It’s #TutuTuesday!

Every week on Facebook, we celebrate #TutuTuesday and show of some of our favorite dance photos featuring tutus and the dancers who rock them.

Take a look at today’s tutu photo of the day.

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Brianna Crockett, Ellison Ballet

And some other great dance photos of dancers in the iconic dance wear piece (that doesn’t have to be frilly!).

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Marie Tender, Ellison Ballet

white tutu sheer top

Angeli Mamon, Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB)

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Sarah Gabrielle Ryan, PA Ballet, Second Company

Follow us on Instagram for more images from audition photos, dance company photo shoots, dance performances and dance project photography.

Fall NYC Dance Audition and Image Workshop with Dance Photographer Rachel Neville

After successful dance marketing workshops this summer in NYC and San Francisco, I am pleased to announce that the fall edition of my workshop is now accepting applicants.

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Alexander Mays, Photo Rachel Neville

Join me Saturday, November 21st, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at my Long Island City dance photography studio (25-19 Borden Ave Suite 216 Long Island City, NY, 11101) for an informative, fun and helpful workshop for dancers.

What We Will Cover

At the half-day workshop, we will talk about the How-Tos of image making like the elements of a good audition photo and headshot.  And we will give you the marketing tips and audition tips you need to take the next successful step in your professional dance career.

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Aryssa Alonzo, Photo Rachel Neville

What Dancers and Dance Companies Say about the Rachel Neville Dance Marketing Workshop

“Rachel gave me more than fantastic images. She gave me a new approach to and perspective on my dancing and instilled in me a new sense of confidence. It was an experience I will never forget.” – Alayna Brenchley

“Thank you for the wonderful workshop… I was blown away by all the new and insightful information and I left inspired to put a plan of action together right away!” – Laura Anne Wallace

“My students texted me after, they have found it very innovative and inspiring (me too!)” – Nadege Hottier, Principal, Premiere Division

Dance Auditioning Marketing and Image Workshop

Saturday, November 21, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Rachel Neville Photography Studio
25-19 Borden Ave Suite 216
Long Island City, NY, 11101 (just 10 minutes from Grand Central Station)

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Claire Wilson, Photo Rachel Neville

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Email to reserve your spot at the Dance Audition Marketing and Image Workshop.

Costume and Prop Tips for Creative Dance Photos

Halloween is almost here. I’m a dance photographer. Do you think my 2.5 and 5 year old kids want to be ballerinas in tutus and tiaras that they see on my screenshot or the butterflies they love to pretend to be in pre-ballet classes? Oh no. I wish.

Or something creative like.. a slug, or a Rubik’s cube or a Japanese flag. Well, that might be projecting a little.. but no. It’s Elsa 1 and 2 from Frozen for us.

Which of course got me thinking of all of you.
What to wear is a common topic of conversation in our dance photo consultations. For those focused on audition photos, it’s often mostly about what leotards will look best and shoot well, sometimes a few tutus or skirts thrown in.
creative dance photos costume prop
Sarah Gabrielle Ryan, PA Ballet 2, Photo Rachel Neville
For those doing more images for marketing and perhaps for beginning to learn how to shoot dance photographs, we can have more fun with costumes and materials. What works well?
A few tips for you on using costume and fabric in dance photos…
Flowy material is a given, whether it’s skirts or dresses (the current Instagram fav) or a loose top. you can’t go wrong. But be careful the material doesn’t cover too much.
Stretch leggings or jeans and a more pedestrian top work well, too.  Focus on any fabric or cut that helps you see your shape (tight) but that you can move in.
Don’t forget props…
We love Michaels, thrift stores, and set and prop shops. Look for props to use that accentuate a concept without overshadowing the dancer. Oh yah, and Home Depot… you’d be surprised!
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Alexandra Polaski, SFB Trainee,  Photo Rachel Neville
So get creative and have fun with your dance photos.  And yes… I will post a photo of my little Elsas.  Happy Halloween!

Powerful Dance Photography for an Innovative Dance Company: Rachel Neville for Eryc Taylor Dance Company

I absolutely LOVED working with the Eryc Taylor Dance company and I know you are going to love their show just as much. ETD’s upcoming show, The Exhibit, runs Oct 15-18th at The Alchemical Theatre Laboratory, 104 W. 14th Street in NYC and tickets are still on sale, but they are going fast!

Dance Mission Resonates in Dance Photography

Based in NYC, Eryc Taylor Dance has a mission to “advance appreciation of dance and educate the public about dance by creating and presenting original performances, conducting master classes and workshops, and making grants to aspiring choreographers.”


Through their innovative choreography, the aim of the dance company is to “find, explore and execute new points of view and combine varied styles of dance on and off pointe.”  The company pushes for honesty in its choreography and performance.  Honesty, boundary pushing and creativity were all elements of our shoot to prepare images for Eryc Taylor Dance Company and for photo and promotional materials for the upcoming performances of The Exhibit.

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The company’s  mission is clearly present in The Exhibit, and also in the experience we had for the dance company photo shoot here at the Rachel Neville Photography Studio in Long Island City, NYC.

