“I just want to look good. This is not just my self confidence, my career depends on it”
The number one cause of anxiety for all dancers prior to a shoot. Here’s the story we hear every day…
You’ve spent years training, 30 hours a week in the studio, privates, PT, conditioning, hundreds of shoes sewn and leotards washed. There’s a good chance you moved away from home and sacrificed a normal school career and countless hours of family time. On your day off, just for fun (and your social feeds), you jump outside with your dance friends and shoot some images on your phone. Bouncing around, your friends assure you you look great. Then you see the images and they are, to put it softly, not what you expected. You thought you were much better than you appear in the images.
You move past this because that is what we are taught to do – power through the uncomfortable. But those images stick with you the next time you shoot, maybe it’s with your mom in the studio for an audition photo, maybe it’s end of the year images with your school photographer when you have 5 mins. Unfortunately, you see the same results happen again to a varying degree. You just thought you were so much more xxx. Your self confidence takes a hit every time you have these experiences. The accumulation of these moments, over time, can erode your belief in yourself that you have what it takes to do what you love. You know that to succeed in the North American dance market it takes more than just excellent training and getting a contract. Content is so important to our industry, like it or not. You have to be able to show up and look good on screen, in social and marketing posts/images/videos. So now you have yet another roadblock to overcome, but that’s where we come in.
We help dancers in this situation every day.
We specialize in knowing exactly how to make all different body types with different joint flexibility to strength ratios.
We are not just talking about hair/makeup and what leotard or clothing item to wear. We are talking about what poses work and don’t work, how to modify them for each individual, how to send your energy soaring out so that it gets noticed on a screen.
Here’s how we make that happen.
Even though she is a former dancer, Rachel started out her photography career shooting in several different genres, including tabletop (literally, photographing smaller items like food, candles, tableware and housewares, linens etc, on… well, a table).
It was here that her extreme attention to detail in lighting, and understanding how incremental changes in the angles of the products changes their perspective and how they appear on camera. These skills were instrumental in her building out the fool proof “Neville Method” that we use today.
To achieve the most pleasing line possible for a dancer in different poses and thereby allowing their energy to jump off the page, this technique utilizes a combination of:
- Knowledge of dance technique and teaching methods.
- Many dancers are visually oriented, but some are also auditory or kinesthetic inclined, and we tap into all those communication methods right away to find out how you best intake information and corrections.
- Understanding how each body moves in its own unique way.
- Each individual joint in a body has different flexibility/strength ratios that need to be respected, but utilized to their absolute fullest potential
- Perspective (arguably one of the most important element) – we use classical perspective shifts to translate what a movement looks like in 3 dimensions (in the studio and on stage) into 2D (screen and print)
- It’s very different to look at a pose or movement that is meant to be moving in a still form. Often what is correct for the studio does not read well on a screen because the compression of lenses and the perspective that our brain understands in 3D is lost in 2D. Our method interprets and translates those poses so that they are much more effective in showing off your lines on camera.
Psst! We are so confident in this method that we have taught it to hundreds of other dance photographers in the hopes of proliferating better photography for our industry and thereby leveling up dancers’ self confidence universally.
3. A proprietary shoot and shot workflow that develops your muscle memory, so that you can let go and project your emotion and personality toward your audience.
See former post on workflow here
It’s hard to imagine this process if you haven’t experienced it yet, we know. While exacting, it truly is liberating to know that when we finish a shot you will truly be able to show off your lines in their best light. In fact, a regular comment we get is “I can’t believe I look like that!”
We’d love to help you achieve the same results, don’t hesitate to drop us a line and ask any questions you may have to book a shoot. There is no time like now to move your career forward and move your mindset into the positive, building mode.