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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Blanche

Importance of Professional Photos

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MelissaGA

Dancemom5, I'd like to PM you with a suggestion, but you don't have enough posts. I don't recall the number of posts to be able to use the private messaging, but I'm guessing you are close.

 

If you are still looking for options, I can leave my email here for a short period of time.

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gasguzzler

$900! Oh no. Any ideas for someone who can't afford that much money? Why are no prices posted anywhere? Has anyone used anyone for less? Any thoughts?

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doingmybest

dancermom5, Steve Sanchez in NYC is an up and coming photographer working with dancers. He's great to work with and very reasonable. Steve Sanchez Photography on FaceBook or Instagram.

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Blanche

Thanks to the insight and information of those here, I wanted to provide an update.

 

We were able to get a refund from the first photographer, and our questions to the academy about the session prompted a valuable conference with DD, her teachers and the director. Right after that, DD contacted a freelance photographer that some of the company members and academy students have worked with where she is, and set up a session with him. The difference between that experience and the previous one was like night and day!

 

Armed with a boost of confidence from her conference and some preparation time, she read Rachel Neville's tips, talked to others who have worked with this photographer, and got a new leotard with simple lines in a flattering color. DD negotiated a two hour session with 20 edited photos (and three "costume changes") for $300; she really took the initiative, and I think that speaks volumes about her maturity and dedication (for which I am very proud). DD called the session "a lot of fun" and was sweating and tired (in a good way) by the end.

 

Yesterday, we saw the proofs, and WOW! There were more good headshots than there were total photos in the last session, and DD looked relaxed and like herself. The full body shots encompassed a variety of not only poses, but moods. We could clearly see how the subtle differences in camera angle affect the line and the overall effect. We are now glad to be tasked with narrowing the choices and deciding what edits might be needed for enhancement, though there are some that the photographer will do as a matter of course.

 

Once again, we are grateful for all of your expertise and wisdom! :flowers:

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slhogan

Wow! What a great learning experience! I'm so glad you followed through with all this and got such great results :)

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dancerdancer

Piggybacking on this thread as I look ahead into the coming year and the potential for DD's to be doing some company auditions for trainee positions, etc: You have me sold on the getting what you pay for (up to a point...) when it comes to professional photographs. What are your opinions on whether professional portfolio photos should be in a studio vs. outside or location shots?  Some of these photographers seem to specialize in one (Rachel Neville) or the other (timber.no), and others do a good bit of both (Pons, sharkcookie, Gene Schiavone).  What have you all used?  What do you think AD's prefer? Or does it make a difference?  We've been looking at company audition requirements and they are very vague about the photos. Most seem to simply request a headshot and one or more full body dance photos. Others request one classical and one contemporary pose.  But that's about it, in terms of guidance. I'd love to hear what others have done.

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MelissaGA

Inside in a studio whether that be a photography studio or a ballet studio is far more professional, no matter who the photographer is. 

There are a great deal of artistic photos on social media such as Instagram today. These outdoor photo shoots fall under that category, no matter what the pose.  

What you have come across seems to be the standard, a headshot and one or two full body dance photos. I do not recall if any that dd came across last year even asked for an arabesque. She had one ready to go, but I don't recall if it was needed. I do recall one specifically asked for a photo taken in a ballet studio.  (DD was very organized last year with spread sheets, etc that she shared with dh and I, so I was aware of this sort of thing from her records). 

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NYCMOM

I would agree with MelissaGA that studio shots appear more professional.  One certainly does see plenty of outdoor shots on social media, but to me they're more in the nature of "vanity shots" than professional audition photos.  Plus if your dancer wants to work on jumping shots, it will be far safer to do that in a studio.  Like MelissaGA's daughter, DD also had an arabesque shot ready to go when she was doing company auditions, but I don't remember it being requested and I'm honestly not sure she ever used it.  She typically sent a headshot plus 1-2 full body dance shots, and that seemed to be what her friends did as well.  My impression is that once the dancer is out there on the company audition circuit, first arabesque shots are not as prevalent. 

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dancerdancer

Thanks for the feedback. This goes along with what I am hearing back from the photographers I contacted this weekend. Gene Schiavone recommended his studio shots for that situation. And I should correct what I said in the last post, as I have learned Jason  Lavengood (timber.no on social media) does do both studio and location shoots, although the studio space has to be rented separately if he is traveling in a new city, as opposed to home base.

Thanks for the information - I always love to hear what others have done.  I feel like this is one of those areas where it is a little hard to know what is best, so learning from others' experience is so valuable. AD's probably aren't going to tell you that they didn't invite you to audition because you didn't shoot in a studio or they don't like the pose you sent. And the photos are just one little part of the package. But I do feel like they are important in forming the overall impression of the professionalism of the dancer.  

 

 

 

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