Communication and Openness in the Dance Photography Studio

I really enjoyed the process of working with Eryc leading up to the shoot, on the day of the dancer photo shoot and in post production, creating dance company promotional pieces including the poster for The Exhibit.  We had several meetings to make sure that nothing was left to chance, and Eryc’s communication allowed me to have images come to life in my head so that we were able to create them very specifically on the day of the shoot.

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His dancers were fun and adventurous in shooting, and we were really able to get them to ‘go there,’ by creating expectations but also by creating a supportive and safe space for the dancers to really ‘perform’ in the shoot.  And as a result, we got excellent results.

See Eryc Taylor Dance Company in The Exhibit

I can’t wait to see these guys in the performance space.  It is sure to be a really interesting show, and one not to be missed.

men dancing circle shape eryc taylor dance company photographer rachel neville nyc

Grab your tickets now.

Rachel Neville on Movers and Shapers Dance Podcast

I was thrilled to be interviewed by Erin Carlisle Norton, Artistic Director of The Moving Architects on the Movers & Shapers dance podcast.

rachel neville podcast movers and shapers dance photographer interview

On the episode, available now, I talk about why marketing is so important for dancers, how to grab the right attention from the right eyes in the limited amount of time you have to make an impression, and what it has been like to build a dance and movement photography business in NYC.

Listen now!

Big thanks to Movers and Shapers for inviting me to join in on the podcast. I hope you all enjoy listening to the episode as much as I enjoyed taking part in it.

Podcast also available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Meet Varvara Kalinin of Perfect Posture Pilates

Perfect Posture Pilates NYCVarvara Kalinin is the owner of Perfect Posture Pilates, a pilates studio in Astoria Queens, near our photography studio in Long Island City, NYC.

Varvara’s studio is “a contemporary Pilates studio offering private and group Pilates instruction for both body conditioning and rehabilitative needs.”

With this brand identity in mind, Varvara came to Rachel Neville Photography to create images that connected with her brand, pushed her marketing to the next level, and integrated with her new website.

We spoke with Varvara about the importance of creating powerful fitness marketing images for her business, what her goals are for her new website, and why it is important to understand who you are so you can serve your clients best.

How important is it for your clients to see a professional website with quality images?

Your website and marketing materials are the first impression of your business and your name .

Having professional pictures and images is as important for a business as having a professional website

pilates photos Rachel Neville

What did you learn about the power of images after working with fitness photographer Rachel Neville?

Images make your website stand out.  People look at images much more than text.

Through images you create your story, your approach, your name.

pilates studio in queens

What has the response been to your new website from current clients, from new clients, and from others?

I have been getting a great response from old and new clients about my new website.  They also agree that the website looks very much like my new studio, which was exactly what I wanted.  [Like the studio, the website is] bright, airy, open, clean, fresh, with spring tones and a holistic feel.

pilate pose Rachel Neville fitness photographer

Based on the experience of creating new images and building a new website, what is your number one piece of advice for fitness professionals who are worried about taking the next steps in marketing their businesses and themselves?

If you are starting a business or looking to build a website invest in getting professional images done.

For more about Varvara and Perfect Posture Pilates, located on the 3rd floor of 23-08 30th Ave., Astoria, NY 11102, check out the new website: or call 310-413-2293.


Congratulations Dancers! Winning Contracts with Great Audition Photos

This is an exciting time of year for many auditioning dancers, who are announcing where they are going next and what dance company contracts they have received.

It is a joy to see the dancers who attended my Marketing Workshop for Dancers and whose dance audition photos I took announce that they have signed professional dance contracts and are taking the next step in their careers.

Gianna Nicoline, who received a contract with Richmond Ballet, had this to say about her audition photos and my marketing workshop for dancers in NYC.

“I never thought too much about my audition photographs.  I just assumed a headshot and a first arabesque photo taken by a friend at my dance studio would be sufficient.  Then I attended one of Rachel Neville’s dance marketing workshops and felt very differently.  

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This season was my first professional audition experience.  It was totally different from my past summer intensive experiences.  I booked a session with Rachel and after listening to her workshop advice.  My headshot and photos were stunning.  Rachel managed to capture the very best of me for my photos.  Her knowledge of dance and the body made the shoot so enjoyable.  

When presenting my photos at my auditions everyone did a ‘double take’ taking the time to really look at my photos, not just shove them in the pile with the rest of the applicants.  There were two companies that I wanted to audition for that were by ‘invitation only.’  I had to send in a video along with photos in order to be considered to audition.

Along with the video, I sent the required photos and a few extra special ones (all taken by Rachel of course!).  For both auditions, I was invited to the audition!  I sincerely believe that the photos got me the invite!

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Emily Simpson now has a contract at the Pittsburg Ballet Theater

unconventional dance audition photos

Jessica McCann also received a contract from PBT.
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Angeli Mamon got a contract with Pacific Northwest Ballet
dance costume dance audition photos

Ainsley Sorenson was offered a contract with Arizona Ballet.

Congratulations to all of the dancers, these and many others with whom I have worked this year, on a successful audition season!

Learn more about my Marketing Workshop for Dancers, perfect for taking the next step in your dance career.