It’s a funny thing playing favorites with one’s own photography. Most of the time I think half the frames I create are crap but out of that steaming pile I can usually pull at least a few good images out that I would consider, for me, to be classic. For me, my classic favorite has been of Emily. When I created that particular image I didn’t have half a mind for strobes and their true speeds so it’s almost by pure accident and serendipity that the muse would grant me such an image, an image that defines the very essence of dance: movement. In a single frame I was able to, by some alchemical process still unbeknownst to me, distill the energy and beauty of dance into an eternal photograph. But I have a new favorite which completely destroys, for me, the beauty of Emily’s gorgeous frame.
The image was first created when I asked Chelsea to show me a recent bit of choreography she had learned and I modified it to be more applicable in front of a telephoto lens versus a proscenium. The initial result was, as is Chelsea’s ability, stunning. But then I asked her to give me a little bit of épaulment so I could see her face. And upon that face her eyes were closed, her lips pressed into a beautiful smile that I never asked for. I’ve never asked a dancer to smile but only to relax and dance how they feel.
In the following photograph I captured something closer to home, closer to the reality of myself and dancers everywhere: the joy of life and the joy of dancing. For us , they are all too often inseparable.