Good Evening, Hello, Hi All


Back with a new blog, this time on a shoot I have wanted to do for many years, shooting a proper ballerina in unusual settings.  This is a thing which I think started in the good old USA but you don’t tend to a great deal of it happening in the UK.

Myself and a photographer mate, Phil Roberts, try to get out shooting together at least once a month under the banner of #GoneToggin (see what we did there??).  This project seemed to fit the brief for that and so we set about organising it, scouting locations, looking at ideas and possible scenes and so on.  I knew the perfect dancer and model for this shooting having worked with the beautiful and brilliant classically trained Megan who, when I suggested the concept to her gave us an immediate and very enthusiastic ‘YES’.


“Dancing is creating a sculpture that is visible only for a moment.” – Erol Orzan


Phil and I knew that we wanted to achieve striking images of the beautiful, delicate and serene dancer set against striking contrasting backgrounds and we knew we could do that in our home town of Stockton-on-Tees.  We headed out around town again and chose three or four locations we thought we would suit the project best.

And so it was that early on a cold Sunday morning in March Phil and I met up with Megan and her mum at the North side of Infinity Bridge in Stockton armed with our cameras and a camping stove for coffee, we did get some funny looks from passers by as we brewed up at the roadside.  I had already had several chats with Meg so she knew roughly what we wanted.

So to set the scene, if you know the area, there is a fairly new housing estate to the left of the North entrance onto Infinity Bridge which would provide some great leading lines for Meg to dance down.  As always with such things the key for me is giving the dancer the freedom to perform, no real direction from us other than ‘can you dance down the centre of here Meg’ and so on.  No directed poses, we just wanted to organically capture beautiful performances in settings which would not normally see them.

Megan was a star as usual, to asked to put through a routine in a studio must be nervy enough, but to do it in a very public area in a cold Sunday March morning is another level, but Meg did not hesitate at all.  From here we switched our attention to her dancing on Infinity Bridge itself which was now getting busy with dog walkers and Sunday strollers.  Unphased, Meg danced across the bridge and back, through people and dogs, stopping occasionally for stretches, just brilliant and amazing and we are so pleased with the images, pretty much what was in our heads pre-shoot.


“We must look at all of her joints, the positions of her feet and arches in regard to the floor, her fingers, her neck, the angle of her head, the direction of her eyes, and every other little detail.” – Doc List (Master Photographer)

On then to our next location, parked up outside the now closed Sound it Out Records in Stockton, if you know the area there is an alley which runs from there, past the Thomas Sheraton Wetherspoons, down towards Bridge Road just off the High Street and that was to be our street studio for the next 45 minutes.  We had a street brewed coffee whilst Megan got changed into another outfit.

The alley is usually pretty miserable with debris and rubbish, plus the odd discarded bottle and can, but we left it that way and asked Meg to do her gorgeous routines up and down the alley in a very effective black dance outfit, stopping occasionally for a static routine or pose and getting up on her pointes regularly too, not easy in this location or circumstance.  By now it was heading for midday and a few confused ‘Spoons customers must have wondered what was going on or whether they had maybe drunk more than they thought.


Finally, we headed over the other side of the river to Thornaby Place and an industrial unit owned by Auto Electrics Teesside.  It was of course closed but they have two massive metal bay doors covered with blue flaking paint which make for a great backdrop for some portrait type images.  Again, we chose the areas for Megan to stand or dance in, the poses were totally up to her.


We finished with another street brewed coffee and a group hug and then back home to do the edits.  All in all a fantastic day, Megan and her mum loved the images and we had a great time, really pleased to finally do this project.  Onwards and upwards to more #GoneTogging.


Here’s a link to the finished images:


If you like what you see and would love something unique, or you have collaboration ideas then please drop me a message or email.

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