So, how does a ballerina drink coffee?
With a lot of flexibility and creativity is the answer, and usually in the middle of the road or hanging off a lamp post in weird positions…
I’ve been shooting breakers for a while and wanted to try something different. Variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to dance photography.
I knew no ballerinas so reached out to a breaking group who put me in touch with the dancers below - and yes, that's how they drink coffee, everyday!
The time to escape the ghetto gangster world of breaking and enter the la di da universe of elegance and poise was upon me…
We met at a small photography studio in Deptford that way too tiny to contain the long graceful jumps and suave flows of movement that these two dancers brought to the shoot. Ideally I needed a studio twice as big, but in London on a budget you have to work with your limitation set. I hate limitations - it’s like eating humble pie! I hate eating humble pie too!
Still I think the shots came out pretty well and we even played around with low-key lighting (my big weakness) and things were starting to click, having a modelling light that works is a big help - never had that before! I usually book the cheapest studios I can find - often that means shooting with gear that’s sub-optimal! Even on this shoot we went through a few studio lights that just didn’t switch on. Lord - please give me £2bn and a hug! And my own photography studio!
Post-studio we decided to grab a coffee and chill. The engine in my brain decided to rev about mixing the coffee and dance, and started to think about mixing coffee and ballet. The idea of “coffee-ballet” was born! I had one or two ideas to kick start the process, and then left the two to come up with some cool ideas. They did not fail. They bought awesomeness to the table!
At the end of the street-shoot we started doing smoke photography. The wind blew smoke that went into a big nearby building, and set off the the fire alarm. I ran straight into the building to alert security about what happened, but fire-engines and the works turned up, people were being evacuated from the building, and I had the heads of the building to talk to. Not the smoothest end to a day but they were super cool about it, and gave us permission to continue with the shoot. But I was like - nope - too much excitement for one day! Time to say sayonara and hit the pub for a pint!
So what do the two ballerinas that have a fetish for drinking coffee in weird poses think about dance? Let’s find out!
And finally, though I climb and practice Wing Chun, I'm about as flexible as a board! So I thought I would pick Isabelle's brain of what it takes to get flexible. Here are her thoughts:
And there you have it folks - hope you enjoyed the write-up! If you have any questions, or got skills and fancy a photoshoot - please drop a comment or contact me on email@example.com.
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