Dance studio photo shoot

barbara-hooton-060716-earlsbartonThis afternoon I headed over to Earls Barton and the Barbara Hooton School of Dancing for the third of my three photo shoots with the dancers.  Whereas the earlier shoots were in shared halls, this one was in the schools main dance studio and very nice it is too.  Floor is pristine with mirrors on two walls and loads of light from two sides.  Nevertheless, the brief was costume shots and we defaulted to the studio and strobes for a third time.

During this shoot I had my first lesson.  When setting up, think about the sun and windows.  Yep, just after setting up the backdrop and the lights the sunlight crept around the corner and began to paint shadows and hot spots on the backdrop.  Time for a hasty rethink whilst the girls began to arrive.

Thankfully, the rest of the shoot went really well with the usual format of the younger dancers through to the teenagers and their point work.  The difference was losing the backdrop and working with the mirrors and light bouncing all over the place.  With only a couple of minutes to rework the setup, to lose one of the lights and get good light from the one remaining light, balanced with the ambient light and being able to get far enough back to shoot in the studio – it was a fun balancing act and a test of my thinking on my feet.

Anyway, I think that we cracked the shoot and the gallery is now uploaded to and ready for the dancers to view online and, hopefully, purchase a few of the images.


Shooting on Point Today

barbara-hooton-050716-irthlingboroughThere are times when I really appreciate working for a great company and a great boss and today was one such day.  Booking an afternoon off work today and tomorrow, I was heading back to photograph more of the guys and girls at the Barbara Hooton School of Dancing.

Today would be a short two hour session and assisted by Ellie we were set up as the dancers began to arrive.  Following a quick lighting check and adjustment of the key light, we settled down to photograph the youngest members in their wonderful show costumes.  It is hard to get young kids to smile when they really don’t want to be in front of the camera and this is something that I will definitely have to work on with posed shots.  That said, we got some great shots and some that even I was pleased with.

Moving into the second hour and the teenagers were back with their modern, tap and ballet point shoes and this time they really knew what they wanted, so it was just a case of step-up and deliver from my side of the camera.  These girls are real performers and they really got into this shoot – another reason why visiting clubs and organisations multiple times really works.  When people know you, know how you work and can relate to you and relax, everything becomes so easy and falls into place.  I was amazed to find that some of the more difficult shots were nailed in one, despite me asking the dancers to try new things and to push themselves that little bit more.

I loved yesterday’s chosen image of the dancer jumping with the ribbon.  Today, it had to be one of the girls up on point and showing some beautifully graceful lines.  However, check out the shot below which was a first take shot right at the end of the shoot with a young lady that appears to just love playing to the camera.


Another new challenge

barbara-hooton-030716-finedonThis morning I found myself off to shoot something a little different, but something that would take me right back to my childhood.  It’s not a great secret that I spent a few years in the dance world. My sister was a ballet, tap and modern dancer and she went on to dance around the world after leaving school.  For a couple of these years, I indulged in tap and this was fairly useful to this mornings shoot.

Heading up to Finedon with the camera and light loaded in the car, I was off to work with the ladies at one of the several local dance schools, this time the Barbara Hooton School of Dancing.  The brief was simply to capture images of the girls and young ladies in their recent show costumes and I wanted to try to get a range of poses (standing, sitting and movement). Movement was going to be tough with the lights and room, but we got some nice shots with one of the ladies dancing with her ribbon and a few nice shots of tap dancers running through a short time step.

We started with the younger girls and progressed through tap, ballet and modern and up to the teenagers with ribbons, points and the like.  It was a busy shoot with a tight time limit and a lot to get through.

Nevertheless, I had a great time at the school and I hope that the girls did as well, some of them were far from camera shy and I hope that we got a few goods shots for their families.

The gallery is now online and  the username and password is available from the school officials.  As usual, please don’t ask me for a login because this is only available via the school.