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Dance Arts Studio Photo Shoot

I can’t believe how fast the weeks have flown by. We are already in our fifth week of classes. Last night, I remarked that I really wasn’t ready for the class to end in three weeks. I’m finally starting to remember everybody’s names without prompting. It seems we still have so much more to talk about!

Last night, we went on our first group photo shoot together. Grace Nanavati, owner of Dance Arts Studio in Springfield, graciously allowed the Girls in Focus students to spend our usual class time photographing some of her dance classes. Before going in, we revisited last week’s lecture highlights — and talked about aiming for five images for a complete photo essay: wide, medium, detail, portrait, and action. While I knew it would be challenging for everyone to get every single shot, I wanted them to get some practice thinking in those terms.

We also faced the challenges of capturing motion in a room lit by fluorescent bulbs. It gave us an opportunity to experiment with higher ISO settings, shutter speeds, white balancing issues, and black and white toning.


At first, the girls hovered near the door nervously, in small packs. Eventually, however, they moved around the borders of the room freely. They began to experiment with different angles and viewpoints.


The dancers were wonderful subjects. For the most part, they went about their own work and acted as if they didn’t even realize we were there.

Next week, we will share our favorite images in class. Students will be providing peer reviews and constructive criticism of their work. Learning to give and receive constructive criticism is an essential part of growth as a photographer. I will also be putting some of my images on the chopping block, so that students have an opportunity to practice articulating their critiques on someone with pretty thick skin.

If you enjoyed this update, please share it with your friends so that they may learn more about what we are doing at Girls in Focus! And if you have any questions about Girls in Focus or ideas for future photo shoots like this one, please share them in the comments!

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