Ask a NYC Dance Photographer

I work with so many auditioning and established dancers, but no matter the level of experience, I have found that dancers come to me with smart questions. Questions that help us get the best possible images for them, but also help them understand who they are as dancers and how that translates in auditions, on the stage and into career preparation and advancement.

rachel neville nyc dance photographer ballet white gauze

Courtney Lavine, Dance Audition Photo Rachel Neville NYC

Don’t wait until you come into my Long Island City dance photography studio to ask your question.   I am offering blog readers the opportunity to ask me your most pressing questions about dance auditions, dance photos, how to prepare for a photoshoot.

aerial dance audition photo white tutu

Gianna Caridi, Dance Audition Photo Rachel Neville NYC

Find out what to ask your local photographers to help choose the right dance photographer, how to set yourself apart at auditions and much more.

So go ahead and jump down to the comments and ask me ANYTHING!

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Gianna Nicoline, Dance Audition Photo Rachel Neville NYC

Over the next few weeks I will do my best to answer all of your questions directly and here on the blog.  We are a community, dancers, and we are made stronger by working together, learning together and sharing what we know.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. India says:

    Hi Rachel! My big question is, when you send out prospective emails to companies, should you attach all your materials immediately in the first email, or should one shoot a “feeler email” then after and based on the response from X company, send your stuff?
    Thanks!

  2. Annabelle says:

    Hi! Do you find that students under eighteen auditioning for summer intensives need professionally taken audition photos in order to succeed?

    1. rachelneville says:

      Great question Annabelle. While I don’t think it’s as important for summer intensives that the quality of the images being used be what you would want for company auditions, there is definitely a difference in the confidence and tone of a dancer when she/he feels really confident that their pictures are the very best they can be. There is a learning curve to knowing how to take really great dance images, it’s not actually quite the same as what you do in the dance studio or on stage, and most dancers find the process of learning how to shoot not only empowering but helpful in their training all around (well, I’m not sure thats true for all photographers, let’s be honest, but I know that is very important to me not only as a shooter but as a former teacher). Hope that helps, let me know if you want more clarification!

  3. rachelneville says:

    Hi India! Yes 100%. You might not want to send in a large number of images but one or two that gives them a feel for you is never a bad idea. Remember what we talked about; 10% through your eyes. So stack the deck at any opportunity. Just don’t go on overkill with the numbers.

  4. rachaelk92 says:

    Hi Rachel! One question that I’ve been pondering is, how often do you suggest a dancer update their head shots and dance shots for auditions? I’ve had some professionally done within this past year, but will be auditioning again this year and was curious what your advice might be, as I know it’s important to keep thins up to date. Thanks so much!

    1. rachelneville says:

      Hi rachaelk92, great question! Yes being up to date is important, but I’m also conscious that there’s money, time and energy invested in getting photographs taken so I like to look at the whole picture before answering individually. If you feel that your current shots are really good, that they represent you to the best of your abilities, personality and style, then you are probably going to be fine staying with what you have for a bit. If, however, you did something drastic (dye your hair blue, cut it off, figure out how to gain another foot in your extensions or jumps, fine tune your artistic abilities) you will want the artistic and casting directors to be able to see you for what you have to offer now. Think of it not in terms of ‘I have to do this every year or every 2 years’ but more like ‘am I fully confident and well represented by the images that I have to use’. Good luck!

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