At the end of the dance year, dance recital season is an important opportunity to honor your dancers’ hard work, capture memories for their parents, and showcase your studio. Dance recital photos, whether staged beforehand or done as live-event photos, are an excellent way to commemorate the occasion and capture the spirit of your studio. However, just like choosing a photographer for your wedding, picking the perfect cameraman for your pictures is tricky. To get the best dance recital photos possible, you need to put the necessary time and research into your selection. When you begin the search for a photographer, use these three considerations to guide your process.
Before you even start looking for potential candidates, you should establish how much you’re able to spend. You don’t want to fall in love with a photographer who’s way above your price range. Having an established budget will also help you negotiate if need be. A professional photographer may be willing to drop event prices to fit your needs if they know you’ll be a recurring client.
The other part of this consideration is how much parents are willing to spend to purchase prints. You can find this out by simply asking around or sending out a questionnaire. If this is your first recital, try to get as much information as possible. Find out if parents want photos of different outfits, the class or of the action. The more detail you can provide to your candidates, the better.
The Professional Photographers of America recommended that you interview several photographers before making your choice. Ask questions about their experience taking dance recital photos, their style and other studios they’ve worked with. Ask candidates to bring samples of their work and supply them with some images you like. You want to make sure that the photographer you choose can deliver up to your expectations. It’s also a good idea to check references. A photographer may have shot recitals before, but that doesn’t mean he or she is good with children. Calling a past client can give you a better idea of how your hire will interact with your students and instructors.
Finally you’ll want to discuss what equipment the photographer has and what, if anything, you need to provide. For staged photographs, you’ll need a backdrop, lighting and props. Ask to see the backdrops each photographer has. If you want photographs of the live dance recital event, make sure they have the proper lenses and discuss if they will need special arrangements, like a reserved seat. You’ll also want to ensure that they have backup equipment and someone who can stand in if they fall ill on the recital date.