How to Capture Dance Portraits and Video Show Reel | Bay Area Dance Photographer
Last week I had the wonderful opportunity to capture poetry in motion. In other words I took photos of two beautiful dancers.
The challenge was taking photos towards the evening. We turned off all florescent lighting in the studio and opened up the blinds to let the natural light in. Fortunately the light was streaming in perfectly through the only set of windows. In the portraits I had the girls stand right next to the window to capture the light reflecting on their face. It was just gorgeous, the lighting was soft and radiated off their skin beautifully.
While I took still photos my middle daughter, a cinema student, took dozens of video clips for me. She captured some incredible clips and I chose what I needed to create the video you see at the end of this article.
I use a Canon 5D Mark iii and used my 24-70mm lens. My daughter used her Canon 7D also with the 24-70mm lens. I filled up my 32 GB card and my daughter had room to spare on her 32 GB card. I turned off autofocus and had a high ISO for several shots because I wanted to capture a blurry, grainy feel. I went back to autofocus for the portraits in order to capture vivid eyes and smooth details in their luminescent skin. I set my shutter to a high speed, 1/200, in order to capture their turns. Their skirts captured the feel of the motion which you will see in the video where I also display some still images.
The hardest part of the process was selecting the music. It always is with me. If there are lyrics I have to make sure they fit with the mood of the show reel or if the piece is instrumental the beat and tempo have to create the right mood. I can go through dozens of music pieces before finding just the right one. With the help of EarCandyDigital.com (I am an EarCandyClub.com member) I selected a piano piece called "Take My Hand" that sets off the mood. My goal was to create a vintage feel and showcase their love of dance long enough to keep you wanting more.
I titled my video 'La vie Dansante,' from one of my favorite songs by Jimmy Buffet. It means "The Dancing Life," which is something we should all strive for each day.
Within 90 minutes we had what we needed to create some stunning images in motion as well as head shots.
If you have questions about this process please let me know by leaving a comment below.
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