As a new and fledging photographer to the Daily Utah Chronicle staff, I worked on many new and different types of assignments all the while plying my trade with dance. I was lucky enough to work with Jim Fisher, a hardened old grizzly bear, the kind that would happily rip apart your photo for backgrounds, composition, focus, everything. He had previously worked as staff photographer for the Salt Lake Tribune, worked overseas in combat zones, he clearly knew what he was talking about.
During an end of the year portfolio review he looked at the above image and scoffed at me. Called it ‘dancer masturbation’ and proceeded to tear the image to shreds. At first I was a bit hurt. Later I accepted it. Four years on I’ve embraced it.
In sum, he said the image did nothing new, did nothing spectacular and was overall just mediocre. The light is crap, the outfit is crap, it tells no story and offers no substance. It’s just an image of a dancer. ‘Dancer masturbation’ has been a part of my vocabulary ever since.