July 12, 2017
Leading into today’s shoot….
We were coming down to the wire; the team was having difficulty finding an available studio for photo shoot #2 that needed to take place today. Oh yes, it must be summer dance intensive time at nearly EVERY STUDIO IN WESTCHESTER! Luckily, Jonathan saved the day, securing space in Hawthorne – just in time, before our photographer Hope leaves the country for her next project!
Miracle of miracles: everyone is present and healthy today!
The studio is a big, airy ballroom space, a visually interesting contrast to the Steffi Nossen studios in which photo shoot #1 took place. The kids really enjoy this new location, running endlessly for long distances as they traverse and circle the studio. However, their parents have to jump in and out of the shoot to divert them from plugs, electrical outlets, and banging sessions with the studio’s cabinets.
As the dancers prepare their makeup and clothing, Hope scouts out potential outdoor locations for Jonathan’s head shots. She ultimately decides to photograph Jonathan in 2 different settings.
Back inside the studio, Jonathan recreates compelling gestures and movements from his solo. He is positioned in front of the “soft box,” enveloping Jonathan with dramatic light as Hope shoots continuously from both close-up and medium range distances.
Moving on to video, Hope films Jonathan running through his solo. She then focuses on specific sections of the piece that are especially visually captivating, filming them in close-up.
During these three phases of the shoot, Sherri, Mandy, and Lorena keep Sebastian and Eliza engaged so that Hope and Jonathan can focus on their work without much interruption.
It is now time to film a key piece of our “creating while caregiving” dynamic: the kids joining their parents during the warm-up period. In general, Jonathan, Mandy, and Lorena can’t get through this part of rehearsal without the kids jumping on them or insisting on being held. It just figures that the one day when we actually WANT them to interact with their parents, we must cajole them to remain in the video camera’s frame! The dancers just can’t compete with the myriad treasures the rest of the studio offers.
After the brief warm-up, Hope films Jonathan coaching Lorena and Mandy as they refine certain gestural and positional details of the duet’s initial poses. NOW the kids run into the filming space to seek their parents’ attention. As often occurs during rehearsals, Jonathan collaborates with Mandy and Lorena while alternately holding Eliza and Sebastian.
While Jonathan runs out to pick up Edgar from camp, Lorena takes advantage of the time to feed and change Sebastian, and Mandy confers with Hope.
Upon Jonathan’s return to the studio with Edgar, the team decides to conclude the shoot with photos of the kids and their parents.
As we clean up the studio and prepare to leave, Hope offers a sneak peek at some of the photos from our first shoot. They are so striking and beautiful, we can’t wait to see the rest of the stills and videos! We are confident that Hope’s images capture the unique Second Story atmosphere, reflect the creativity, energy, and camaraderie that permeates our collective, and vividly display the dancers’ stunning technique and artistry.
Sherri Muroff Kalt, founder of Process Portraits, LLC and author of Portrait of an Artistic Journey: The Creative Process in Real Life Context, is a Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in psychology. She began her career in marketing and sales in New York City with L’Oréal, Monet Jewelers, and Givenchy. READ MORE