Your dancin’ boy will need a head shot, an arabesque photo or some other type of dance picture when he auditions for actual parts in shows, summer intensives or company jobs. Professional photos can be expensive, although they are by far the best option. If you cannot afford to hire a professional dance photographer, you may be able to take a decent photo of your son by yourself.
I asked Alexander Reneff-Olson, a friend of Julian’s, for some photography advice for parent’s who want to take their own dance photos of their sons. Alex is a dance photographer and a ballet dancer himself. He has even taken photos of Julian. Here are his 10 tips for taking good audition photos of your dancin’ boy:
- Find a space or studio with a clean or non distracting background
- Avoid shooting against mirrors.
- Avoid shooting against bright windows since you don’t want a silhouette.
- Use the natural light from the windows to your advantage.
- Use a camera capable of the job.
- Know your camera and how to get the best results from it. Even an iPhone can produce the results needed if you know how utilize it and the lighting you have.
- Stabilize the camera, especially if you are in lower light. A chair or stool can make an excellent impromptu tripod to steady your hand.
- Avoid shooting from higher angles as you can end up shortening a dancer’s lines
- Avoid using a cameras built-in flash in most cases. Direct light on your subject can make for an unflattering look and even hide muscle definition.
- For head shots, don’t have your subject look or face straight at the camera. Angle your subject’s face for their best side at a slight angle and have them smile lightly. Have them pretend they are onstage; bring that intensity to the camera for a head shot (especially in the eyes).
The arabesque and first-position photos featured in this post were taken by Alex almost three years ago. He also took the dance shots in my banner and the picture of Julian in the sidebar. The head shot featured in the is post was taken by Paige Day of paigedayphotography.com four years ago.
Here’s some information on Alex: Alexander Reneff-Olson is currently a professional dancer with San Francisco Ballet. He hails from San Francisco and received his training at City Ballet School SF and the San Francisco Ballet School. Named an apprentice in 2012, he has performed in works such as John Cranko’s Onegin, Neumeier’s The Little Mermaid, Tomasson/Possokhov’s Don Quixote, and Tomasson’s Nutcracker. He is also a photographer highly experienced in photographing the performing arts having photographed numerous dancers and performing artists through the years. He has had work published by San Francisco Ballet, Dance Spirit, Dance Studio Life magazine, SF Examiner, and many others. http://arroshotz.smugmug.com/
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