The first session with the dancers seemed to go reasonably well. I know that I’m not a ‘jobbing professional’ so I am quite relaxed about having had a session that continues to align my thoughts and allows me to engage with my subjects, enter into a discourse with them about what it is that I’m looking for and assuaging their concerns (not many at all in this case). I still don’t want to ‘get in deep quick and get out with the goods bagged’.
Andrea and David practice many many hours every week, their goal is to become British champions at their age group. Andrea has come from a performance background and instinctively understands about the notion of projected identity that I want to investigate with these portraits. They both understand that when they dance they need to ‘perform’, to deliver a character who is acting out a role before an audience; becoming someone else at the point of performance.
This first session was to introduce me – the photographer – to them. That is the person they knew as John Umney, is now a photographer, part of my performance of developing a character for their benefit. Making this transition will help me not only with the next session, though they seemed perfectly at ease, but also they are going to help me find more dancers to work on this project.
When I arrived at their practice session I took the opportunity to follow them on the dance floor after I had set up a ‘studio’ in one corner of the room. These photographs have a lot of movement – which I knew was going to happen – I think if I do this again I will opt for an even wider lens setting. My next session with them will be after they have competed in an international competition which would have them still with their ‘fake tans’ applied and we will probably use their more sparkly costumes – helping to situate their characters.
I sent them a link to blog-site with my first cut images of the session. Here