Today on 10 Questions With… I would like to welcome another new contributor to the blog–Christopher Duggan. Christopher is a dance photographer (and more, as you will see below) and he will be sharing some of his work with us the last day of every month here on 4dancers. The series will be titled simply, “Finis”. Join us this month on the 31st for the first installment, and in the meantime, get to know Christopher a little better…
1. Can you tell readers a bit about your background and how you got started in photography?
I got started in photography when I was 25 and working in a finance job. My friend from college was a photography enthusiast, took me to buy my very first camera and got me signed up for Intro to Photography at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. I loved it. I was learning the basics, developing film and making black and white prints. It was the first time I expressed myself as a visual artist.
2. How did you wind up doing dance photography?
I came into photographing dancers through my wife, Nel Shelby. She was a dancer, and since 2001, she’s been serving the dance community by way of creating dance film and documenting dance performance. I think it was in 2004 when I accompanied Nel on a performance shoot and asked if the choreographer would mind if I could sit on the side and shoot some pictures. Of course they said yes. I shot a whole bunch of images and caught one moment that I absolutely loved. Then I was hooked.
I graduated from SUNY Geneso with a BA in Theater, and because I loved being on stage and the adrenaline rush of putting up a show, it only seemed natural to do photography in that space. I really admire dancers. I love their bodies. The art they produce is unlike any other.
3. What are you currently doing in dance photography?
I am the Festival Photographer at Jacob’s Pillow and have been working in this capacity since 2006. My wife, Nel, is the Videographer there and she has a lot of dance clients in New York City, too. She and I work together often documenting performance, creating edited marketing videos, and working with choregraphers and dance companies to create what they need to market themselves with photography and films.
4. Do you have a “philosophy” regarding your dance photography that you can share? [Read more…]