One of the things that has struck me in my time as a photojournalist is that quite often some of my favorite things to shoot are things that I HATED before getting an assignment to cover them. There’s no way I’d have attended volleyball six years ago but having shot numerous matches in my career I’ve developed an appreciation for the sport and its one of my favorite sports assignments.
Dance is another example. Not a fan. Not of any kind of dance: ballet, modern, disco, the fricking limbo, any of it. Anyone who knows me knows that I DO NOT dance. I don’t like doing it, I don’t like watching it, I simply don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it as an art form and recognize the years of diligent practice necessary to reach a high level. It’s just not my thing. I consider myself to be a fairly cultured person, I like art museums, classical music and even the opera but ballet, I’d rather pull up a barstool and watch the Royals lose, thank you very much.
That said I could not be more excited about my assignment for tonight, ballet. Why? Interesting light and people making dramatic gestures. What’s not to love as a photographer?
I know a lot of folks are thinking, ‘Well don’t you want to shoot things you’re passionate about?’ Well of course, but if you are able to make a living JUST shooting those things you are one of the lucky few. A large number of my gigs are to things I’d never go to on my own. You should always take time to shoot things that interest you personally but ya gots ta pay da bills to.
Something that’s as important is to find a way to be passionate about EVERYTHING you shoot. It might not be your thing but if you try I bet you can find something about covering it that will make it interesting. Who knows you might even find yourself a new passion once you’ve learned about it.
Here are a few frames from a recent dance performance I shot. I enjoyed the shoot but I think I’ll keep my wallflower status for now.