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tiptoemom

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Reply with quote  #26 
@dancermom128

I hope that if you have time you might post some of that audition journey! My daughter is a junior and we are doing research all of this year. Good luck!
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #27 
I agree with all of the above.  Definitely wear tights and a leotard, solid colored.  Black is the norm but some don't require it.  For the six SIs DD is auditioning for this year though, all 6 specify a black leotard.  If they are requesting that for the audition I'd assume that should be the attire for the photo as well.  Good luck to your DD!
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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #28 
I've been asked recently to take audition photos for several girls.  I'd love to speak with people from SI's in charge of admittance, but generally this is how I've approached it:

1) Headshot - Pretty tight, but does include shoulders & top of bun.  Hair in a bun, bare shoulders except for leo straps.  Generally with nice "every day" or "nice event" makeup, which depends a bit on the dancer's age.  I know some dancers who have (successfully) used iPhone shots taken in a windowless room, so it doesn't need to be crazy.  I try to find a place with some nice light, and either a plain background or something I can reasonably blur with a wide aperture.  Not done in a portrait studio, but still something flattering that the dancer and parents (and yes photographer) can be proud of.

2) Arabesque and other "dance shots" - To me these are more "clinical" than "artsy" in nature.  Dancer with hair in a bun, wearing leo, tights, and flats or pointe shoes as appropriate.  The studios I've been in aren't gorgeous by any means, and I've struggled to find neutral backgrounds.  So I've had everything from stray audio equipment to nail holes to barres to ugly folding doors, etc.  I do what I can, but sometimes the dancer wants to be facing one direction (perhaps to check themselves in a mirror).  The only thing I'm fixed on is, no mirrors or open windows in the shot.  Most are a full "marley panel" or more from any barre, just so that it's obvious a dancer didn't just suddenly let go of any fixed object.  Of course, there may or may not have been a parent, teacher, or fellow dancer in the immediate vicinity who ran off in a hurry!  But I do keep in "clinical" ... photos are balanced for color and contrast, etc, but I don't remove objects like light switches or outlets, distractions that I might normally try to eliminate.

I like it if the dancer can have a nice expression ... maybe not "stage smile" exactly, but something a little lighter than fierce studio-like concentration.  But most of my dancers are more concerned with form & technique.  I believe that they are making the correct choice, but part of me still connects the "this is easy and I love what I'm doing" look to dance, and wonder how much the "judges" (admittance folks) consider this.

I do not use flash in the studio.  That way I can shoot when I want, rather than worrying about flash charge.  But it also avoids nasty shadows.  That's my biggest complaint with the arabesque photo that was shared here.  Not only is the dancer completely in black, but she's tight up against a curtain with a harsh black shadow.  So you have black (maybe loose) pants with a black shadow.  Where is her actual leg line?  I'd strongly recommend re-shooting with tights.  I might also increase the space between the dancer and the curtain (or wall) behind, but not if that puts the "curtain line" at her ankle ... if that's the case, I'd either stay put or just find another wall (no matter how ugly).  Again, my presumption is that they care about the dancer's technical position, not an artsy backdrop.

And again ... I know dancers who have shot their "dance shots" with iPhones in a studio, and placed in SIs at all levels.  Which makes me believe, they really are looking at the dancer's expertise, not the photographer's!

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dmjrm4

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Reply with quote  #29 
I just wanted to say your DD is beautiful!

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dave9988

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Reply with quote  #30 
Woo-HOO!!!!

I mentioned earlier that I shot audition photos for a few dancers.   While I haven't heard all of the results, I do know that between them they've been accepted to ABT, the Rock, and Walnut Hill.  Mind you, I have no delusions that my photos got them IN; I'm just happy (and relieved) that my shots didn't keep them OUT!!!

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