I know how important personal projects are to keep creatives inspired, learning and creative. It's just that while raising two small children, running a commercial photography business and keeping the house - it's one of the last things on my list. This year, that changed.
In September I started what was to become the biggest personal project I have done to date. I decided to partner with La Bomba, the dance school where I take lessons and tell her story through her people.
Part documentary, part art, I asked for dancers - teachers and students - to tell me about themselves and think about how they would like to be photographed. I wanted to create a photograph that showed them, and their life outside of dance.
Some people have chosen to show their profession or other hobbies, but many are creating photographs that inspire and connect with them. I compiled a Pinterest board of inspiration, and they are 'running' with it to co-direct their photo shoot.
Nature and the beach are popular locations, Mother Nature playing a big part in calming and inspiring dancers of all sorts. I've photographed people in costume, in everyday clothes and sports uniforms. We've done shoots with horses, children, smoke bombs, motorbikes and flying powder.
But one of the most interesting parts of this project has been to read and hear what draws people to dance. I've always said it is like a moving meditation for me, and this is the case for many people. Recurring themes of forgetting about their worries, being someone else, going somewhere outside of the thoughts and feeling free.
This project also shows how diverse dancers are. We have doctors, physios, photographers and marketing managers. Students, retirees, couples, and singles. Young and old. And everyone in between.
The exhibition will be displayed early next year; I will keep you updated about it. I'll also be captioning the images with snippets of quotes to show each dancers story. Inspiring people that have thought about dancing, but never tried.