Skye’s Dance Photo Shoot

One day this girl is going to be a star. Skye taught me that if you’re passionate about something, you need to envision what you want, plan how you are going to get it and keep going until you’re satisfied. It’s a principle that we can all use.

This was once of my favourite shoots before I left Singapore and moved to Minneapolis – different to anything I had done before but so exhilarating and beautiful! Skye’s mom Lisa had already done a photo shoot with me for herself and her husband, so she knew what to expect. She called me to book a dance photo shoot for her 12-year old daughter, Skye, who wanted to build her dance portfolio to present with her applications to dance schools.

Perfect  Preparation

I always insist of a high level of pre-shoot preparation. It is essential for creating the most successful and enjoyable photo shoot so I remain in constant contact with my clients beforehand. Skye and I communicated several times prior to her shoot, sharing a Pinterest board and emailing different ideas about what she liked and what she wanted from the shoot. She and Lisa spent time preparing the outfits and shopping for the perfect look, so when they arrived on the day there was no messing around and we were ready to roll.

The Day of the Shoot

We started off with some amazing leaping shots. Right from the start Skye enthralled me with her athleticism and grace, as well as her willingness to repeat the leaps several times so that we could get it just right. Her energy was limitless – that’s youth for you!  My goal was to capture the shots perfectly in camera so that I wouldn’t need to ‘fix anything’ in post – I’ve posted a couple of behind-the-scenes shots of the photo session to show the set-up.

After the white background we switched to the black backdrop, gave Skye some silks and turned the fan on. The results were so gorgeous that it was tough for all of us not to get carried away, but we only had 2 hours for the shoot and needed to stick to our plan. We did several combos of ballet outfits, skirts and leg-warmers and what incredible images we got!

Skye was such an inspiration: only 12 years old but she knew exactly what she was looking for when I showed her the back of my camera. She was looking for the perfect shape and form of each dance pose. Towards the end of this dance photo session we decided that we had achieved all of the dramatic, movement-filled poses that Skye wanted.  We moved on to capture some calmer photos of Skye looking serene – great portraits for her mom to keep. We took portraits of her holding her pointe shoes, and some close-up images.

Everyone was thrilled

After the shoot Lisa (Skye’s mom) was thrilled with the dance portraits of Skye and ordered some poster-sized prints for the wall. Here’s what she had to say about the dance photo shoot:

“Having been extremely happy with the beautiful photos Amber had taken of me on a previous occasion, booking her for dance shoot photos for my daughter, Skye, was an easy decision. I enjoy having photos of my children doing “their thing” – Skye’s thing is dance and Amber’s brief was to capture moments of movement in addition to capturing the essence of Skye. Skye thoroughly enjoyed the whole event, Amber PinInteresting her possible shots, the outfits, make up and of course the actual shoot. Watching Amber taking photos of my daughter I was touched by how quickly she put Skye at ease and it was lovely to observe them both having fun with the shoot. I love the final images, they’re exactly what I was hoping for and most days I waste far too much time looking at them! So happy to have been able to capture that slice of time.”

Every time I look at these photos I am inspired by Skye – and now feel motivated to find more dancers to work with. Contact me if you are located in the Minneapolis MN area and are interested with doing a dance photo shoot together 🙂

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Senior Portraits with Jessi

Jessi and I were neighbors so I was delighted when she asked me to take her senior portraits! She told me that she loved the views and scenery along Highway 12 close to our neighborhood. On the day of the shoot we set off and began our senior photo session at the Kenwood Inn and Spa, a beautiful place that is frequently used for weddings and other events.

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Next we chose an open grassy meadow and used a chair that Jessi had as a prop. The rolling hills of Sonoma County make a stunning backdrop don’t you agree?

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The last place we visited for Jessi’s senior photo session was one of the wineries – after all we were in the Wine Country!

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Yanna – Senior Portrait Photography

When Yanna asked me to work with her on a Senior portrait photography shoot I was thrilled. We have known each other for several years and I photographed her when she was younger. Now she has grown into a beautiful and confident woman who is just beginning on a new journey. I wish her all the best as she finishes high school and enters the ‘big wide world’.

For any of you not familiar with Senior portrait photography, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the use of these images:

Senior portraits are often included in graduation announcements or are given to friends and family. They are also used in yearbooks and are usually rendered larger than their underclassmen counterparts and are often featured in color, even if the rest of the yearbook is mostly reproduced in black and white. In some schools the requirements are strict regarding the choice of photographer or in the style of portraiture, with only traditional-style portraits being acceptable. Many schools choose to contract one photographer for their yearbook portraits, while other schools allow many different photographers to submit yearbook portraits.

Many parents choose to frame a large print of their child’s senior portrait for display in their home. One popular way of displaying the senior portrait is in a special photo mat cut to display small copies of the student’s school photos from kindergarten to their junior year, displayed in a circle (like the numbers of a clock) surrounding a larger opening for the senior portrait. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_photography

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