Erie Dance Photography

Dance Studio Photography time is here again!

Whether you are looking for traditional studio backgrounds or something “old school”, you know we are the people to call. With the lights, backdrops, props, cameras and post-production skills, we will delight you year after year.

Don’t settle for amateur portraits. Give us a call and we can set up your dance portrait session soon!

For more information check out our Sample Slide Show, or download our Session and Package List here.

Family Portrait Photography in Erie: Low-Key Portraiture

Last week I highlighted some High-Key portraiture using a white background. This week I wanted to show you some images taken at the opposite end of the background spectrum.

Often called “Low-Key” lighting, this technique features a dark background. The objective is not to simply lower the lighting level; you still need enough light to render the subjects well in the exposure. In fact, with dark-haired subjects, you may need as my lights as the High Key method. These lights are often pointed back toward the camera to provide some illumination on the subjects’ hair, for separation from the background.

In this image, we have mother and daughters, all dressed in black, against a black background. A key light to camera right provides the front illumination of the right side. A fill light to camera left lightens the shadows. And two lights behind them fitted with grids, provide the rim or hair lighting.

You can see a nice shine in the girls’ hair from the supplemental lighting, as well as clearly lit faces. Low-key images are often subdued and elegant in appearance, contrasted with the higher-energy appearance of high-key imagery. These portraits do very well in large print format, in canvas or traditional print form.

High Key Portrait Photography in Erie

High key is the term used for a bright white background. It’s often difficult to light, requiring as many as four lights to properly expose the background and main subject.

In the original color image below, Lauren is properly exposed and the image is finished in color with just a touch of softness added in post-processing.

In the second image, I used a BW conversion that favored red tones, bringing her skin to a pure white, and providing some definition to her face, hair and hands. It’s interesting that in this conversion, her clothing begins to blend to the background, creating an abstract look.

This was one of the harder types of settings for me to learn to light. When done properly, the effect is stunning. But when the background is overexposed or underexposed, the result can be an image that is flat, grey or overpowering, causing undesired halos.

One of the benefits of my new studio is that I have all of my gear available, and can go from natural light to black to colored backdrop to pure white “high key” in just a few minutes. Plus the brick walls rock!

Erie Dance Photography: Ballet Dancer in Natural Light

Here is a lovely image of Leslie, taken during our test sessions last week. Leslie is an experienced ballet dancer, and posed with us in a gorgeous pointe costume with iridescent skirt and black jeweled top.

This image was taken in natural daylight against a 110-year-old brick wall. Our suite resides inside an old classroom of the Franklin School, built in the late 1890’s. It has all the character of an old school, incredible light and more.

This spring, we’ll be focusing (pun intended) on professional dance portraiture. If you are interested in the best dance imagery possible, contact us. Not only do we have the studio and the equipment to capture both natural light and strobe photography, but we have have years of dance and portrait experience and literally thousands of images which speak to our abilities to produce stunning dance imagery.

Contact us at (814) 881-2840 or through our contact form at to arrange for a custom dance portrait session. Don’t settle for amateur images – demand the best for your dancers!