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HELP! I’m having an “arabesque-anxiety-attack” :green: . I am a mother and I do “motherly activities”. I am NOT a photographer. Therefore I should not have to take rolls of film trying to capture the “perfect” arabesque pose. I confess to taking pictures where half of DD's head is missing, sometimes I snap too early, other times I snap too late. For me the words “first arabesque” produce the same feelings as “root canal” and “natural child birth”.


I’m trying to determine which will be less likely to cause my mental breakdown - another photo session or compiling a list of SIs that do NOT require the arabesque pose. I’ll let you know. :)

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it's gotta be easier than catching photos of a horse jumping over the fence --- on the way up! Not on the way down!!!


Clearly your mistake is taking on this chore. Seek out a friendly amateur photographer with a different set of anxiety disorders than yours. :)

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Ask an older student or teacher to help with the posing and taking the pictures. Not being a dancer I never knew when to take the picture and would miss it when dd was younger (or take the picture when the leg was going down, arm up etc.,) It helped me to have someone else say "Now" when dd was in the right position so I could take the picture.


After the first year, Dad started taking the pictures. He is a great photographer ( I am not!) I don't have anything to do with the photo's other than reminding dd to bring them to the audition.


If you don't have a family member who can help you I would hire someone at the studio to take the pictures. Or ask an older student at your studio to take the pictures.


It is fun to keep the arabesque pictures and look at how they change over the years!

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I like the way syr put it! "Different set of anxiety disorders"! I feel your pain, thedriver. Been there, done that. Seems like you are keeping your sense of humor througout, though! Good for you.


Just so you know -- shooting a couple of rolls to get that one "acceptable" pose seems to be the standard necessary evil. And, in our house at least, it usually involves a second panicky session after none of the pictures on the first roll are "good enough".


If you DO decide to persevere, I have found that it helps immeasurably to have a teacher there giving counts. Both photographer and dancer fall into a rhythm. You (the photographer) can figure out which count to snap on -- I find that I need to anticipate the crucial moment, and snap a fraction of a second early. Also, sit on the floor to take the pictures. It's harder to cut off the head, and the angle is actually more attractive. And it's more relaxing.


It's up to you to decide whether the glass of wine will be more of a help before or after :)

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nlflint's suggestion is excellent. As a practical matter - I don't want you to go buy a new camera - but here is what worked for us last year.


DD was submitting a couple of videos for audition. We, being the only family in America without a video camera, bought one for Christmas last year. It's a digital video camera. My husband took video of the arabesque, and we simply printed the frame that had her right at the perfect point. The picture is a bit grainy, but it worked. Last year we had absolutely no help from anyone for the pictures or videos. There were several tearful sessions with the regular camera before we figured out we could use the digital video for the still photos, also.



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I am just a student,

but whenever my mother wants me to get a picture of my sister in arabesque, she just gives the camera it me..She can't seem to get used to the new digital camera lol. If the picture you are taking is after class or before ask yor teacher to help with the pose to make sure it is correct before taking the picture.. THen all you have to do is *Click*



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I suggest that your dd hold on to a barre or chair to get her balance in arebesque, then do a 1, 2, 3 count and snap! This worked for me and my parents last summer.

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Sorry, FouetteFanatic, but I don't feel that is a good idea at all. She should be in the center, away from a barre, and you certainly cannot use a chair! No way to move it out of the view of the camera in time.

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Make sure that your camera isn't one of those wonderful automatic focusing kind. Mine is like that and it won't click when I press the button because the dancer is moving a bit. So, one of those cheap cameras that come with the roll of film inside and no fancy features worked best for me since I don't have a digital. When the dancer can hold the pose a second it is easy if your camera snaps when you press the button. I still try to anticipate the height of the arabesque a split second ahead also.

Make sure that you are back far enough to see the whole dancer. Getting too close makes it much tougher. You won't get as nice a view of their cute face but will have a better picture of the dance position. I agree with having another dancer or teacher in the room to assist both you and your dk with the right positioning.

Are there enough dancers at your studio who will be needing photos to make it worth paying someone to take pictures? If there is a seasoned dance photographer in your area who would come and take pictures you might be able to pay by the hour and by the role of film. IF the photographer is not a dance photographer, have a dancer show the correct position and say when to shoot. The price might be worth what you save on your nerve medicine.

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We are getting pictures ready for auditions now, too. Before we go any further, I want to be sure of what we are doing.


Ms. Leigh, you mention that the arabesque should be done in center and that no barre or chair or whatever else should be in the picture. I have seen a few audition photos from dancers at our studio and they are beside the barre, but not touching it. Is this considered to be incorrect? Is this true of all positions that would be requested for audition photos?


Thanks for any clarification.

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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I would love to have help from DD’s studio but we are 1.75 hours from the studio and there is always a class before and a class after DD’s class. Also, DD wants her arabesque to look like the older dancers and her AD thinks the arabesque should be at 90 degrees without a curved foot (not the right term).


I think my best hope (plan A) is to find an amateur photographer w/equipment (if I haven’t mastered the simple point and shoot camera a fancy digital is beyond my abilities). I don’t think you want to hear plan B. :wacko:



My suggestion, a glass of wine before, and a bottle of wine after :)

nltflint and Treefrog, merci beaucop

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We useually use the cheap throwaways, or my trusty digital.




*Edited by moderator to remove long quote from previous post. Just a reminder that with the new board software you need to click on the Add Reply button, which is below the one right at the bottom of the post with " marks beside it. :)

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I also use the cheap one-time use cameras. My digital camera fails me because of the focus delay and the flash never seems to add enough light in the studios. When we get done with our "photo session", usually takes a couple of cameras for two or three poses, I order the Kodak CDs when I get the pictures processed. That way I can crop and adjust the brightness and sharpness of the picture and print up as many as I need myself. I've done this for two seasons now and have had success doing it this way.

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Guest balletandsynchro

I too vote for the single use cameras! By getting a cd of the picture you can crop closely enough for a very nice 4x6. It does save money too, so you are not spending so much on reprints, AND you crop and center the image as you like. :)

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