Regency Dance: Stealing from the best
It is both very special and a tremendous challenge when a client tells you to just do your thing. You feel conflicted because on the one hand, a great joy of photography is just trying stuff that may or may not work. Failing is great fun. On the other, I would feel mortified if anyone walked away unhappy with the images I had produced.
The tension can be paralysing, you start to second guess what should be second nature. In a situation like this you need to retreat to the basics. Plan your images. Use an inspiration. Trust yourself. Take your time and wait for it to come to you.
When Hannah at Regency Dance Events got in touch, she was looking for some images that focused on the elegance of the occasion but beyond that was happy for me to roam around and take it as it came. If you are unaware of what Regency dancing is you should check out what she does. The idea of formal rules about dancing in a culture like ours that eschews them is sly, subversive, funny and great fun most of all.
I had recently seen some David Alan Harvey images from a society ball where he had mounted flash heads in each corner of the room - maddeningly I've since lost them so if anyone knows what I'm talking about here do let me know in the comments. DAH's high-contrast black and white photos had a real sense of abstract grace about them. The flash lighting from differing angles creating unexpected areas of shadow and emphasis.
On the basis that you should never think twice about stealing a great idea I knew exactly what I was going to do.
In an 'in for a penny in for a pound' moment I also did something that I never do which was process the colour images with a stylised Polaroid-style preset. Nothing dates your work faster than instagram filters and I usually keep them well at arms length but in this case I'm kinda pleased with the outcome.
Hannah was delighted and so was I. A (self-imposed) challenge met.
All images taken with the Fuji X100s and X-Pro 1. More to come on the incorrect notion that Fuji cameras can't photograph dance.