Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Beezus21

Photographers and your DDs?

Recommended Posts

Ballerinamom2girls

Vikingmom I had seen his pictures for years had no idea about his conviction- yikes is right.  My daughter has done one photoshoot with Jordan Matter (it was a great experience!).  But there really was no reason to do it.  Just for fun.  He was asking for volunteers.  I don't think we'll be doing any shoots in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Thyme

What I am about to say may be awkward but to me the big question is why are these photos being taken? For the predators to get in the door we have to open it. I think that as parents we need to seriously question ourselves on this. As I understand it there are of course official reasons such as straightforward shots needed for applications. Our experience is that those are pretty boring and bland. The others (the kind I see on the sites discussed above) are however a whole other thing. Why are we doing them? To a casual observer it would appear to be part of the social media process which based on other threads is not always well regarded. Essentially self promotion. Anyways I know this sounds judgemental but I do wonder at the motivation behind parents getting this work done. Please don't yell at me. 😫

Share this post


Link to post
pirouetteprincess100

Thyme, I totally agree with you. My older DD didn't have a true photo shoot until she was 18 years old, and was dancing with a professional company. My younger DD who is only 13 has tons of friends attending very expensive photo shoots and they and their parents post numerous photos on different forms of social media. I personally am really not a fan of most social media so I really don't get the self promotion. Rachel Neville and Lindsay Thomas are two wonderful photographers, but again we only used them when our daughter was 18 plus so she could have professional quality photos for audition purposes. Until then, my Nikon camera was just fine for her. I guess I am old school.....

Share this post


Link to post
cat11

I will offer the alternative perspective.  My DD has shot with several photographers now, and we both feel it has been a very positive experience.  I initially wanted her to shoot with a particular photographer because I loved the way he capture both the beauty and strength of the dancers he shoots, and I wanted my DD to see herself the same way.  She was a very self-critical dancer, very tentative, not the most confident.  As her mom I saw the beauty and strength in her, and I thought that if this photographer shot her-- strictly for our personal uses, not self-promotion, she might "see" something in herself that was different from what she was seeing reflected in the mirrors in her studios.  And honestly I just wanted some lovely photos of my DD, so that I could have them years from now and remember how she was in this phase of her life, perhaps because in the back of my mind I am so very aware that her years of a being dancer are fleeting.  Her shoot with this photographer accomplished all that, and more.  I watched as she shyly and tentatively began the shoot, and by the end, she was loving what she was doing and pushing her own boundaries.  The photos were amazing, and she was stunned by what she saw.  I can honestly saw they changed the way she viewed herself, and gave her more confidence, which ended up being reflected in her dancing.  She does post on Instagram, though maybe only once a week.  Through her posts, she has gained a very valuable sponsorship.  So all in all, I would do it over again in a heartbeat. 

Share this post


Link to post
Thyme

thanks cat11 piroutteprincess100 for sharing your experience and motivations. Our experience with professional photographers has been good but always organised through the studio. When the studio wanted to get shots of dancers to use in promotion, we always got some copies. I was glad to trust the studio head in each instance in terms of the safety of the photographer (I accept that this is not 100% either) and the work was always done in front of other students and teachers. I too am glad to have captured DS in a few nice photos over the years, they hang in the spare bedroom and were shared with family. I dont mean to sound like we have never had a photo taken but they were more like school photos. Pretty bland.

Share this post


Link to post
Spotlight

I have followed this thread with interest.  I bring a different perspective to several of the issues discussed that I would like to share.  

1) I agree with the earlier statement that each parent should research anyone they give access to their child.  Most dancers are tagged in posts, and are easily direct messaged to ask for a parental contact to discuss photographers.  Most ballet families are generous with time and information.

2) I agree with the earlier statements that everyone has a right to a gut feeling, and to ask questions if they feel uneasy.  I also agree with the alluded statement that if there are no negative stories or issues reported about an individual, a general question about the photographer addressed to the parents on this forum with first hand experiences might be a good way at start a conversation.  Once an accusatory statement is made, it can never be pulled back and can ruin a career.

3) In full disclosure, my husband and I own a dancewear brand.  We own two pointe shoe factories, a wholesale distribution, and a retail boutique.  I have worked with too many “dance” photographers to even list.  Our company strives everyday to make ethical decisions based upon what is right for the dancer and what is right for our employees.  As someone that has been present on thousands of photo shoots, I can honestly say that Jason Lavengood has been my favorite photographer to work with, and the person whose values best match those of our company.   He is a master of light and composition.  He works respectfully with the dancer to capture their strengths on film. He is respectful to my staff and the dancer’s family during shoots.  I have never seen one “red flag” during shoots or in post.  As the father of a teenage girl, I feel Jason is protective of the dancers, and is consistently aware of what is going on around him while shooting.  I also know that he is extremely mindful of who follows his account on Instagram.  He deletes anyone that might  be following his account for the wrong reason.   I would recommend Jason to anyone looking to hire a ballet photographer.  He is an artist, and a true talent in our industry.  He has no motives other than to create art, and contribute to the ballet world.

4) The issue of why the images are on social media, as brought up earlier, is probably the topic for an entire novel, and I will reverse my opinions.  I have many questions about the issue myself.  Below are the arguments that come up most often (pro and con)

a) Dancers enjoy seeing and following aspirational images.

b) Major ballet companies notice Instagram accounts, and know followers lead to ticket sales.

c) Sponsorships.  By the way, if a dancer wants a few free products go a head and be an “ambassador” for 5 or 6 companies.  If they want a true sponsorship, be selective, as most major brands are not looking to be watered down. 

 

My final thought is trust your gut and do your research. 

Share this post


Link to post
popsicle1010

I would just like to say to Thyme that your question is a valid one.  I think asking ourselves why we are doing things and whether they are necessary/good/helpful keeps us mindful of our choices and behaviors.  In my opinion, this is valuable in all aspects of life ... which includes ballet.  So, thank you for your post.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...