When Dance Meets Photography

Dance photography can be a very evocative genre. It brings together two art forms to create some amazing results. It combines the beauty of the human body, the energy of movement, and the passion of the subject. Of course, it doesn’t come easy as you have to master techniques from action photography to portraits to events photography. Dance has a way of moving people – and not just those who dedicate their lives to moving their bodies on the dance floor, the stage, or in the studio. The art of dance can mesmerize and inspire millions, bring people to tears, and move people to think differently. Capturing movement and the beauty of dance in the form of a photo can be quite special, too. 

Put simply, it’s a professional that takes pictures of dancers. He or she can specialize in performances or events which means photographing the dancers on stage. Shooting stage performances is quite a challenge for a photographer. Different dancers quickly move across the stage under low or changing light performing poses and dance figures in a fraction of a second. Such conditions place a strong demand on a photographer’s skills and equipment. Dance shows have so much action going on around the stage that it is impossible to capture all the interesting moments in one session. So you won’t get bored even if you shoot the same show more than one time. Besides, you can use a slightly different approach every time and achieve very different photographic results. Because of the fast dance movements, it is as good as impossible to exactly know how the photos will look later, which can mean positive as well as negative surprises when watching them later.

Today, dance photography is a highly varied genre of image-making, and through different aesthetic and technical effects represents the act and the art of dancing in poetic, captivating ways. Like any photograph, a dance image isolates a split-second in time, but its specific intention is to convey the idea of movement.

Photographing dancers in urban settings has been a hugely popular trend in recent decades. The environment of the city can provide a visually exciting backdrop to many types of dancing, not just street dance. For example, linear architecture as a background juxtaposes with the curves of a dancer’s body in motion. Meanwhile, playing with scale or vantage point can emphasize the athleticism and sheer physicality of dance as an art form. 

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