Monday, June 7, 2010


One. Two. Three. JUMP!
Photographing these dance students is a blast! I’ve photographed two of their performances in the past year (with a third one coming up this weekend). I’m also getting requests for other sessions. A father/daughter dance, a golf tournament, high school graduation portraits.

I set up a mini-studio on location and shoot around a thousand images in about three hours.

Coming up with unique poses for several hundred dancers can be quite challenging. I’m all for letting them choose their poses, but I also give lots of direction when those poses aren’t working or I visualize something that will work better.

What does it look like if I asked them to jump? I started to get fresh, interesting shots. The energy suddenly changed around me. Everyone seemed to be having fun. And it showed in their faces. Some incorporated their dance moves with jumping. Others simply jumped.

I thought this approach was so original until I did some online research and was reminded that there is no such thing as an original idea. In my research, I came across this man’s work... Philipe Halsman.. also known as the Father of Jumpology.


This one is from the Father/Daughter dance.







Some kids are natural hams in front of a camera. A few find the whole process somewhat intimidating. All the common inhibitions that come with being in front of a camera quickly melt away when they’re jumping. They focus on the jump and a smile forms across their face, and before you know it, I can’t get them off the background paper.

Try it. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is.

Hooray for jumpology!


Susan said...

Oh, wow! Those are fantastic, Cindy!! They look so exhilirated and happy! And they look as if they're floating against that white background. I don't care who did it are doin' it right, my friend! LOVE it!

Fannie said...

Lordy, how adorable is the Christmas cutie!

Cindy said...

Thanks Susan. I do like floating look I got by using a white background, but it proved to be quite a pain in the butt in the post production process. I didn't realize how difficult it would be to keep white, white.

Cindy said...

Fannie, these kids really couldn't be much cuter. It makes my job that much easier.

Cathy said...

Wow, great photos, Cindy. Your pictures are full of life and joy. Love all those happy faces.

Cindy said...

Thanks Cathy! It is a joy to work with such talented kids!