by Christopher Duggan
Every summer, I dream of ways to make more art at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. I love photographing performances, and you know Inside/Out is my favorite space to shoot dance, but I was craving more. I’ve always been inspired by John Lindquist’s dance photos on the elevated platform behind The Ted Shawn Theatre. (Remember the photos I shared with you in January?) The landscape around the space has changed – there are more buildings, the Pillow Pub, the Doris Duke, and the vegetation has grown – but it’s still a perfect place to photograph dance in the natural light of the beautiful Berkshires sun.
I’ve also felt inspired by Richard Avedon’s simple, powerful portraits on white, but the set-up of my Natural Light Studio itself was inspired by my friend (and photography hero) Clay Enos. I wanted to do something similar to his Street Studio at Jacob’s Pillow, and he graciously told me how to construct the outdoor studio and encouraged me to enjoy the new creative space.
So for the last few weeks, I have been playing in my new studio with dancers from Morphoses, Inside/Out, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, Yin Yue Dance, Tero Saarinen and many more.
There is such a richness of artistry and talent that passes through the Pillow each week, and I want to invite as many artists as possible to work with me in the new studio for quick five-minute portrait sessions. I hope that by the end of the summer I will have photographed a few hundred artists. I’m well on my way, and I’m excited to see what else develops!
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.