Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dance pictures at Karl & DiMarco

It's been a little busy the last few weeks at Casa de Booray to say the least.  Two weekends of dance recital pictures for Karl & DiMarco along with back-to-back weddings have left little time for folly.  And I'm a big fan of folly.

This is my second here shooting at Carlin DiMarco.  Last year I shot the North studio, this year I'm shooting North and South.

Taking pictures of dancers is different than taking pictures of "ordinary" people.  There's not much difference with small children but there's a huge difference with the dancers that are 11 and 12 years old.  These are girls who have been in dance for six or seven years and it shows.  When they are told to hit a pose they do it perfect just about every time.  It's fun to watch and a real joy to photograph.

I shoot dance recital pictures against a white background.  I've never been much for elaborate props or painted muslin backgrounds when I'm doing portrait work.  I think that too many props take away from the subject and painted backgrounds can be a risk because they will date your photographs.  No matter how "cool" the painted background is that you're using for your photographs you can bet that in 5 to 10 years it will be considered antiquated.  By shooting against pure white I guarantee that my pictures will never truly be out of style.  Another nice side effect is that after a few years of taking pictures in one location I can offer collages to my clients where I combine three or four years worth of images into one print.  Imagine how awful this would look if each year I used a different background.

Another advantage of shooting against pure white is that if you hit it with a hot enough light you can get enough reflection back to create a rim light on your subject.  If you're shooting with a low ceiling that has white ceiling tiles you can even get a makeshift hair-light.  It's a dynamic style of portrait but it works well with dancers who are dynamic by default.  :)

I don't know anyone who has the same system that we do when it comes to payment and delivery of this sort of image.  Without a doubt, the biggest complaint that I have heard from friends and family who had their pictures taken by other photographers at dance school, Little League, etc... is that the pictures take so long to be delivered.  Bobbi and I worked out a system so that we can deliver in two weeks.

We have everyone pay for a package when they come to have their photograph taken.  Typically, people just pay for the smallest package which is $35.  They then receive a gift code number which they can use on our website when they go online to pick out their prints.  If they want, they can just pick out the poses that they want for the package they ordered, or they can put together an entirely new order and just use their gift code to subtract the price of the package from their final total (like a gift certificate).  We only put the images online for one week.  Then we process all of the orders and deliver a week later.  It's really worked out well because the parents who want to go online and do their own package and pick out there prints can do so and the parents who don't want to be bothered just get the package that they pre-ordered (we pick out what we think is the best image).  The first time we tried our system there were a few parents who seemed a little uneasy about paying in advance because they had some bad experiences in the past with photographers.  When we delivered their prints two weeks later they became believers.

See more of my work at www.boorayperry.com