This weekend, I cheated.
I’ve photographed a lot of weddings lately… so to shoot something so different from what I’ve been doing almost every weekend this fall? Honestly, it felt like I was cheating on weddings. Oh, but dance. We have a history. A past. A connection that is so NOT like weddings- it’s gritty and tattooed and deeper than it looks on the outside. And while I’ve fallen in love with weddings and love and the amazingness of photographing weddings, that spark with dance is still there… and maybe, in a way, that chemistry makes me a better photographer all around. I delve into weddings with that little bit of dance I carry around with me. It’s all about perspective.
My little girl takes ballet. I decided upon ballet for her because, as a former dancer myself who quit too soon, I know that dance is tough, and builds you up in a way that simply cannot be rivaled. Most men I know- tough guys who can take on anything, no matter how big the challenge- couldn’t hold a candle to the physically- and psychologically-demanding requirements of being a dancer. Being a dancer builds discipline. Confidence. Resiliance. Character. It’s HARD. Harder than you think. But when you’re a dancer, spotlight in your face and lambswool shoved into the toes of your shoes, you eat/ breathe/ sleep it. It’s challenging and demanding and arduous and fulfilling… and worth it in ways that only other dancers really understand.
I’ve done several shoots with dancers now (here and here). And you know, I just really like it. I’m not afraid of repeating shots [because I don’t] or running out of ideas [because I don’t]. I’m shooting more and more weddings all the time and I’m not afraid of more weddings- because I love it so, so much. And shooting a dance concept is no different for me.
This is Greer. She’s a dancer, naturally. (She’s also an actor and a model and she sings, teaches dance, and does choreography, in case your brain needed to be demolished from all the talent she packs.) She and I have been trying to work with each other for months now, but our schedules never cooperated until this. And I’m so glad it worked out that way- true serendipitous alignment at the Goat Farm, with lifts and leaps and some non-dance stuff too. I like this niche I’ve found. A lot. And I want to do even more.
For now, my little girl still loves dancing. Maybe she’ll stick with it. I danced with girls who went on to Julliard and European tours and parts in Cats… and I won’t lie, I would love that for my daughter. But she is a girl who does her own thing- and if soccer or tae kwon do or fixing cars alongside her dad strikes her fancy, then we’ll move on to the next chapter in her life. But that feeling of spinning on stage has never left me. The peace from stretches and warm-ups- replaced by Yoga in my journey towards 30- that peace hasn’t left me either. And while the discipline and confidence have waned a little over the years (again, I blame that journey to 30), I remember my roots. And if I can satisfy that craving with the Pointe shoes still in my closet and the chance to make lovely photos of dancers, well… I’m pretty sure I’ve found my happy new medium.
Atlanta. Dance. Photographer. Ballet. Jazz. Contemporary.