I’m what you might call a “full service” photographer because there isn’t much I don’t do. I’m probably best known for photographing beach weddings because I do so many of those (over 500 at this point) but I do so many other projects throughout the year. One of my favorites is dance pictures.
Working with dancers presents it’s own set of challenges and rewards. One of the challenges being that, unlike school pictures for example, you have to shoot full-length. For a photographer, this is much more difficult than just shooting from the waist up. It requires more lights and a bigger backdrop for starters, as well as more space to work.
I’ve been photographing the dancers at Karl DiMarco Dance Studio for six years now and it’s been such a treat. I’ve watched these girls grow up through my camera lens. With the older girls, I don’t even have to tell them what to do. They’ve posed for me so many times….
On occasion, I’m contacted by another school for dance pictures but most of the time they don’t really want to devote any time to it. They want a photographer to come in and set up during regular class time for several nights in a row, take pictures of anyone who wants it done, then put the images online so they can buy prints if the wish. While this sounds like a great idea at first, it never turns out that way. You end up sitting around doing nothing night after night, photographing a few kids, then having half the parents neglect to go online and purchase. This is why so many studios have to get a new photographer every year, no one wants to do it a second time.
The way we work is different. The studio sets aside a day just for pictures. Everyone signs up in advance and purchases a min. package. Then, on picture day we move quickly and efficiently to photograph everyone in full-length, half-body and group shots. The images are posted online and the parents can pick their poses, change their order, add prints, whatever they wish. Or, they can just leave it to us to print the package they ordered at the session. If for any reason they don’t wish to get any prints, we refund their package in full, no questions asked.
I feel sorry for the parents who don’t get this sort of service. When I look back at the years of dance pictures I have of my own daughter, all shot the same style so they all match, I’m so glad I have this incredible record of something that is such a big part of her identity. A while back I photographed Senior Portraits for a dancer I have known for years. As a gift, I gave her mom a print with 26 different dance pictures shot over 6 years.
In addition to prints, we have custom collages so that parents with multiple costumes can consolidate images to one print. I mean, if your child has 11 costumes, you really don’t want 11 different 5×7’s!
Oh… I almost forgot to mention the rewards!
Well, besides the obvious reward of long-time customers and friends, it’s such a joy to photograph dancers. No one on the planet can pose for a photographer as well as a dancer. In addition to grace and form, they do little things so well like hands and feet… things that we photographers notice. Plus, the costumes are fantastic!
So, if you are looking for a dance photographer in Tampa, give me a call. :)