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What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?
  
 
canerino
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p.1 #1 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


I have a very good idea where I want to go and how to get there during much of the wedding day. The one part of the day that I dont feel as pointed is the dancing portion of the reception. Dont get me wront, I feel like I get a decent amount of 'good' shots, however, I feel like so much more of my dancing shots are luck than anything else. As professionals, should we be leaving anything up to luck!?

My question to you all: What makes for a GREAT dancing shot and how do you get there (consistently)?

Here are some dancing shots that I've been happy with:

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Sep 17, 2013 at 02:23 PM
swoop
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p.1 #2 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


A lot of life is up to luck. But if you have a crowd that's just sitting there, dance shots aren't going to happen. And after awhile it gets kinda repetitive. The same people jostling and screaming. The dance floor makes up a little under half the shots of the day because it's a really face paced environment where a lot of elements have to line up. Motion, expression, positioning, quality of light, focus. It's a lot to have to fall all into place. A good DJ helps but you can only photograph what's in front of you.


Sep 17, 2013 at 03:11 PM
sherijohnson
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p.1 #3 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


for me it comes down to knowing the music and which songs and which parts of the songs are really going to give me the look I am going for, of course the music can change from one wedding to another, but this has been one thing that has served me well.


Sep 17, 2013 at 03:32 PM
TheGE
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p.1 #4 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


Luck is when your abilities encounter an opportunity. No such thing as luck, per se. It's just circumstance.

I'm forever haunted by someone I met early on, we were discussing Cartier-Bresson as he would have probably applied his philosophy to wedding photos. She said, "a photo of people with their mouths open doesn't make it photojournalism." She was shopping for a wedding photographer for her daughter at the time and everyone was showing her those shots and saying they were pj.

I understand people do open their mouths when they dance, but ever since her remark, I've tried to go for something more, so I know what you mean.



Sep 17, 2013 at 03:44 PM
truehuss
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p.1 #5 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


I think the dancing is the one thing you cant control Chuck. Besides watching who the wild childs are and knowing they will get 'buck' on the dance floor and also different lens selections, thats it. You can position yourself near the crazies and wait but mostly we're just roaming , looking and snapping because we only have an instant.

my 2



Sep 17, 2013 at 03:47 PM
DannyBostwick
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p.1 #6 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


I think they're half and half. Your a great talent, Chuck, that has to be taken in account for in any explanation for getting cool photos. However, sometimes your just in the right place at the right time, people look in engaged, there are isn't that one guy who looks like he has down syndrome in the background because you caught him drunk, turning around, half blinking and mid sentence. That first photo is a prime example of that concept. Epic photo, perfectly lit, a cool BW edit, and you caught a background couple in a cool moment, and the girls to the left are conscious, and look like they are having fun. If you had hit the button a quarter second later, that girl with the beer might have been mid blink and you may have never shown that photo to everyone. Half and half.


Sep 17, 2013 at 05:24 PM
dhp_sf
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p.1 #7 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


Luck is a factor, but only as much as it is in much of the other portions are the day. You're still framing the shot, working with whatever lighting you have available, and anticipating moments.

When a bride and and groom walk down the aisle after their ceremony, you're poised and ready for a moment, but you don't know whether or not they're going to just walk meekly down or they're going to throw their arms up and start gesticulating wildly with glee.

When "Don't Stop Believin'" comes on, people might start singing at the top of their lungs, or just kinda mill around like they've been doing for the past few minutes, but you could still anticipate what might happen just by the nature of the music and the crowd. I had a recent wedding where there was like NO expressive emotion like all day...then music came on and people started break dancing... would not have predicted it, but I was ready.

I think what makes a GREAT dance shot is what makes any other shot great--great composition, lighting and expressions. Putting yourself in a perspective and aiming your lens at someone that is going nuts over "Gangnam Style" makes us less reliant on luck.



Sep 17, 2013 at 05:31 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #8 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


We should maybe ask clients what they think the awesome dancing shots are?

- trr



Sep 17, 2013 at 05:41 PM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #9 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


I think if you have a good technique then you can focus on getting the images you want, and you'll be fine. But I dunno, sometimes people just don't wanna dance, and I can't say I really care that much about it. If people are having a good time then it can work well. It really depends on your intent. You could well just not photograph any of the dancing malark and deliver something different, if that's how you felt. If you want to continue, I think your technique is fine, and there is no luck involved, you just have to work with what you're given. Sometimes there are images to be found, sometimes not a lot will happen.

TRReichman wrote:
We should maybe ask clients what they think the awesome dancing shots are?

- trr


You could easily put it on your shot list that way.



Sep 17, 2013 at 05:51 PM
jeremy_clay
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p.1 #10 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


TRReichman wrote:
We should maybe ask clients what they think the awesome dancing shots are?

- trr


Hold on, let me check Pinterest and I'll get back to you.



Sep 17, 2013 at 06:20 PM
 

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hardlyboring
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p.1 #11 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


I think it comes down more to mastering a focal length and your lighting so that you can just shoot the moment as quickly as possible. I have my camera pre focused and ready to go... a lot of times I am right out on the dance floor waiting for things to happen as incognito as possible.
The rest is luck most of the time.



Sep 17, 2013 at 08:17 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #12 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


Being in focus, well-lit and no awkward expressions?


Sep 17, 2013 at 08:24 PM
jeremy_clay
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p.1 #13 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


FOr first dance/couples, intimacy - often, trying to show the subjects 'in their own world' and lost in the moment of each other, not the obvious sideshow of snapshots, videogs, and photogs going on around them. Yup, intimacy is what I'd say.













re: party shots - genuine candid moments that are outside of the norm. Dunno how else to word it.




















Sep 17, 2013 at 08:59 PM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #14 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


ricardovaste wrote:
sometimes people just don't wanna dance, and I can't say I really care that much about it


Shooting dancing is my LEAST favorite part of the day. Boring.



Sep 19, 2013 at 12:20 AM
JR PhotoNY
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p.1 #15 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


I like shooting the partying but not for long. It gets rather repetitive after a while.


From my last wedding.








Sep 19, 2013 at 12:35 AM
MRomine
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p.1 #16 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


What makes for a GREAT dancing shot? Uh.... good dancers?


Sep 19, 2013 at 02:27 AM
jcolman
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p.1 #17 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


MRomine wrote:
What makes for a GREAT dancing shot? Uh.... good dancers?


I always say that if you start with a keg stand....




You're likely to end up with some great....(in their own mind) dancers.



Who more than likely end up waxing the floor.



but while that is all good, nothing beats an emotional moment on the dance floor. Bride and her mother.









Sep 19, 2013 at 03:14 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #18 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


JR PhotoNY wrote:
I like shooting the partying but not for long. It gets rather repetitive after a while.


This past weekend I didn't shoot any dancing at all. The other guy covered it.



Sep 19, 2013 at 06:13 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #19 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


Ugh I hate strapless dresses so much


Sep 19, 2013 at 06:29 AM
D. Diggler
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p.1 #20 · What makes for a GREAT dancing shot?


TTLKurtis wrote:
I hate strapless dresses so much


They're oftentimes not very flattering once they start to pull down.

This past weekend I was shooting some portraits of a (thin) bride with a strapless dress and I got a little concerned about appearance in photos when I noticed that the dress was starting to pull down a bit. It was right on the edge of bothering me. I did think for a moment about saying something to the bride but I let it go. Didn't want to make her feel self-conscious, I guess??



Sep 19, 2013 at 06:47 AM
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