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Photography Question 
Maureen V. Droste

Ideas for Shooting Ballerina Photos

I'm looking to take some photos of my daughter after her dance recital and wanted some different poses for her. Could anyone forward me some ideas other than the normal poses? Thanks.

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6/20/2004 10:42:33 AM

Angela K. Wittmer
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2003
  Put her in traditional dance poses (I am not sure of all of the names of the poses), or have her do some of the moves from the recital. Try not to photograph her against a busy background. Find something very soft-looking. One other fun thing might be taking a photo of just her feet in the slippers while she is doing a pirouette ... most of all, have fun!! Hope this helps a little.

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6/21/2004 6:39:35 AM

Rhonda L. Tolar   Have her sit on the floor, and have the rest of her class surround her, standing up, so that you have a background of tutus. Search on the Internet for dance recital pictures. You will find some good stuff there. And my daugther tells me that the official photographers usually have them pose one of their dance poses.
Good luck! and have fun with it!

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6/21/2004 9:56:04 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
Some of my more treasured photographs are of my sister when she danced professionally. I didn't shoot them (the ballet company "owned" rights to her image). These photos were made with just her alone in a dance studio with lots of natural light coming through large expanses of window. I suggest thinking about using B&W for ballet . . . a classic effect for a classic performing art.

Explore using natural window light if at all possible (not direct sunlight, but the softer indirect daylight through northern windows or when the sun is on the other side). Since the subject is your daughter, keep background and surroundings simple . . . the wood floor and at most the bar on the wall in the background. Try to position her so that the light (through windows if possible) is primarily coming from the side, not from behind you.

You can also use a window as a "prop" and somewhat backlight your daughter if it's relatively large (the window :-) ). Try looking at pure backlight directly facing the window and then move to a slight angle as well . . . use a wider aperture to keep depth of field fairly shallow so that visual clutter outside the window is well out of focus (reduces it's distraction greatly).

I don't recommned using direct camera mounted flash. It's harsh, flat and usually creates equally harsh shadows. If doing this professionally and using anything in addition to available interior lighting with indirect window daylight, I'd be using monolights to create light from other than camera position and large umbrellas or softboxes to greatly soften the quality of the lighting . . . enhancing or mimicing the interior and indirect window daylight. It's why I suggested working without any flash and using indirect daylight through windows along with some of the interior lighting (another reason for B&W . . . no issue with mismatched color balance from mixed lighting sources [man-made interior lights and daylight]).

Next time you're there at the time of day you would want to to the photographs, *look* at the available light and study closely how it illuminates people in various locations in the studio as they move around. Don't bother with the camera when you're doing this; the object is studying the light. OK, that's overstated a little . . . but just a little . . . use the camera's metering to meter the available light so you can determine what film speed you'll need (likely ISO 400 . . . a definite Tri-X Pan candidate, or maybe Ilford Delta 400 or Ilford HP5).

Hopefully your daughter will also be cooperative; if it's a Bad Day for her, do it on another day when she's in the mood for it. Be patient and willing to work at it, don't rush yourself to "get it over with," and you can get some dramatically different photographs compared to the normal fare of direct flash "snapshots."

-- John Lind

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6/21/2004 11:10:50 PM

Diane T. Phillips   I saw and have used a cute pose for ballerina pic's. Have the dancer sit with one leg bent up at the knee and pretend to be tying her slipper. It's sort of a "storytelling photo" and can be really, really cute. Good Luck.

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6/24/2004 7:14:19 AM

Rhonda L. Tolar

take a look at these photos, maybe you can get some ideas here.

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6/24/2004 11:20:42 AM

Lisa Lenderink   I saw a really cute photo at my local lab. I'm not sure how old your daughter is but these little dancers were all facing away from the camera bending down touching their you had little tutu's pointing at you..and one little girl (could be your daughter) was standing up looking over her shoulder at the camera. These girls were all fairly little but it was a priceless shot :)

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6/28/2004 6:59:43 PM

Shirley Pearce
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/16/2004
  get shots of her getting dressed for the a picture of the back of her head (get head and mid shoulders and have her turn her head sideways for profile), tying laces, holding her tutu, holding her shoes and looking up like dreaming, think of things she likes to do when talking of ballet and shoot accordingly.

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6/29/2004 11:25:57 AM

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