Starting off our sessions for 2019, we will be hosting Dance Mini Sessions for the Vancouver market in our Surrey studio using both fabric and flour (which creates that smoky look in the photos!). These are open to dancers in the Lower Mainland of all ages and skill level. Click here for dates and signup info.

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To kick off this upcoming dance season, we thought a Q & A with Adrienne Thiessen about her dance photography would be interesting for readers to learn about how she has become such a renowned dance photographer in the Vancouver area.

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What inspired to start Creative Dance Photography? 

My love of dance and desire to be artistic and create art pieces that capture the beauty of dance.

How long have you been photographing dancers? 

I am not exactly sure of my first year, but it’s been over 10 years that I set out to improve dance “photo day” images from your typical school photo to something parents want to display, and dancers can be proud of.

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Richmond Academy of Dance

What are some of the favourite dance photos you have done and why? 

It’s hard to pick just a few.  One of my top faves to this day is still one of the first creative sessions I did in my own studio probably 6 years ago now. The dancer’s name is Jasmine at she was wearing her pink costume from one of her senior dances. I loved the pop of pink and the flow of the fabric and how easy she makes it all look. It is still used on my business card today.

You photograph dancers in studio and on location. Which is your favourite to do and why? 

Obviously I love the control of the studio and being able to alter the image just by adding gels to the lighting or changing up the backdrop, or adding some fabric.  But then some locations just add the perfect element for the dancer to add their own input by incorporating some of the environment into the movement.

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Jasmine from Richmond Academy of Dance

You shoot both with fabric and flour to create the magic in your sessions. What inspired you to shoot this way? Have you tried other mediums also?   

The fabric was just a natural addition as it is inspired by the flow and movement in some of the dance costumes. The flour was just a fun element that adds a lot of impact to an image, but also adds some fun challenges and learning curves. I have also done a session adding milk and the movement of liquid. While the results are beautiful, we don’t do this often as safety is a large factor. I’ve also added glitter, and rose pedals.   

Are there other dance photographers that you follow and admire? Why?  

The first that comes to mind is David Cooper. He is a photographer who shoots for Ballet BC and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet that I did a private workshop with a few years back. And of course, Rachel Neville, as her creative dance work is very much along the same lines as my own ideas, and as a past dancer she is also very particular about form!

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What do you want to create with your Dance Sessions coming up in 2019?  

Lasting memories and art pieces for dancers. Something they can proudly hang on their walls, or be proud to use as portfolio pieces.  Also to give young dancers a fun learning experience, as working with still photos versus performing on stage is very different. And it’s a skill any young serious dancer should have.

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To book a creative dance mini session on January 20, Feb 3, 9 or 10th, click here to put in your request.

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