Lois Greenfield is one of the best dance and commercial photographers; I have always been in awe of any photographer who can capture a dancer, an athlete, or a child in beautiful light while in motion. Last fall I contacted her to see if she would teach me at her studio in New York City. She enrolled me into a two-day workshop in March .
There were eight of us in the workshop. It was not my first experience working with dancers, but it was my first experience working with other photographers in New York. I was nervous—I don’t speak “dance,” and the other photographers seemed more versed with dance than me. Each day, Lois brought in dancers from several companies. The recruited dancers were busy professionals volunteering their time, and they expected great photos in return. Each photographer was responsible to create their own vision with the dancers, and communicate that vision to the dancers as well as the studio’s assistants. This included everything from how to set up the lighting, to what the dancers should wear, to what props to use. We had to think fast.
The first day, we were all shooting “light and bright.” No one seemed to use shadows, but I wanted more dramatic lighting. When it was my turn on the second day, I directed dancer Lindsey Miller of ACB Dance Company into my vision for a ballet dancer at night. I turned off all of the lighting except for one strobe and a beauty dish. Lois asked me, “Are you sure you want it that dark?” I doubted my vision for just a moment. I think Lois might have been testing me. A photographer needs vision, skills and confidence to create a successful image. “Yes, I want to try it.” This photo was the result, and it’s my favorite from the entire weekend.