Passion Over Perfection: Tips for getting energy and emotion into your images!

What is it that makes you just sit and stare at an image? A gorgeous leg line or a person with an incredibly arched foot? A cool concept or unique shape? So many images speak to the beauty of a dancer, but what is it really that has you pause, stop and stare for a minute? What is that “je ne c’est quoi” that grabs you and holds on, not allowing you to keep swiping? Is it a look, an expression, and extra sense of movement? We often refer to that “extra” thing, that intangible communication, as the spice of passion.

When we are shooting, it is of course imperative that your technique shines through to its fullest. I have developed a proven flow to build an image that always gets my dancers to that point. I joke that I should get “It begins and ends with the supporting leg” put on a t-shirt! We build our shots from the bottom up, because without a strong supporting leg you don’t have a shot. From there we make sure that the rest of your body and your technique is accurately translated and represented in the 2 dimensional space of a screen. This process is so important in allowing my dancers to have confidence in what they are presenting, but it’s not an amazing shot till we add the FLAVOR! Adding the next layer of character, emotion, energy, and life to a shot through your physicality and face is what’s needed for you images to have that arresting quality.

There are so many variables in dance photography. Sometimes the most amazing technically sound shot will have a face that shows effort or strain because the dancer is thinking about several corrections. Or, we will get an amazing face and passion shining through, but one little detail of technique wasn’t quite as good as it was in a previous shot. More often than not, I prefer an image that has 100% of the flavor that we’re looking for, but perhaps the leg isn’t quite as high, or the shoulders are slightly at a different angle than we were aiming for. Passion over perfection. If an image is just a pretty body… it’s just that… an image. But if you add a gorgeous body, some amazing acting, and performance quality energy… POW! We have ART!

This is a theme that I’m constantly talking about at the moment! Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on this topic in our Instagram stories, and on our feed! If you have any questions feel free to reach out; we are here to help.

Watch out for our event at Capezio on June 8th, where we’ll be giving tips! I’ll make sure and include one on effectively using your emotion and energy in your face!

You can find the Eventbrite here and the link the the Instagram hashtag contest here

Tanner Sturm

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