A Photographer's Lightbox

Cary Ballet Conservatory

Advice From A Dancer

Deanna Seay

Cary Ballet Conservatory, 20 November 2010

If Botticelli Had A Camera

Dancer Miranda Thomas

Cary Ballet Conservatory, 14 November 2021

Scary Pictures!

Image Galleries Here: 3D Jazz Project – “A Nightmare On Dry Ave

Fright Night!

Ticket Info Here: 3D Jazz Project – Cary Arts Center 6 & 8 PM 11.5.21

If Halloween Wasn’t Scary Enough!

Ticket Info Here: 3D Jazz Project – Cary Arts Center 6 & 8 PM 11.5.21


11 Octobers ago, I went to photograph “Children’s Celebration of The Arts” for Cary Citizen.

I was trying to figure out how to connect with the place I’d lived for a dozen years but didn’t know because of work.

I’d told Hal and Lindsey I wanted to photograph small events, with heart

I found that and what has become, the soul of my art and my extended family

Andrea Huynh – Children’s Celebration of The Arts

Cary Ballet Conservatory 16 Oct 2010

International Ballet Day

Dancer Olivia Vessillo – Cary Ballet Conservatory 26 Dec 2017

Rehearsal for The Gala

It’s called Youth America Grand Prix but it’s truly an International Dance Competition.

They know who knows dance

Which explains Cary Ballet’s invitation to perform in the YAGP México Gala in Orizaba, Veracruz.

And good reason to make some promo photographs in Studio A at Cary Ballet Conservatory.

Cary Ballet dancers will perform two world premiere pieces by Krista King-Doherty

Guided by Cary Ballet Artistic & Professional Training Program Director Mariaelena Ruiz

And it was good to get some time in Studio with this bunch!

Cary Ballet Conservatory – 7 October 2021


Cary Ballet Company

Spring Works – Space & Tech

13 March 2019 – Cary Arts Center

I Saw It In Paris

An exhibit of Anders Zorn’s portraits stopped me cold at the Petit Palias in Paris, 2017

The limited pallete of his portrait of Rosita Mauri ….

I was trying to set rim lights and this was an exposure mistake, turned right

Dancer Sydney Upchurch – Cary Ballet Conservatory – 24 August 2021

For A Dancer

Dancer Julia Walden – Costume Caroline Fagan

Photograph for Caroline Fagan at Cary Ballet Conservatory 15 August 2021

2021 Prix Challenge Showcase Photographs

Galleries here: 2021 Prix Challenge Showcase – Cary Ballet Conservatory 7 August 2021

2021 Summer Showcase Photographs

I know how he feels, should’ve had these done sooner – Galleries here: 2021 Summer Intensive Showcase

Cary Ballet Conservatory – 31 July 2021


Friday, 29 Sept 2017 – My ancient laptop, attached to the Internet with Google Voice forwarded to the land line in our Paris vacation apartment rang: “Can you shoot a a promo for 3D Jazz on Sunday? Okay, we’re flying back tomorrow, Saturday, so sure.”

Sunday, 1 Oct. 2017 – This is what Americans look like. The boys will figure it out. Eventually.

“Hush Up and Dance” – 3D Project Dance Company, Fall 2017

“Light As Air and Quick As Lightning”

Letter from Abigail Adams to her sister, Mary Smith Cranch. Paris, 20 February, 1785

“The first dance which I saw upon the Stage shoked me, the Dress’es and Beauty of the performers was enchanting, but no sooner did the Dance commence, than I felt my delicacy wounded, and I was ashamed to bee seen to look at them. Girls cloathd in the thinest Silk: and Gauze, with their peticoats short Springing two foot from the floor poising themselves in the air, with their feet flying, and as perfectly shewing their Garters and draws, as tho no peticoat had been worn, was a sight altogether new to me.”

Their motions are as light as air and as quick as lightning. They balance themselves to astonishment. No description can equal the reality.”

“Shall I speak a Truth and say that repeatedly seeing these Dances has worn of that disgust which I first felt, and that I see them now with pleasure. … The art of dancing is carried to the highest degree of perfection that it is capable of; at the opera.”

