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About a year ago, I walked into the local studio for the Russian Ballet Academy, which I had driven by numerous times. I always thought about how much I would love to photograph Ballet dancers. The day I meet Katerina, a tall and beautiful Russian girl, with a very statuesque frame and long limbs and fingers, it was easy to tell she was a ballet dancer as well as a ballet instructor. We had a short conversation and I mentioned I was a photographer who specializes in weddings, but had a journalistic sensibility as well. After I mentioned my intentions, she quickly tried to discourage me by mentioning that many photographers who have tried to take photographs of herself and her dancers had failed primarily based on the difficulty of capturing movements at the right time. I nodded my head in agreement but thought, “Those photographers are not me.”
I gave her my business card and she said she would keep my information and let me know when the next event would be if I wanted to give it a try.
She called me about a month later and invited me to a small show they were putting together to start the Ballet Season. Although I was nervous, I felt calm once I realized that I had a great opportunity to do anything I wanted; at that moment, I decided to document the event in a journalistic way, have fun and experiment.
The end result was more than images for me. The challenge of capturing the dancers at the peak of their movement had proven harder than anticipated, however, by the end of the first act, I was clicking the shutter only once at the peak of every movement. It felt like Mr. Miyagi was training me, with a series of wax on, wax off movements that somehow would pay off and become second nature.
In the end, Katerina loved the images and with her commanding, strong nature, she approved of me. The latest shoot was for Sleeping Beauty and it was the most visually stunning of all the ones I photographed. It was fun and I got to try a few new things I had been experimenting with in my wedding photography, as I continue to define my style. I was happy that once again I got to train on different training grounds. I love this off road experience and I hope you enjoy it too.