Monday, October 1, 2012

Dancers Among Us Gets Picked Up After Dark by Atlanta Ballet

It’s hard to believe this Dancers Among Us shoot was completely spontaneous- the setting is just too picturesque. 

Once again, serendipity saved the day. I was driving around rural Georgia with five principle dancers from Atlanta Ballet- Claire Stallman, Jacob Bush, Rachel Van Buskirk, Alessa Rogers, and Pablo Sanchez. Along for the trip was Will Day, a local photographer documenting the process. 

I was looking for quintessential Americana. I had my mind set on an auto repair shop at dusk, but we couldn’t find one. To our great fortune, we met Ellen Ianelli from the Madison Visitor’s Center. She enthusiastically volunteered her friend’s vintage red pickup truck. 

We raced to the house as the sun was getting low in the sky. When we arrived, the truck's owner wasn't there and nobody knew how to start it. Desperate to beat the sunset, we all pushed the truck on to a dirt road next to the house and popped the hood. Pablo changed into a dirty T-shirt and someone found a huge wrench in the backyard. Fortunately, Will had a tool box that was a perfect match with the truck.

I struggled to think of a good pose as the sky darkened.

Finally, I had the idea of Pablo taking a cigarette break with his feet casually extended straight out. He executed this difficult pose twenty-eight times in ten minutes. It was so dark that only two shots were in focus. This was one of them.

(we brightened it a bit and added saturation in post)

Within two minutes, it was too dark to shoot. My camera wouldn't focus anymore.

Two minutes! What amazing luck. We almost missed the shot by two minutes. That's serendipity!

To see more examples of what was seriously a serendipitous three years, go to You can also purchase the book or buy tickets to the launch party on October 23 in NYC.