|Final year of training audition shot '02 (photo:Roe O'Connor)|
As you gain experience in the dance world, employers want to see that you have stage experience. It is best to collect performances shots, if at all possible. If there is a professional photographer, try to get any photos of yourself through the organization that you are dancing for. If this doesn't work, dont be afraid to approach the photographer or search for their business online. Sometimes, the photographers will charge you for photos and at other times they will give them to you for free. I have heard of dancers that sometimes grab images off of facebook or a public gallery online and save them to their computer (you would have to figure out how to do this). If you do this, by all means, give credit to the photographer. Use your best discretion.
|Performing w/Seiskaya Ballet (photo:Dmitri Papadakov)|
|Performing w/Avi Scher & Dancers (Photo:Matthew Murphy)|
|Performing w/Dance Fusion (Photo:Bill Hebert)|
|Performing w/Ballet X (Photo:Alexander Izaliev)|
One type of performance shot that I feel is important to have, especially as a male, is one executing some type of partnering skill. It is important, especially for a man, to show that they have the experience, strength, and technique to perform any role that is thrown their way. You can view a partnering photo that I might send to a prospective employer in my previous blog about Preparing for limited-rehearsal gigs or by viewing the photo that I have posted to the right.
|Headshot (Photo:Shalem Mathew)|
|Headshot (Photo:Angela Sterling)|
My final advice for those that have read this far is for dancers that are starting up, looking for updated shots and low on cash, or that would like to expand their portfolio. I remember when I began dancing professionally, I figured that the company photographer would take great photos of me and that I would get them from her. Unfortunately, it was quite uncommon for anybody but the "favorites" of that company to be captured in time. Beyond that, I assumed, to a degree, that people would just throw themselves at all of us professionals in the hopes that they would get to photograph we the creatures of dance. This wasn't the case. I spent 7 years with only two photographers that approached me who were genuinely interested in photographing me (one that got a great shot, but required us to pose on a muddy mountain with horseflies biting us until we had to stop 10 minutes into the shoot: The one shot that worked). Unfortunately, the other photographer didn't have a penchant for catching dance at its' finest. So, how does one get headshots and dance shots for free? I have joined the network Model Mayhem. Essentially, this is a network to gain exposure in the modeling industry. But the modeling industry is vast and has many different genre's that photographers are interested in. The great thing about Model Mayhem is that all you need is 5 photos of anything you consider modeling to be approved and then you have an entire network open to you. I'm not sure if Model Mayhem is really a great option if you are looking for modeling opportunities, but there are many photographers listed that are interested in expanding their portfolio. Most are willing to do this for trade. Be sure to do your research and that you are in a safe, comfortable environment if you meet up with a photographer. It may take some work to get the photog on point, but work together to give them your best work and get some great photographs at the same time.