I have been taking part in dance photography during my project, this has enabled me to build up a larger client base and has extended my skills, meaning I can now offer more than just wedding photography with the experience of being an even photographer.
The photographs I was asked to produce were of both the children in their dance clothes; these were specifically for the purpose of getting them printed for the mums/dads of the children, this was so they can have a nice image of their children dressed up smartly, to keep as a memento of the event. And images of their dances they were in; these images are taken for the children, to feel accomplished, by seeing themselves in action they feel a sense of pride, at the same time these images can be used to show them where to improve, as well as applaud their accomplishments.
I was given a strict criteria to stick to by the dance teacher who had asked me to come along to the shoot, she wanted me to capture the children during their stunts, this was to look back through, so she was able to see the determination of the dancers, to show poise and confidence, these images she can then use to promote her dance company, by showcasing the best moments that have been captured.
I was also asked to capture the children in their outfits, these images were available for the parents to purchase, I was asked to take the images using a plain background, this I feel is not to detract the attention away from the children in the photos, to give the parents an image they will want of their child, almost like a school photo with a plain background, with the focus on the child and the child alone, many parents had purchased these images at the show for the purpose of keeping them in a family photo album, I believe this is to keep their achievements as a reminder of the day.
Please see folder for full contact sheets of shoot.
These images were taken and printed on site for the parents, this meant I was expected to produce an image fit for purpose each time, This I found to be quite stressful yet rewarding, by working to a criteria it meant I had a specific style to produce, a plain background and a clear posed image of the child/children that their parents would want to purchase, although once the image had been taken and the parents were happy then this enabled me to get orders printed off there and then, cutting down the process time.
Although I was working to a strict criteria I felt that the time in which the images were processed was quicker and more beneficial to me as a photographer, by creating images ready to print I was able to follow up on orders straight away this then cuts out the processing time of the editing of images, getting orders ready and then booking appointments, I also found that the opportunity to sell more images was higher as the customers can make a instant decision on whether or not to purchase any images, meaning that I made majority of my sales on the night.
As part of the contract with the dance academy I was also asked to take images of the children during their dances, these images were produced for the dance teacher and I was asked to produce a disc of edited images, below are the contact sheets of the un-edited images I had produced on the night.
During the process of the editing for these images I Had decided to crop in any images that had excess background, this was to emphasise the dancer in the image rather than the background, I also used the levels and curves to brighten the darker images, and finally using the spot healing tool I erased things such as specks and dust from the stage that distracted attention from the image.
As well as editing the images from the dance competition I also edited images from the children’s shoot as requested by one of the mothers, she had asked for a scar to be removed from her child’s head, this then opened up an opportunity to show the other skills I have to a potential client who then purchased more images from after the event.
Once all the dance images were edited and ready for the dance teacher I then decided to add a watermark on the images so that they couldn’t be printed else where, this was to secure that all future sales of any prints will be made through me rather than a third party company, this was noted down in the agreement made with the dance teacher and respected.
In conclusion from the shoot I have found that the parents need to capture their children dressed in their finest clothes shows the need to capture the expenses made towards their children and their greatest achievements showing the desire to emphasise their social incline from the images of their children, by using photography to capture these moments means the parents are able to showcase their children’s talents, I also noticed that the parents would compete throughout the night to get the most images taken and then bought, I believe this was an attempt to become the person with the most expenditure, possibly to gain a higher ranking amongst their friends and family.
The desire also from the dance teacher to get he best shots of her pupils shows how she wants to have images to prove her skills as a teacher which is reflected in the photos of the children, these images can then be used by herself to aspire other parents to join her dance academy, images of the dancers simply stood around would not have had the same effect as the in the moment images I had produced for her.
SEE FOLDER FOR CONTACT SHEET OF ALL IMAGES