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Gaining Perspective

Seven Tips for Better Dancesport Photos

By Joel Torgeson

Last month I held the privileged position of Head Photographer at the fourth installment of Dance Fest, a wonderful event I’m sure you’ve heard about (and if not, what rock do you live under?). We took an incredible 15,000 photos, some of them featured in this issue of Sheer. Dance Fest’s position on photography is that the more photos that get taken and shared with fans and loved ones, the better! This month I’d like to offer some practical advice to all of the wonderful team and family photographers I have seen around the floor at every competition. My goal is to improve the quality of everybody’s shots with a few targeted tips.

Photography is a broad field with many layers of technique and technicality to be explored. This guide cannot be comprehensive. I will make it functional. For my purposes, I am going to assume you are shooting with a DSLR or similar camera where you have control of the Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO (more on these later). This article focuses on some techniques that can help. Though buying more technical equipment can help too, it is also out of the price range of most amateur photographers, and has therefore been left out of this particular discussion.

Of course, the best way to get better at dancesport photography is to just get out and do it! Hopefully these tips will give you a starting place for taking excellent dancesport photos.

Lastly, I’d like to send out a big thank-you to all of the amazing photographers who worked with me at Fest, including: Abby Mark, Victoria Bowman, Barbara Stier, Yifeng Zhang, Shannon Yee, Jacob Duffy, Kjerstin Nelson, Kaylee Anderson, and Olivia Wicker. Wonderful work!

See you on the dance floor