Dancer jumping in the air as she makes an arc with the dust in the air

Raleigh Dance Shoot – “Dust & Dance”

“Dust & Dance” was my first creative dance series. It was shot at over several nights in early 2017. I had some great dancers from all over the Raleigh area come out and pose for the series. I had never really attempted a dance series like this before. It was all shot at night and outdoors. To add on top of that, we also shot in February and March. The dancers went all out for this shoot. Shooting such a messy series in the cold, definitely took a toll on them. The dancers ranged from cheerleaders to salsa dancers, to ballet dancers. The diversity of leaps and moves took the images from “throwing dust in the air” to an exposition on the dancer’s athleticism. Each dancer brought their unique take on the concept. They were as new to the “Dust & Dance” concept as I was.

A Learning Experience

Shooting at night and dealing with flour in a shoot will teach you a lot. First, I realized I needed to be a reasonable distance from the dancers while they were throwing the flour. Some photographers suggest using chalk or a fine powder. I knew that could damage my equipment. At the first shoot, I stood about three to four feet away from the dancer. I was a little dusty afterward. My lenses, camera body, and lighting equip


Second, everything needed to be dry, or the flour makes a mess that is almost impossible to clean up. I shot two of the portraits in the rain. The flour began to cake to the dancer’s bodies. They told me it was a pain to get off. Thirdly, having a black background allows for ultimate creativity. There is nothing to distract from the dancer’s movements. All things being equal I like to shoot on asphalt, that way even the ground is a dark color. I shot All but one of these portraits on the pavement and the other in a grassy field.

dancer throwing flour for a dust & Dance shoot
dancer throwing her hair back with flour and dust flying out

Check out my blog post from a recent shoot I did with Legacy Dance Productions.

If you are interested in booking your creative dance shoot or a “Dust & Dance” shoot, I would love to talk to you about your ideas. Feel free to fill out my contact form. | 9194955916