Studio Portrait Rehearsal
An unrepentant portraitist, Sunday afternoon in studio, trying out new gear with dancers is complete heaven. Time and schedule dictated broad brush lighting setups. But like dancers, if I don’t rehearse, the performance will suffer. To make this, a strobe was boomed overhead, fitted with a homemade “globe”. She held a small reflector to partly open neck shadows and a gridded strobe on the background provided some separation. With more time, I’d change back light position but testing the “globe” was accomplished. I wanted to make light as elegant and lovely as she is.
Student in Master Class with Justin Allen at Cary Ballet Conservatory 27 September 2015
Photographing a studio class is dramatically different than a theater. Theaters have visual drama with a proscenium and stage lighting. Studios have windows to parking lots and industrial lighting. Visually, it’s the difference between Notre Dame and Costco. But in studio, in class, is where I began to understand the work ethic of dancers and understand it is where their work is done and dancers are made. It is extraordinary.
Crossing the threshold of a studio, with barre and mirror, something does happen akin to entering a theater. The play is the thing and all else is left outside. There is a common experience because regardless of ability, class is a constant in a dancers life. Theater discipline applies because class is also a performance. And why I’m there.