Today’s post by dance photographer Christopher Duggan explores the difference between rehearsal light and natural light when it comes to dance photography. We’d love to hear what you think about the following…
(Disclosure–photos contain some nudity)
This summer I was commissioned to photograph Shen Wei Dance Arts‘ dress rehearsal for a performance at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. The natural lighting in the museum was some of the best light I’ve ever worked with as a photographer.
And yet, The New York Times photographer I was shooting with told me it would be challenging to convince the paper to run her photos. The editors will not run anything with nudity, and the dance reviewer would be seeing the performance under completely different circumstances – in the evening, under stage lights. Because The Times wants to illustrate its reviews with photos that accurately depict the performance its reviewers attended, the natural lighting at the photo call wouldn’t be a proper fit.
I wasn’t able to attend Shen Wei’s actual performance that evening so I’m not sure how the stage lighting changed the mood of the piece. What do you think? Are these photos really representative of the work?
For more of my Shen Wei photos, please visit http://blog.christopherduggan.com/2011/10/shen-wei-met-museum-dance-photos/.
Contributor Christopher Duggan is the founder and principal photographer of Christopher Duggan Photography, a New York City-based wedding and dance photography studio. Duggan has been the Festival Photographer for Jacob’s Pillow Dance since 2006. In this capacity, and as a respected New York-based dance photographer, he has worked with renowned choreographers and performers of international acclaim as well as upstarts in the city’s diverse performance scene.
He has created studio shots of Gallim Dance, Skybetter + Associates and Zvidance, among others, and in 2011 alone, he has photographed WestFest at Cunningham Studios, Dance From the Heart for Dancers Responding to Aids, The Gotham Dance Festival at The Joyce Theater, and assisted Nel Shelby Productions in filming Vail International Dance Festival.
Duggan often teams up with his talented wife and Pillow videographer Nel Shelby (http://nelshelby.com). A New York City-based husband and wife dance documentation team, they are equipped to document performances, create and edit marketing videos and choreography reels, and much more.
Christopher Duggan Photography also covers Manhattan’s finest wedding venues, the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, and frequently travels to destination weddings. The company’s mission is straightforward and heartfelt – create timeless, memorable images of brides, grooms, their families and friends, and capture special moments of shared love, laughter and joy.
His photographs appear in The New York Times, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, Munaluchi Bridal, and Bride & Bloom, among other esteemed publications and popular wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s celebrated photography collection in 2010. His company has been selected for inclusion in “The Listings” in New York Weddings magazine.