This dancer portrait experience with Gabby Renosis certainly fed my creative soul! Gabby is a young dancer and arrived with her mom Danielle and a dancer wardrobe to die for. I knew going into this I wanted to create a fantasy balloon shot and do some fabric tossing. But, when I saw this blue Tutu knew I wanted to create an image that reminded me of the ballerina musical box I remembered as a child. The entire session lasted about 3 hours and I had an assistant on deck who helped click the shutter and check focus among other things and she was wonderful to say the least. After this session I got to thinking how important it was to have Mom there.
1. This dancer is young and feels most comfortable around mom.
2. Dancer moms are typically the photographer and are stuck behind their phone instead of being able to connect with their child. This gave mom the opportunity to get creative with me and to really be present with her daughter. I believe those memories surely add to the portrait experience as a whole.
3. Only Mom knows her daughter's limitations, so, when I ask a young dancer to perform for my camera Mom is there to help me know my limitations and even more importantly, for the more daring leaps or falls, Mom is there to catch her daughter and I thought that was so precious. I'm sure for the dancer it is way more comfortable to fall into her mother's arms instead of a person she just met. I knew it was special during the session and made sure to include mom in some of those images so they could remember this bonding experience, in addition to the artistic images we created together.
4. Mom always knows when the dancer can do better or if she can be pushed further but most importantly, Mom knows when her daughter is tired and done. The dancer may put on a good face for me.... but Mom always knows better!
For these reasons and more, mom is ALWAYS welcome on my set.