Dance Study: Ashley O’Connor

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Dancer: Ashley O’Connor (Member of Dance For Change)

“Dance allows me to express myself, be myself, take escape.”
-Ashley O’Connor

When I decided that I was going to do some series of dance photos, Ashley was actually the first dancer I had the pleasure and opportunity to photograph, and it was an experience (even though I wasn’t as experienced with photographing dance). After a couple of months (and recovering from a foot/ankle injury) I had the honor to photograph her again and this time I felt more ready than the last time.

After finding out that she attends the college that I worked for and asking her if we could do an impromptu dance session during my lunch hour (her class break), she packed her pointe shoes in her bag, got dressed, and was out the door. Few minutes afterwards we exchanged pleasantries and we were off to get some photos. With her school work also in her bag I thought about having her do poses while reviewing her notes from the week. I felt victorious with the last shoot with Tiana doing a bible study whilst dancing so I thought I’d ride the wave and have Ashley do similar but with studying her notes from school. She was nervous when we started but after a few minutes and telling her to just think about what she might do if studying while doing dance poses, then she settled into the session pretty nicely. 🙂

Even though it was a short session, I’m glad we did it because with a time constraint it forces me to think on my toes (no pun intended) on what  shots I want, what shots I don’t want, it forces me to recall to memory the different dance poses that exist and how to best use them in outdoor spaces, and it forces me not to waste time questioning the very small details. Sometimes the downside to this is also the number of useable images I come away with, which is why I will try to enhance the quality of the pose, composition, and other details in the image. Quality over quantity.

Enjoy some of the dance study photos we were able to get during the short session. And see you next time. 🙂

[JRP ’13]

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