Lighting Stand In

Setup for Dancer Photographs – Cary Ballet Conservatory Studio Recital 4 June 2021

I’d metered my lights but still needed a Stand In for a test shot.

Ended up with a Sit In but she worked with me!

Studio Dog aka “Lucy”

Dancer Headshot

I mentioned Grace Kelly and of course, she didn’t know who that was. Her Mom just smiled.

Julia Walden at Cary Ballet Conservatory 13 June 2021

Elegant Allegro

Julia Walden at Cary Ballet Conservatory 13 June 2021

Juneteenth Plus 1

Willie Hinton at Cary Ballet Conservatory 13 June 2021

Juneteenth Eve

Willie Hinton at Cary Ballet Conservatory 13 June 2021

High Key

He put up with me test driving home brew, hot rod lights for three hours

Willie Hinton at Cary Ballet Conservatory 13 June 2021

2021 Showcase Studio Photographs

Yep, they’re on line, T-Ball to Triple A

Galleries here: 2021 Showcase Studio Photographs

Cary Ballet Conservatory Studio Recital – 5 June 2021

Tough Customer

Bookings since late May (hallelujah!) have delayed the edit of these Studio Recital photographs until today.

Aiming to finish and post by late Saturday. This was the first of a long and unusual day. Which I loved.

I’m anxious to see them too and sure I better deliver – or else!

Pre-Ballet 4-6 Year Old

Cary Ballet Conservatory Studio Recital – 5 June 2021



Felipe Valentini

Professional Training Program at Cary Ballet Conservatory – 5 June 2021

Why I Know Everything Will Be Okay

B&W _IMG5737

Pre-Ballet 4-6 Year Old

Cary Ballet Conservatory Studio Recital – 5 June 2021

Just One More

When a Dancer asks, my answer is always, yes!



Dancer Isabelle Burke

Cary Ballet Conservatory – 5 June 2021


Cooper Everson at Cary Ballet Conservatory 2 April 2021


Maiden voyage with converted theater light

Cooper Everson at Cary Ballet Conservatory 2 April 2021

“Chasing The Bird”

Refreshing my Portfolio site, I let go and reached back in the memory bank for moments when you just know. My hunch is, it happens to dancers and musicians too. It’s practice and planning and work and sometimes it all becomes something more. Alchemy.

I’ve put maybe 700 or 800 K shutter actuation’s on 11 DSLR’s since 2007. My Lighting Class students make jokes about all the light gear I haul into class. The Sales Manager at Mole Richardson in Hollywood emails engineering drawings of obsolete accessories. There are replacement reflectors heading my way for the ones I used to modify theater ellipsoids. Also in transit is a 10″ Top Hat from eBay and some Gobos for the Mole Focal Spot. And there’s a triple riser wheeled Junior in the upstairs hall next to my old tripod with a new quick release assembly that came via Royal Mail (wore out the casting). “The Bird”, Charley Parker understood it: “You’ve got to learn your instrument.”

And I took some more of Bird’s advice: “Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”

My work has changed in the 3 years since I made this but it was five years after my Epiphany. This is a fresh edit from the Digital Negative from the part of the session that was all improv, real jazz. Portraits are always a collaboration and when there is mutual trust, man, you can wail.

WIP 097 Vessillo

Studio Session with Ms Olivia Vessillo

Professional Training Program at Cary Ballet Conservatory – 26 Dec 2017

The Indulgence of a Muse – Redux

WIP 3 2021

In 1979, MoMA in NYC presented “Ansel Adams and the West” [MoMA Exh. #1273, September 5–October 28, 1979]

It was a retrospective that included versions of prints he made from the same negative, over 20 years.

Like Eric Clapton sang, trying to “get the music right”

This only took me 3 years

Her patience and trust allowed the slower pace and uncertain outcome of film

I’ve been very lucky – when I needed a Muse, the Muse was there

Studio Session with Mikayla McKean – Cary Ballet Conservatory, 20 May 2018