Looking back through my archives of photos is like time travelling and these shots taking at the Moulin Rouge take me back to the beginning of my arrival in Paris. How very lucky I was to work with the fabulous dancers the Moulin Rouge and Le Lido de Paris, they taught me so much.
I remember when I finally had the go-ahead to shoot the girls on stage and it was up to me to decide what to shoot, how to shoot them and what mood to create I had to think about it a lot long before starting.
One of the greatest difficulties for us photographers is where to start especially when we have a smorgasboard of options, incredible costumes, beautiful girls and locations.
Here’s What I learnt shooting these pics:
1. Research some ideas and choose a theme that you would like to start with.
2. I wanted to create a portrait series of the dancers. I had seen lots of pics live on stage image so I wanted to take them out of that environment and create a timeless feeling.
3. I wanted something moody so the light selection was really important. I chose to use just one main light on the girls and surround them in darkness.
4. My pictures previously had been full of energy, movement and life and I decided to challenge myself and photograph ‘silence’! I asked the girls to always have their eyes down and not to look at me as though they were in a dream.
5. I wanted the slightest blur to give the feeling of a dream. Working on a shutter speed of 1/60th second I asked the girls to take the smallest steps forward and backward and this is how we created the blur.
6. Dancers are brilliant to photograph as they are aware of every movement their body makes and they are always striving for elegance and poise. But I didn’t want photos that were stiff so we worked together to use their form to create interesting portrait shapes and then relaxed the poses so they looked natural.
7. Having wonderful costumes is a dream, the same as adding fashion to a portrait shoot. The shoot takes on an entirely different feel and this is something I always incorporate into my portraits.
8. I gave the girls roles to play, asked them to think of a certain situation or moments to transport them and their mood and voila I took the pic.
You too can apply some of the above examples next time you shoot. Ask yourself what you want to achieve, what mood, feel and research before you start taking pics.
I will be teaching the way I work and how to create emotion in your photos and incorporate fashion into your portraits this summer in Paris at the Picture This Workshop !! I’d love you to join me.. For the full story check here.
I would love to hear if you thought this helpful..
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Steve jobs
PS: If you know a photographer who might like to learn more about combining fashion and portraiture please feel free to share..x