When I heard of the events in Japan, of course my heart went out to those it affected. I know people living in Japan and I know people with family there, and my thoughts went to them. I wanted a way in which I could help out… when I saw my friend Rebecca posting about a benefit she was organizing, I knew I had to call her and ask her if I could be involved. Funnily enough (yes, yes, I said funnily) she called me before I could get in touch with her and she asked me if I would consider photographing the event. I immediately volunteered to shoot the event, though I couldn’t speak on behalf of the rest of the Small Moments Studios crew. But when I emailed Keith, Nick and Steve about the performance, they all said they’d love to be a part of it.
And so, Small Moments Studios volunteered this past Sunday night to cover a benefit dance/concert benefiting Japan and the relief effort. If you recall (because I know you’ve all been following the blog meticulously) last year I shot a dance performance at Hunter College for Rebecca Imaizumi… following that I did a photoshoot for Rebecca and then Keith and I shot another dance recital… shooting video for Millennium Dance Company… I have been eager to be involved in more of the dance photography/video. And so for this performance, I decided to shoot video alongside Keith, leaving the photography to Steve and Nick. So below are some of the shots that they captured. And once we have the benefit video put together, we’ll let you know how you can get a copy.
Thanks to all the performers… you were all amazing… some of you I knew from last time, but a lot of new people, new routines, amazing singers, poetry, musicians… it was just great. And thanks to everyone that came out to the show… overall we raised over $2,000! Thanks again to Rebecca and Lanette for organizing the event and for calling on Small Moments Studios to be a part of it. Any time ARGI needs us, let us know!
You may remember a while back (May archives) I was asked to shoot a dance performance at Hunter College… the show was produced by Rebecca Imaizumi and she is shown as the last Japanese dancer in my blogpost (with the Akomeogi or Japanese folding fan). We just did a follow-up photo shoot for an article she’s being featured in for Gendance in June. We hit the streets of New York and got to see a more edgy and relaxed side of Rebecca (when compared to the more traditional dress and dance from the previous performance). Lannette (also one of the dancers from the Hunter College performance) provided makeup, advice and wardrobe changes as the day progressed. Here are just a few of my favorite shots of this talented dancer…
No no no, that doesn’t mean I dance while I shoot, though if you play good music at your wedding, you might catch me dancing a bit on the sidelines. What it means is that I was recently hired by Hunter College to shoot a dance recital. Rebecca Imaizumi produced House of Healing, bringing together different types of dance. I didn’t know what to expect, other than that they wanted portraits and shots of the recital. The recital photography required just the right setting of shutter speed to ensure no blurring along with the aperture wide enough to get as much light as possible, while being closed enough to keep everything necessary in focus. Flash in a situation like that is not only distracting, but will kill the photo. However, back in the dressing room for the portraits I was able to set up and control my lighting. The only trick was that I had to adjust the lighting for each subject due to the nature of their poses. Jumping shots needed broader light setups while the dances with lunges required another.
During the performance I realized I’ve gotten so busy over the past couple of years, growing my business and of course, enjoying time with my wife and two beautiful daughters. In being a business owner and a relatively new father, I’ve let go of some of the artistic joys in my life (aside from photography). Japanese dancers took the stage and made me pause to inspect their slow deliberate graceful movements. The Indian dancer intrigued and entreated with her hands and her eyes. The Puerto Rican dance (bomba) was very fluid and energetic and finally, the African dancers ventured out and the stage erupted with drums and an amazing energy as they expressed themselves through their movements. I found myself pressing the shutter of my modern-day digital camera in time with the ancient drum sounds and movements from the stage. I don’t know when the next time I’ll get a chance to shoot something like this will be, but I can tell you, I look forward to it.
Here are a couple of the images that I captured.