I’ve been involved in the arts all of my life, with ballet having been front and center for most of it. I’ve been teaching ballet, choreographing and directing for 25 years. I started writing reviews for performing arts in the Triangle in 2012 for a local publication. There were frequent press photo calls which no one from the publication attended, leaving me without photos to beautify the presentation of the review. On a whim, I decided to buy a camera and show up to the photo calls myself. Within a year I had upgraded to a professional camera, invested in a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, and instead of taking the pictures to add to my reviews, I found I was writing reviews so that I could take the pictures. The critical analysis of performances became less and less important to me. I found myself learning more through the lens about the art and artists I felt I had known all my life than I had in all my years as a student and teacher. I eventually moved completely away from the writing and took my camera out of the theater and into the world. I feel the strongest connection to a person or thing through photography. I learn about it, become interested and fall in love from behind the camera, and the editing process deepens the connection. This journey with my camera has allowed me to see beauty in unexpected places, and to appreciate it in places where it’s obvious. I prefer to show the beauty of reality with only subtle edits. Photography is a meditation for me. I want to show sensitivity, to be honest, and to show an authentic yet artful image of my subjects. Can you see where they’ve been? Can you see where they’re going? Can you see what you might share in common with a bird or a moth, or what’s important to them?
You can see some of my dance review pictures and a chronological progression of my work in the theater. Here is the very first show I ever shot, Keigwin and Co at the American Dance Festival in the summer of 2012. Scroll to the bottom and click “Next” to see my progression and development, and pictures from lots of local classical ballet, modern dance and rhythm tap performances.