Upload & Sell: Off
Steady Hand wrote:
I enjoy seeing dance photos, and I enjoy seeing your dance photos posted here.
Please tell us something about the photography and the reason for it. For example, was this for the annual Nutcracker poster or program photo or something like that?
Does the ballet or ballet companies pay you full commercial rates to do this photography (as an assignment or job or contract) or do you do the photography for free (pro bono, a favor for a friend, or family members in the company) or do you do this as speculative work (hoping to sell them something)?
Are you the "official photographer" for this ballet, or are there other photographers shooting at the same time (e.g. press, parents, staff)?
Are these photo ops open to the public for others to also take pictures? Such as parents or press or others?
Hi Steady, I appreciate your comments and questions. Yes, I've been shooting ballet the last 4-5 years, started here in Chicago, then shot the Houston Ballet for a couple years, then to MA and more ballet companies and dancers, and back full-circle to Chicago. Along the way, I've done an art gallery show for my urban portrait series, and been published a couple times, including Dance Magazine.
It's very difficult to become the official photographer for the premiere professional dance companies. It's a very small circle that I'm trying to crack into, and it takes time, perseverance and obviously a little bit of talent. You have to know people. I've had a meeting this year with Chicago's No. 2 professional dance company, Hubbard Street, but their regular guy came back into the picture and my opportunity to slip in slipped away.
Ballet Chicago is probably the premiere dance school in Chicago. Since they're not professional, however, their marketing budget is pretty small and thus I'm not paid. I'm using them to get into the professional dance companies around me in the Chicago area, part of my bigger plan. I am their official photographer and I have a pretty nice credit on the main page of their website. I do their brochure and poster shots, but this was just performance shots from their rehearsal of the Nutcracker. I'm not trying to sell them anything ,but rather build my portfolio with beautiful marketing shots. No other photographers are allowed to shoot with me, so it's not open to the public -- but I have occasionally brought in some photographers with me who wanted the experience.
Thanks for your questions. It's always nice when someone takes an interest in something you're doing.