1460 days & counting...

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1460 days & counting...

       In August of 2014 I messaged what was then “Ballet in Cleveland” inquiring about photographing dancers. I knew nothing about dance other than I enjoyed watching it and, all the commitment behind it. At that time I was still learning how to use my camera manually, I shot in JPEG, I used a free online website Picnik/PicMonkey to edit my photos & I was a sophomore in high School who didn’t even drive.


 I was welcomed by a woman named Jessica Wallis who promptly arranged for me to photograph a group of young in downtown Cleveland.  I filled up my 16G SD card and drained both my camera batteries. The dancers probably hated me with the amount of times we had to re-shoot the same thing. The photo would be out of focus, Now didn’t catch the jump in time (How do I even adjust my camera settlings so the movement isn’t blurred?) Half the time I would get a shot I liked just to find out that the dancers position was wrong, sickled, turned in, etc. None of it made sense to me, but it still fascinated me, and by the end of the night I somehow managed to get a few shots that had correct technique.  

 

 

 One of my favorite images from my first ballet shoot I ever did with dancer from Ballet Le' Reve/Natalya's Turning Pointe

One of my favorite images from my first ballet shoot I ever did with dancer from Ballet Le' Reve/Natalya's Turning Pointe

 

Not long after my first time ever working with dancers I found myself photographing a show for Ballet in Cleveland. I attended the rehearsal & show not really knowing what to expect, and found myself front row photographing The Ashley Bouder Project.

 
 Ashley Bouder & Amar Ramasar 

Ashley Bouder & Amar Ramasar 

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This past Saturday, Ballet in the City Celebrated their 5th years Anniversary with a small gala at the Kent State University Ballroom (September 30th, 2017) for me, this meant I had worked with this organization for 4 years.

 
 

During my time with Ballet in the City I have photographed hundreds of dancers. Through some of these dancers I have gone on to work with their families getting to know them outside of the ballet. I figured this would be a good time to highlight some of the wonderful & talented people I have had the pleasure of working with during the past few years. 

 

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In 2016 I posted a model call out looking for new dancers to work with on Instagram. After many responses, I arranged a shoot with a local dancer name Lily Sargent from Akron.  The day of the shoot I was doing senior photos earlier in the day, and since time was going by fast I the her meet me at a collage campus close to where I lived. The location wasn’t ideally where I wanted to shoot at, but I made it work. We walked around the Tri-C campus taking photos until sunset. Despite Lily being nervous since this was her first shoot, she was very easy to work with. 

After the shoot that I learned that Lily has a rare disease that at one point kept her from dancing completely. 

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When I finished editing the set I sent them over to Lily’s mother excited to share what I got. Her mom informed me that she wrote about the shoot I did with her in collage essay as a turning point in her life. 

“You helped her transition from being "disabled” to "normal " in her mind. The mental barrier of failure, retention of a grade, etc. still haunted her.  That mental piece can really hold a person back, and it is THAT you erased. You really have helped her understand who she is and what she can now do. Thank you for coming into her life. You have done more than you will ever understand....” 

In the following months it was great to see Lily attending the Ballet in the City master classes. She stood with such elegance at the barre’ and watching her continue to grow was very special to me. In 2017 she became an ambassador for Ballet in the City & was thrilled to be casted as Wicked Witch for the Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s spring show. Lily attended Ballet in the City’s Saratoga Spring’s New York trip where I had the pleasure of doing another shoot with her. In the late summer she informed me that she was accepted into a professional company as a trainee. 


 November 14th, 2015 - I did a shoot with these 3 beautiful dancers at the Cleveland Museum of Art and I've never seen so many people come out of nowhere just to watch. We had a crowd of probably 100 people standing around the outside of the room at one point. It was very interesting to witness. 

November 14th, 2015 - I did a shoot with these 3 beautiful dancers at the Cleveland Museum of Art and I've never seen so many people come out of nowhere just to watch. We had a crowd of probably 100 people standing around the outside of the room at one point. It was very interesting to witness. 


Dance Wear Corner Shoot:
Gabriella Morando & Ciara Mikula

 
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#DAKROO

 

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Ive said it before & I'll say it again, I'm so grateful to working with @balletincity. The relationship with everyone is so inspiring & supporting. It's is such an honor to be able to work with these talented kids. I don't have enough words to describe how thankful I am to be working with this organization. 

 

Ballet in the City
balletinthecity.org

@balletincity
 

 

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2017 Wildlife

2017 Wildlife

ADVENTURE JOURNAL

 

I have always enjoyed being out in nature discovering all the mysteries it has to offer; especially the wildlife. Most of my childhood included searching for tadpoles & frogs wherever I could. Over the years I've learned quite a bit about the different little creatures around Ohio, and even at 20 I'm still discovering new species that occupy my home state.

 
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 Can you spot the snapping turtle?

Can you spot the snapping turtle?

 This is "Jeremiah" the bullfrog. He hangs out in the koi-pond at my friends farm. 

This is "Jeremiah" the bullfrog. He hangs out in the koi-pond at my friends farm. 

 Found this Painted Turtle basking in the middle of the road & relocated him to a near-by pond. 

Found this Painted Turtle basking in the middle of the road & relocated him to a near-by pond. 

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 Spring Peeper found in a pile of damp leaves.

Spring Peeper found in a pile of damp leaves.

 Not exactly sure what kind of nest this was, but is was very tiny!

Not exactly sure what kind of nest this was, but is was very tiny!

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 A male American Toad sits by the pond in the spring making mating calls.

A male American Toad sits by the pond in the spring making mating calls.

 Two Red-eft (terrestrial juvenile stage) of the Red-spotted Newt found under a damp log. 

Two Red-eft (terrestrial juvenile stage) of the Red-spotted Newt found under a damp log. 

 Barred Owl

Barred Owl

 Barred Owlet eating in the trees.

Barred Owlet eating in the trees.

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 Eastern painted turtle hatchling basking on some rocks near water.

Eastern painted turtle hatchling basking on some rocks near water.

 Northern Water Snake inside a water garden greenhouse. 

Northern Water Snake inside a water garden greenhouse. 

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