Category Archives: Dance

Don’t Fall In Love With The Models

Dancer DeniseThe other night I went and saw the Revolve Dance Company and was blown away. The visuals I got are feeding future photographic endeavors and I recommend going to see dance whenever you can. I’ve said before that dancers make great models because they know how to use their body and “pose” naturally.

I noticed another thing about my thought processes. I started attributing all kinds of positive attributes to the dancers.

They were beautiful, talented, flexible, expressive. All true.

I also started thinking they were nice, friendly, intelligent, loving, likable, and other positive character traits. Now it may be they are all those things. I don’t know because I don’t really know them. Were I not a married man I can see how these things would attract me to those dancers.

Why am I telling you this? Because I see photographers do this all the time with models.

You start attributing everything positive to models, often just from looking at their portfolios. Then you start projecting all these positive feelings on them and start fantasizing about how it would be to know them. In extreme cases you fall in love, or more accurately you fall in lust.

The easiest cure for this is to shoot a bunch of models. After 10 or so interactions with various models – including ones you’ve had these feelings for – you’ll learn they are just people. Pretty people, but full of all flaws and foibles of everyone else. And you’ll find out how they really feel about you. You’ll get to the point where just cuz she’s pretty don’t mean she’s your next girlfriend.

You’ll also get treated poorly by models and learn some of them are just like the cheerleaders in high school. They think they are all that and you should serve them.

You’ll learn they are full of insecurities. They will tell you parts of their bodies are ugly and how they hate them and you’ll be incredulous because those very parts are what you want to photograph.

My advice is not to fall in love with the models at all. Don’t go projecting onto them all things wonderful and good from carefully crafted images. You know photographers and models create illusions, right?

Now I think I’m going to go track down some of those dancers from Revolve and tell them how much I love them…I mean how much I loved their dance. 🙂

Belly Dancer Abs

Belly Dancer Abs
Belly Dancer Abs

Model: Ashley Warnken
MUA: Michelle of Poison Makeup Art

Ashley is a professional belly dancer and also has a beautifully hard body. I’ve shot belly dancers at the Texas Renaissance Festival for years. I’ve even given them my card, though they’ve never contacted me. Maybe next year I’ll put this image on a business card.

There were two light for this shot, a softbox with a bastard amber gel front camera left. A strobe with barndoor behind for the edge. Couldn’t keep the lens flare out, but I think it kind of adds to the image, though there is a color shift in the middle I’m not real happy with.

Model Vanity Dark Dancer

Vanity was part of a dance group and I’ve ended up shooting every member of that group. We wanted to do something dance related, but the Panic Dolls are now a bright white kind of group. More a razor blade belly button ring kind of group. So I went with this darker set up.


Brittany Breanne – Ballet And Jeans

Have I mentioned that dancers are great models. They have a feel for their bodies that helps them do some cool posing.

Brittany mentioned in her profile that she had a dance background and when we were planning the shoot she mentioned wanting to do something in ballet shoes. I’m not one to do anything traditional or predictable and I wanted the theme of tough. So I had the idea of shooting her in jeans and a whit top.

These were the result.

She is flexible but jeans aren’t, so she wasn’t able to do everything she wanted to.

Model: Brittany Breanne
MUA: Kristen Daniell