive.
What makes dancers so special? Their ability to blend grace and elegance with jaw dropping athleticism. Here we have Aubry nailing an attitude, and at the same location, showed her graceful side with the angel wings.
Too many "dance photographers" confuse dancers with contortionists. Being flexible is PART of a dancer's repertoire; it's not the only thing. Dance photography is about capturing a dancers ability to convey feelings words can't express...it's not about how far they can bend their limbs.
Outside of Studio
Ballerinas follow a strict dress code...everything from the hair to their pointe shoes has to be perfect. Sometimes it's nice to let their hair down and let loose. I love the wind in the hair vibe in my photographs. It adds texture, movement and a little extra zazz to the images. Here we have a creative ballet interpretation in the black and white image, and a more traditional saut de chat, where we embrace "crazy hair, don't care" attitude!
Capturing dancers isn't always about big, attention getting poses. We have to remember, dancers, are first and foremost, actors. Instead of words, they act with their movement and facial expressions. Aubry here showcases her ability to wow us with simple, elegant portraits. Her understated confidence and thoughtful expression really draws you in without trying hard!
I work with a lot of young dancers, so, quite often, it's a family affair. I want to thank the Blake family for driving hours to Chicago to shoot with me. I hope it was a memorable experience for the whole family. I hope everyone can look back at that day and cherish the time they got to spend together without the distraction of TVs, or Ipads.