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Orange County Dance Recital Photographer | Part 1

Orange County | Dance Recital Photographer

Children’s Dance Recital Photographer

A few weeks ago, a crew of five photographers photographed 420 dancers ages 3 through 16 years old at one of Orange County’s top dance academies.  The Orange County dance recital photo shoot took place over two days.  Our gaol was to capture each dancer’s personalities, and, at the same time capture them in a proper dance pose.  We had lots of posing help from some amazing intermediate dance students and fantastic dance teachers.

How we Photographed the Children’s Dance Recital Portraits

When doing a dance recital photography shoot of this scale, consistency is key.  Allot of preplanning went into this shoot.  One of the main concerns is that i didn’t want to have to do any post production after the shoot.  Can you imagine having to look at and/or “fix” over five thousand images?   So this is how we did it.

  1. Each camera’s senor was cleaned with our Visible Dust kit, to ensure that camera sensors were clean and dust free.
  2. All images were shot Jpeg, exposures had to be dead on.
  3. Adobe 1998 color space was used.
  4. White Balance was set to flash.
  5. All photographers used the same shutter speed and f-stop.
  6. We set up five identical shooting stations.  Each photographer had their own assistant, and each shooting bay was set up with a muslin and a 60″ umbrella outfitted with a 600 w/sec. strobe.  I prefer a 60″ umbrella to a 30″ because the quality of light “warp” and diffusion is noticeably softer.
  7. Light output from the strobes was metered with a Sekonic L-358  and set to f8.
  8. Pocket Wizard Plus II’s and the new III’s were used to trigger the strobes.
  9. In the end only one camera had some dust issues.  Those images were cleaned up and taken care of quickly with the cloning tool in Adobe Lightroom.


How we got all the Dancers to Look So Great?

Every child was in full costume with stage make applied for the dance recital portraits.  They looked great.  But that’s just the beginning.

Our job is to make them shine and really give each of them WOW FACTOR  in front of the camera.  Each photographer had their own assistant, and in most cases a dance pro to help with posing.  This really  freed them up to focus on  their craft  and interact with the children.  Even thought the shoot was fast paced, each of us still had time to interact with and elicit and evoke emotions from each child.  This is very important, especially with the 3-5 years olds who tend to be a bit shy.  Plus it didn’t hurt that almost all of us have our own kidos or just really enjoy photographing children.  

Marc Weisberg is an award winning photographer and Sony Artist of Imagery based in Irvine, California. Specializing in Luxury Architecture & Real Estate Photography, Food + Wine Photography, and Weddings & Family Photography, he’s easy to work with and produces clean, crisp, and technically flawless images. Marc’s photography is published internationally in over a dozen books and magazines. You can contact Marc by phone at 949.494.5084…. or email.

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