What are simple positions, why I like them so much, and are they as simple to perform as they seem?
I love minimalism. For me it means visual accents that can draw the viewer's attention to certain strengths of the body / photo. Everything that looks simple is actually the most difficult:)
Most often, on my set, when I begin our photoshoot I start with simple positions for the dancers. In this gallery I’ve selected a few of my most favorite simple positions, a must-have in my work.
On or off pointe, the main thing is to combine the simplicity of the lines with a relaxed upper body.
As a dancer, to look beautiful, you don’t have to lift your legs up high. If you do lift your legs, though, please do it according to professional ballet standards so as not to be embarrassed later:)
If you are an aspiring ballet photographer and don’t know yet how to lift a ballerina’s legs so that everything looks correct, then I suggest you start your journey from the positions on the floor (i.e. with one or two legs firmly standing on the floor)
I like it when the feet are in the 4th or 5th position because those positions are stable for the artist. As for the arms, you can pose them however you like. You can use the classic 3d or 2nd position, you can lower the arms along the body, you can pose them "as a regular human being", that is, avoiding classic ballet standards.
Mind you, it is very difficult to relax the upper body, or at least more complicated than it might seem. With the feet everything is easier because there are canons, but for the arms it’s different. Your arms are your signature, and striving for uniqueness you cannot neglect the rules of classical dance. Don’t glue your fingers together, leave some air between them, the hands should be soft, there should be a pattern and a line. Well, I suggest, for starters, relaxing your hands “the human way”
The upper body will be the key, and it will fill the posture with emotion. Requirements for the feet and legs remain: long, turned-out, classically positioned.
In a simple pose, I always recommend to put your “favorite”, your best leg forward because the focus will be on it. Which one is the dancer’s favorite, the dancer herself should decide. The photographer should ask her. After all, you both need to highlight your best features :)
Next, sitting positions, which are also considered simple. They are pillars of strength for me, for when I realize that after performing complex tricks my model is tired, I always suggest taking a break and sitting down. Meanwhile, as a photographer I don’t waste this time. I make it work by arranging a beautiful sitting position for the resting period. What you need for this position: pointed feet, their turnout (if required).
All in all, simple positions work as a starting point in my work: we begin, and I examine the artist’s body for their “strengths” while shooting, without losing precious time.
Starting with simple positions is good for a dancer because they work as a sort of warm up, and their body will be thankful for it :)