Dance Photos that Make you Stop, Think, Act: Time to Answer the Big Question

Passion? Softness? Energy? Nuance? Elegance? Fierceness? Crazy lines and shapes, bodies that can contort…

This has been a hot topic of conversation at my studio lately. What gives a picture the power to hold your attention? What makes you stop and look at it for more than the 1-2 seconds you normally give to the images you are inundated with every day?

The Wow Factor of course is largely dependent on the audience. A great example is the attention I’m paying to my Instagram account. Now I’m not the photographer who has a crazy number of followers, just a little over 2000 (yes, I was a little late to the party and joined up this past April), but I do want to provide content that my followers enjoy, and to connect with more people who want to see what I do. So I’m paying attention to what people like, what people want to share and comment on.  Seeing what makes people stop in their tracks.

rachel neville dance photos concepts blue feathers bare feet

Interestingly, the images that I post that have a special place in my heart, those that happen to be more along the lines of my conceptual, more personal work, tend to gain fewer ‘likes’ than shots of individual dancers with either super great lines or with awesome props.

The scoring on this is purely based on the transient ‘like’ which is by no means a scientific analysis.  There are many factors at play here, including day and time of day I post. However, the trend is fairly strong.  And from there you can start to draw some conclusions about what kinds of dance photos resonate with audiences.  And that is something that, as a dancer, you need to know.  The same is true for fitness photos.  What fitness photos make potential clients stop in their tracks and say “that’s what I want”?

So the larger question for all dancers, dance companies and fitness professionals to consider is what images make people stop, think and respond.

black and white fitness photos rachel neville

Consider what types of images will make your clients or your audience stop in their tracks and pay attention.  Then work with your dance photographer to create them to deliver powerful dance audition photos or fitness marketing images.

If you’re not sure, before you consult with your dance and movement photographer, ask yourself these questions:

What do you want to see more of?

What images do you  like most?

Do you feel like you need to present a certain look or style in your dance photos and at auditions?  

Does this look connect to who you are, what you want to do, and what makes you stop and look?

Share your answers in the comments!

Color, Texture, Angle, Space: How Photos Communicate

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working on updating some of the images on my website and beginning new projects to re-vamp my book.  A bit of a task yes, but so excellent because it’s forcing me to really look at who I am as a photographer, what my vision is and how what I do makes an impact on the lives and work of my dance, movement and fitness photography clients.

The defining thing that I’ve been thinking about is not just what I like to shoot, but what gets dancers and movement professionals noticed?  What images speak to get your foot in the door?  What makes your images stand out and get you the results (more jobs, more clients, a contract, more tickets purchased for performances) that my photography clients need?

Initially, the common concern for many of my dancers and movement professionals is that they want to look their best.  They want to have the right lines.  Ok great, that’s easily here in the tool box.  I’m a former dancer and teacher, so I address these concerns naturally and give my clients the confidence they need for great dance and fitness photos.  But what else?

What colors, textures, angles, feelings can we pull out?  What can we do to make your images exciting, to give them a visual impact that makes your audience stop and look at you?  What makes your work different and how can we bring that to light in images

These are the important questions that not every dance photographer or fitness photographer will ask.  And this is where your images can really stand out for you.  Here is some of the new work I’ve been doing with just those themes: color, textures and spacial features?

In the next few weeks I will be writing a series of posts talking about each of these themes and how understanding them and using them can transform your photos and truly make them work hard for you.

When you look at these images, which ones stand out to you the most?  Do you respond to color, texture, angle?  What do you feel when you see certain colors, textures or angles in a shot?  And what do you want people to feel when they look at your photo?

performing arts photographer Rachel Neville purple cello
black white dancer 3d box rachel neville photography
red color and texture for dance photography rachel neville
props contrast color space dance photography rachel neville
pink gray dance photo rachel neville

Photo Roundup: Location Shoots, Performances and Studio Shoots with Rachel Neville Photography NYC

dancer jumping on West 4th Street NYC by dance photographer rachel neville

One of the great things about being a New York City dance photographer is having the chance to work with an assortment of dancers, from a variety of dance companies all over NYC.

NYC dance photographer studio photo blends classic and modern

In addition to the fun and creativity we get to have in the photography studio with dancers for audition shots and dance photo portfolios, as an NYC dance photographer I get to go all over the city for location shoots and dance performances.

New York City dance photographer Rachel Neville performance photography for Ellison Ballet

The past few months have been great, full of live dance performances, location shoots and studio work with my dancer clients and dance company clients in New York City.

outdoor dance photos forest in NYC dance photographer Rachel Neville

In my Instagram contest celebrating the opening of my new NYC photography studio in Long Island City, I asked dancers to tell me what inspires them to work hard.  I hope that these images inspire you to work hard, to get out and enjoy your city, and to get creative with your dance images.

dancers jump into summer pink sneakers overalls photo nyc dance photographer rachel neville

 

 

pas de deux performance photography rachel neville new york

 

 

Feeling inspired?

Book a summer photo shoot while there’s still time!

inspired dance nyc dance photographer photo inspiration

 

inspire dance nyc dance photographer rachel neville inspiration

Photos from San Francisco Photo Shoot Trip!

I’m back in NYC after a fabulous trip to San Francisco where I got to work with some amazing dancers. I had a great time playing with every one of you and I hope that you’re loving your shots as much as I am.

Can’t wait for my next trip!

 

dancer photo rachel nevilleChristina Schifano

dancer photo rachel neville

Mwei Shin Tsao

dancer photo rachel neville

 Laurel Benson

dancer photo rachel neville

 Grace Gibson

dancer photo rachel neville

 Blair Mendez

dancer photo rachel neville

 Anne-Sophie Rodriguez

dancer photo rachel neville

 Laurel Benson

dancer photo rachel neville

 Sasha Bishop

dancer photo rachel neville

 Wes Bishop

dancer photo rachel neville

Valentina Reneff-Olsen

dancer photo rachel neville

Jamie Hamaker

Book your shoot, now!

Mini Shoot Day!

I love when I get to see all different types of clients on one day!  The mini photo shoot sessions were a huge success for clients who got great promotional, audition, portfolio images and headshots done  for dance and fitness.

promotional headshots rachel neville

The event was such a success that I received a number of requests asking that I add another mini shoot special day.  So we did, on Sunday April 27th.  Now is your chance to get in on the fun- but book fast because slots are filling up!

contemporary dance photographer rachel neville

I look forward to sharing more of the details with you, but for now here are some of my favs from the day.

promotional shots nyc dance photographer rachel neville

fitness photos photographer rachel neville fitness marketing shots
modern dance nyc dance photographer rachel neville
braiana reed fitness photographer rachel neville
white leotard mini photo shoot nyc dance photographer rachel neville

Rachel Neville Photography

Spring Mini Session Special
Sunday, April 27th
mini shoot rachel neville

ballet photo shoot nyc dance photographer rachel neville

Most Common Question Dancers Ask about Audition Photos – Poses

Recently I sent out a note to my email subscribers about one of the most common questions I get from dancers I photograph.  In the pre-photo shoot consultation my dancer clients want to know if they should prepare a list of poses.  Basically, dancers want to know what to do during a photo shoot.

Over all, this is an individual process and complicated topic because every dancer is different.  Even seemingly ‘perfect’ bodies shoot differently.

dance audition photos white ballet dress white pointe shoes photographer tips auditions

Rebecca Reeves, Ellison Ballet, New York

For dancers about to book audition photoshoots who want to know what to do and what poses work for audition photos, here is a quick list of tips.

Continue reading