I first had the opportunity to photograph professional flamenco dancer Vanessa two years ago. We had been in touch a few times since then about me photograhing her dancing again. Well, last week finally everything worked out so that I could photograph her while performing at Ceviche in St. Petersburg. Vanessa told me beforehand that the basement flamenco bar of Ceviche is very, very dark. I spoke with a photography colleague who has shot there and he confirmed that adding also that the ceiling is very low. The biggest challenge proved to be the red stage lights, followed by the very tight space available for shooting (serving staff & customers passing by).
The small space, though, provided for a very lively environment with the band playing quickly and loudly, and the four flamenco dancers taking their turns on the low stage. Vanessa has her turn while the other dancers looked on.
I could have used my speedlights to fill the entire space with light, resulting in radically different photos than you see here. However, Vanessa wanted the images to reflect the actual available light in the performance space as much as possible, which I agreed with. Since most of the lighting in the basement was reddish and yellowish, those are the tones of the images along with deep shadows in the background.
It was a very fun challenge photographing Vanessa in Ceviche's flamenco bar basement. Maybe next time I will return just as a customer!