We all know that a good picture is worth a thousand words. This is especially true when it comes to dance photography. A great dance photograph can capture the emotion on a dancers face, the technical abilities that they carry, and the unique movement that they have been taught. Each of these facets can culminate to create a photograph that defines the overall vision and artistic appeal of a studio. The difference between a great dance photograph and a mediocre dance photograph is the difference between an emotive and expressive body on stage versus a faceless body that is simply moving in space.
While posed shots staged inside a photo studio are very popular amongst students and their family members, great action shots are just as important when it comes to sharing with the world what a company is all about. After all, the true heart of any dance studio should be the movement and the art that they create as well as the students who are trained to execute dance with passion and enthusiasm.
In this digital age, photographs are used in print as well as online media including company websites and social media. Several platforms should be utilized in order to reach a greater audience.
Where to post your great dance photography:
On the studio website. Create a easy-to-navigate gallery of your favorite dance shots. Photos should be included into the design of your website.
On the walls of your dance studio. Walking in, visitors should understand what you are all about including what level of technique your dancers have and what kind of people you work with.
In your Tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and other social media platforms.
Post the cream of the crop online frequently. A tweet here and there will keep your studio pertinent and easy to remember.
Wish your students happy birthday along with photographs of them in action.
In posters and other print materials. Eye-catching photographs will invite more passersby to check out the details of your upcoming events and advertisements.Have each photo readily accessible for family members to print and expand.
Great videography should be considered in the same way as photography. Videos and photographs should be used and posted in a similar fashion. Both should be easy to find and descriptive without giving away too much of the event. Great videos and photos should excite viewers enough that they develop interest in coming to the next event that your company holds.
Things to consider when choosing a great photographer:
Are they easy to communicate with? Do they have good reviews online or have you heard good things about their professionalism from your peers? Check websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List to see if a given photographer has any reviews online.
Does their portfolio impress you? Portfolios should be accessible online and offline. Upon meeting the photographer, be sure to see some of their best photographs in print. They may also have a connection to a great printing company online or in your area.
Can you find any of their work on other websites including dance or photography blogs? There are many blogs that highlight great photography and it is a great sign if a photographer has been recognized for their work.
Don’t know any great photographers? There are many useful platforms online that can help you find the right photographer for your studio. Of course, you can always ask those around you if they have had an exceptional experience with a photographer. While many photographers are easy to find online, it may take a bit of research to find the right person. Searching for “dance photographers” specifically in your area is the best place to start. Facebook, Twitter, and the search engine of your choice are all great platforms that will take you to online portfolios. Checking out the photos of your competitors is not a bad idea, either.
When it comes to a talented and experienced photographer, you get what you pay for. Considering that you have had a chance to see their work and learn a bit about their professionalism, it should be easy to tell who would be the best choice for your studio. You want to find someone who is creative and can capture an action shot that isn’t blurry. When it comes to dance, photos should be taken at the height of the movement, rather than the middle of an action. While wedding photography is very different than dance photography, you should not rule these types of professionals out from your search. Although dance may not be their specialty, it is likely that they could capture some impressive shots.
Develop relationships with several photographers in your area that specialize in dance. If you are located near a college, it is likely that there are many aspiring photographers who are developing their portfolios. These people are likely new enough to the field that they don’t yet charge for their work and are eager to gain experience. Upon viewing their work, meeting with them, and assuring with your other photographers that it will be okay to have second shooters around the theater, invite these budding professionals to your dress rehearsals to see what they can do. Though they may not produce the same quality of work as the photographers you have hired, it is highly possible that they will share their work and in turn, help gain exposure for your studio.
It is a good idea to schedule a test shoot during rehearsal or class time. This will give you a chance to see if you will work well with the photographer and if they have the technical capabilities to capture an awesome action shot. Overall, it is very important that you feel comfortable with the capabilities of your photographer. Remember that you are investing in something that can be used over and over again. Be sure that you are confident with your decision! Photos can be endlessly captivating, and dance photography especially has the potential to tell a story about the art and the people involved with it.
What ways have you used to find great dance photographers? Do you have any recommendations? Please share and leave a comment below.
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Ashani Mfuko is a Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, and Professional Dancer. Ashani works with small businesses, corporations, & non-profit organizations as a Social Media Strategist and Digital Marketing Specialist. She creates results-driven, innovative social media strategies that are proven to increase your revenue and catapult your brand to expert status in your niche! She has an extensive track record of creating and implementing successful social media strategies for her clients.
She is also the Host and Executive Producer of the “Inside New York City Dance” television show on MNN, and is a proud wife and new mom.
Ashani has been featured in Dance Magazine, as a “Media Maven”, as well as in Dance Mogul magazine, Inside Woman magazine, & Dance Studio Life magazine, in addition to various dance blogs online. She is the author and creator of the, “Finance Your Dance: How To Turn Your Passion Into Profit“ e-book and workshop, and her dance blog won the Reader’s Choice, “Top Dance Business Blog” of the year award, two years in a row. She is a leader in the field of social media and digital marketing, and is highly sought after as a dance performer and dance teacher in the New York City dance community. Ashani is on staff at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, and teaches Advanced Jazz classes for their Jazz & Contemporary program & Ballet program.