Always A Pleasure!

I absolutely love when dancers come back to shoot with me! One of the things that keeps me going as a dance photographer, is being able to see the dancers grow and develop as an artist and a person. The first time we worked together was back in 2018, when Alyssa was in Chicago for summer intensive. I remember she was a bit on the shy side, but she has this...quiet confidence you can feel. The shoot went extremely well! In fact one of our images won the top honor from The Royal Academy Of Dance Photography Competition...which featured dancers and photographers from over 170 countries!

This time however, was under quite a unique circumstances.

With the global lock down, traveling is almost impossible. However, it presented a unique way for artists to connect. When she reached out to me for a FaceTime Shoot, or what I'd like to call Social DistDancing Shoot, I was beyond excited!

Fairy Tale

The timing was perfect. I had just ordered a fairy light and it arrived on time. Now, if I'm being honest, I'm not the biggest fan of these types of lights, that's why I never use it during in person shoots. However, for a unique shoot like this, it's the perfect fit. It adds depth, which is a much needed element when the space we have to work with is quite cramp. The bokeh (blurry parts of the photo) created by the led bulbs also adds a bit of ethereal feeling to the images.

chicago dance photography
dance photography chicago

Go with the flow

Sometimes It's hard for photographers to give up too much control. For example, I am VERY picky about locations. Sometimes I would scout the same area a few times to make sure it's up to my standards. When doing a FaceTime Dance Photoshoot...I had to remind myself that somethings, are out of my hands. I had to rely on Alyssa to do the scouting for me, and she did an amazing job...but, the weather wasn't on our side. It was raining on our shoot day, so we had to stay inside.

The two images above came about with a bit of luck. The one with the tutu has a rich tone because of the hardwood floor. And the one on the staircase was an on the spot decision. We were looking for another location, and I saw the spot while they were walking downstairs, and it fit the warm theme. Alyssa absolutely nailed the simple but elegant poses.

On The Spot

I love the collaborative process of photographing dancers. Unlike some photographers, I love hearing feedback from my dancers. Their feedback helps me become a better artist, makes the shooting process engaging for the dancers, and helps create something we are both proud of. One of the things I like to do is by involving the dancer in the creative process by asking them to come up with a pose or two on the spot. Ballet can be very strict as in every little movement is rehearsed over and over and over again. I believe during a photoshoot is the perfect opportunity to let the dancers dig deep and create instead of just pose what they already know. Alyssa was a little apprehensive at first, but she did an amazing job.

facetime photoshoot dancer

Mother Daughter Bonding

I always love hearing how much fun the whole family had at our shoots. This was no different. Alyssa's mom, Heidi, told me what a wonderful change of pace it was for her and Alyssa. Being stuck in the house all day, doing the same things over and over can be tiring. Something like a quick FaceTime Shoot could just be the cure of boredom. Instead of being on our phones or laptops all day, I was able to provide a chance for everyone to be creative, to communicate and to create ever lasting memories. Also would like to thank Alyssa's dad, Jason, for moving heavy furniture out of the way so we can get a cleaner background. It was definitely a family activity :)

Jeff Yin Is an international award winning Dance Photographer from Chicago.

Silly After Shoot Selfie

A fun tradition I started. After every shoot, I'd like to take a silly selfie to commemorate the time we spent together. I wish Alyssa the best in her dance journey and I hope our paths cross again one day!