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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Audition head shots and technique shots


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Hello. Many summer intensives require head shots and a ballet photo shot in 1st arebasque, etc...


How professional quality do these photos need to be? We took some at home that did not turn out that great of my son (15) and daughter (13). We are not at the point where we are having yearly professional dance photos taken.


I'm wondering how professional these photos need to be. And what are they looking for? We have submited our home snapshots for a few SI's and have a few more to go. I'm considering taking some new photos for the next two weekends of auditions. any advice?


My daughter is wondering if her arebasque photo in slippers should be flat or releve'(sp?) Can the dancer hold on to a bar or some other support for her arebasque photo? should she be on pointe for her photo?


Some sample photos to refer to would be great. Anybody know of an article or sample photo links I could refer to?


For this year were on our own. Next year we'll look into a dance photographer. Unless, home snap shots are fine. At this point it's too late for me to get professional dance photos taken. But I'm beginning to wonder if I might need to start with photo shoots in November for next years SI auditions.


Please advise.

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Frankly, I would not waste money on professional photos until the child is ready to audition Senior year. Year to year, too much changes in the dancer's technique and therefore you can be assured that the photos they like one year they will not allow you to show anyone the next. With that stated, you might want to pass the duty off to the teacher to help with or a parent who has a really good camera. Yes, you will see some 10 year olds who walk in with professional headshots and dance shot photos. But in my experience, in the student mode, it is not a big help to them. Just money spent that will need to be spent again. The only time I would consider something different is in one of the SIs where the photos weigh heavily into getting an invite to audition. Or the photos are the only thing they look at because they don't audition.

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Agree with Momof3, and just want to add that the head shot done at home is fine, and the female dancer should have her hair in a bun, as she looks in class. However, the arabesque shot really needs a studio, and someone who can pose her and be sure that the line is good. If not a teacher, or at least an advanced student. Some SI's would expect a 13 year old to be on pointe for her arabesque, but if she is not ready for that, then she can be flat or on demi pointe. Showing training and a good sense of line is important, which is why she needs a studio and someone to help.

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I found that my phone camera worked better than my regular camera for taking the photos at the right moment. And yes, it is important to have some help from a teacher. We stayed after class for 10 minutes or so, and her teacher helped us set up the shot and pick the best one. They should not be holding onto a barre in the photo, but can use a barre to help set it up and let go for the picture.


My understanding is that the head shot is for reference only, and is not what an actor means by a "head shot." A nice snapshot that you take yourself is fine.

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We've found that the iPhone photos turn out the best also. DD's school director picked out the best ones and we printed them off at Rite Aid for less than $2. This year we didn't take additional headshots. We just used dd's school photo (with hair down.) Of all the intensives which required photos, she was accepted. You will see young dk's with professional shots, but at this age for an SI in my opinion it really isn't necessary.

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