You are not alone in wondering…
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YES! Those are the days most dancers have a free day, so I’m here for you!
Everything is by appointment. Google doesn’t let me list that as my hours, so it says 10am to 7pm on weekdays and 1pm to 7pm on weekends. A full-day creative dance retreat runs from 10am until 7pm (sometimes even a little later).
As a general rule, your photos will be finished in a week. We will pick a favorite image, and I’ll try to have that one ready for you the next day. My goal is always to finish your photos within one week.
Your digitals will be sent via DropBox or in a ZIP file via WeTransfer.com. Additionally, they will be loaded into a mini-website that you can anchor to the home screen on your phone.
If you order prints, they are sent to the lab after the digitals are delivered. For standard prints, the lab turnaround time is 1-2 days plus another 2-3 days of shipping from Iowa. Albums have a 2-3 week turnaround time and are shipped from NY.
This answer warrants a whole page and probably a Ph.D. Thesis!
Let’s start with a simple rule:
I will not modify your body shape.
When you come here, your goal is to accomplish something for real. When your friends and teachers tell you that your photos are amazing, you know it is all you. If I made your foot a little curvier or spliced two images to get better turnouts, you would not be proud of the image, and neither would I.
What will I do?
- Fix skin blemishes, razor stubble, bruises, etc.
- Fix defects/blemishes in the background or floor
- Remove equipment that is in the frame
- Reshape the flow of cloth to enhance the image, or composite fabric together to get a fancier design. However, the dancer is still from one photo.
- Shift the color of a skirt or leotard to make the final image more coherent.
- Work tirelessly with you to finesse your angles and form to get your very best translated into a photograph you are proud of.
- Sculpt the light to accentuate your form.
- Happily have you “go again” when you have an idea to make the image better.
- Believe fully and sincerely in you as an artist.
ABSOLUTELY! Friends can be excellent in helping you with wardrobe and hair, throwing some fabric, and being your cheerleader during your day! Friends can get some fun BTS shots while we are working as well.
Pro Tip: NEVER go to a photographer who won’t let you bring a friend.
Bring it All!
Seriously, you don’t have to wear every leotard or skirt, be we can’t wear what you didn’t bring.
Not all photography has to be wearing ‘dancewear’. If you want to do some photos in jeans and a jacket, that’s fine, too. We do that all of the time with my seniors, who often mix casual photography with their dance photography.
Bring props and anything you might want to use. I have had dancers work for hours in the same dancewear, and others change between every idea.
A word about pointe shoes
Please, please, please, bring multiple sets of pointe shoes. While there are some places where a nice dead shoe will look great, it will not be the right shoe for other work. Also, your feet will get tired much faster in a dead shoe. Please bring shoes that are broken in and in their prime. You will thank me later.
Generally, you start with your hair down and work your way toward having your hair up. We have a sprayer and hair dryer if you need to un-bun your hair and get it back under control. We have to balance your energy and muscle fatigue against your hairstyles. We don’t want to end the day with an audition arabesque.
The studio lights will not wash you out. An improper foundation will cause the lights to wash you out. Many of my clients do not wear a foundation; if you need it, please make sure it is photo-ready. Most brands marked as true HD are photo-safe. An HMUA colleague recommends Makeup Forever, Nars, Charlotte Tilbury, or Bobbi Brown for high-quality photo-safe foundations. She also suggests having your foundation professionally matched at a store like Sephora.
Please start with makeup that makes you comfortable and confident. For some dancers, that means full makeup. For others, that means a little lip gloss.
Do no angst over a zit. I clean those up. It is harder to fix cracked concealer that is not quite your skin tone than to remove some zits.
If you have some inspiration that has more elaborate makeup, we will want to direct those to later in the day to the extent that we can. Again, we don’t want to be doing a big jump at the end of 8 hours.
Most of my dancers range in age from 12 years old to adults. They all share a common desire to work toward crafting images that express their relationship to dance and their artistry at its best.
I have worked with dancers as young as 9 years old with beautiful results.
Set up a call or studio tour to determine what is right for you or your dancer.
Short answer: Yes.
I hear this occasionally, usually from parents wanting to ensure their child has a positive experience.
The requirements for a dancer to have a successful and meaningful experience are that they are proud of where they are on their artistic journey and are willing to work for a result.
Most of my clients are ballet or contemporary dancers. I’ve worked with several commercial dancers, a few tappers, and even one Irish dancer. Many of my clients are pre-professional, though we’ve had plenty of our clients pursue non-dance careers. The common thread is a desire to explore and celebrate each dancer’s artistry.
Just me. If you are reading a comment on Instagram, that’s me. All texts are from me. Phone calls… you get the idea. I do all of the photography, coaching, and editing.
Yes, we use “we” a lot. Usually, it means you and me. We are going to have a fantastic day, and we are going to work to show your love of dance in each photo. Other times, it’s just “me-we”. We will get those photos edited quickly.
Price is important, but not the most important factor in choosing your dance photographer.
Dance retreat packages range from 550 to 1450 (including some photos).
Please contact me to discuss what you want to accomplish, and I will walk you through the package options to find what works for your needs and budget.
I don’t run an ambassador program in a traditional sense. If you’ve been here for a creative dance retreat, you are an ambassador. Hopefully, you’ll be telling friends that you had this amazing experience that they should want to do. That makes you an ambassador.
I look to dancers who have spent time at the studio and been good ambassadors when I need a model for a product session, or when I just need to work some new ideas in the studio.
Dancers who invest in the full-day Creative Dance Retreat are first on my list for free photo work, and receive a discount when they return again.
Many of my dancers come from Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem. Increasingly, dancers from across North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are finding the Creative Dance Retreat experience to be worth the travel; we have even had a two occasions where dancers from Alabama came for a retreat. We look forward to meeting dancers from all over who want our experience and quality.
Greensboro is a wonderful city. We are so happy to have moved here in 2011. I’ve pulled together some recommendations and links to things to do while you make a weekend of your creative dance retreat.
The studio is located in a residential neighborhood on a 2+ acre lot. There are two buildings connected by a breezeway. The front house is my private residence, and the back building is the studio. The studio is now about 2000 sqft; half of that is the shooting space! The outdoor spaces are also beautiful and can afford settings for outdoor dance photography, or an opportunity to include senior photos with your dance session.
The studio creates a special space for creativity. Studio dance photography allows us to focus on your form without distractions in the environment. The resulting image is unambiguously about your dance. Studio photography also allows us to sculpt the light with precision.
My studio is on a 2+ acre lot with a mix of manicured lawns, hardscapes, and gardens along with a wooded segment with a stage, post-barn, bridge, swing, mural, and fencing. We have many outdoor opportunities if you are interested. I have numerous studio strobes that operate off of battery packs so we can create beautifully crafted images outdoors.
We can also pack up and go somewhere special for you.
My hard rule for outdoor photography is that we don’t do any big jumps (and I suggest you do no jumps of any sort). The ground can be either unforgivingly hard or uneven, and I do not want you to delay or end your career in pursuit of a photo.
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