Tip: Photographing a Dance Show


photo by Gabre Cameron



In 2010 I covered a dance show for the University (of the West Indies) Dance Society at Phillip Sherlock. At the time I had a kit lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5) and a very small memory card (8GB) which impacted how many photos I could take. I limited myself to 5 photos a piece, with a few exceptions.

Last month however, I covered another dance show, this time for Praise Academy of Dance, with a faster lens (17-50mm f/2.8) and a larger memory card (32GB). I was like a kid in a candy store. I ended up with 900+ photos. Most of which were repetitive.

After the fact I realized I should have applied what I learnt from UDS's show to Praise Academy's show. I should have:


  1. Sat through the entire dress rehearsal to familiarize myself with the various dance pieces.
  2. Done some test shots from various locations, during the dress rehearsal, to see where gave me the best vantage point(s).
  3. Restricted the amount of photos I took for each dance piece.

Though I forgot to take into consideration the 3 points stated above I never forget that dance shows, and the like, take place in dimly lit auditoriums.

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