Katie is a new friend I have made in my brief time in Wesley Chapel Florida. For many years she was a professional dancer and on stage around the country. Now in her Wesley Chapel home she has her own dance studio. I went over on a Sunday evening to make some ballet dancer model portfolio shots in that studio and found out the real challenge of shooting in a room with a wall of mirrors! It took me quite a few different setup tries to eliminate or reduce lights and myself ending up in the background of shots. Katie also had the hard task of repeating physical ballet moves like the one above!
In this shot Katie takes a break from jumps and relaxes with a leg up. I tried out the bar myself and took two tries before I could swing my leg up on its own (no hand help) even though I am three inches taller than Katie! Range of motion is something I know I need to keep working on.
Not suprisingly, being on tip toes is not the most comfortable thing to do in the world. I realized quickly that my usual lens I like to use for model shoots, my Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D was not going to be practical in such a space, and switched to my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens which was used for all the shots seen here.
Katie also uses her dance studio as a fitness and workout center. It was not possible to remove all things from the room, and they were too hard to remove digitally on their own, so in the above shot I just cut out Katie herself and put her on that digital background, which is actually a portion of a photograph I made at a car event (see the second photo from the bottom) that had cool red lighting.
We shot for quite sometime and Katie was great about repeating each jump & pose as long as needed to get just the right shot in terms of lighting, limb placement and composition. I got to learn just how challenging it is to shoot in a hall of mirrors and to be a ballet dancer!