Mastering Dance Photography 


22nd October 2017

Italy Photography holiday

Shot in Piazzula Sul Brent


The Workshop

Do you want to recreate the beauty and frisson of dance? Freeze those dramatic leaps at the critical point in time? Capture the frenzy of dancing feet as they shimmer cross the floor? In short, tell the story of dance through the lens of your camera? Andrew Appleton will show you how.

Andrew is, without doubt, the trainer best placed to teach you the fundamental rules of dance photography. Not only does he have a passion for the subject but it is where he began his own photography career, shooting live performances in theatres. Years on, he now travels the world, running photography workshops and courses; in this course, he shares his consolidated behind-the-lens knowledge and understanding of shooting classical and contemporary dance. Then, he works with you to ensure that you have grasped what you need to set you on your road to becoming a confident dance photographer.

In addition to Andrew’s tuition, you are provided with a dancer for the day, Alexa Hilton, who is a classically-trained ballerina and a qualified dance teacher. One of her first tasks is to guide you through some basic dance styles, demonstrating the correct posture and positions. Throughout the day, her expertise and advice are invaluable and you will also find her love of dance infectious. And prepare to have some fun too; she may get you up on your feet!

From these two professionals, you will learn how to capture the form, movement and mood of this highly expressive art form, through creative lighting, precise timing and technical accuracy. By the end of the day, you will be able to critique your own work and, just as importantly, understand how to improve and perfect your technique.

So, what exactly can you expect from the day?


A number of variables are involved to make dance one of the most fascinating and emotive genres in photography. The classroom session covers all the critical elements which come together in a perfect dance shot. From his broad experience, Andrew is able to advice you on lens choice and optimum focus methods, in addition to the importance of lighting, shooting angle, framing and timing.

Practical Shoot Time

After the tutorial, you will be ready to put your learning into practice. Shooting for the day is broken down into four key focus areas:

Timing – In this section, you will concentrate on capturing Alexa as she executes a series of short movements. You will learn to appreciate the concept of brain-to-shutter speed, establish ways to work with your camera in order to compensate for the delay, and accurately anticipate the peak of a dance move.

Tracking the dancer – Building on your timing skills, Alexa will dance a series of 30-40 second sequences, to simulate a live performance. Under Andrew’s guidance, you will draw on all the methods you have been taught during the morning session to capture the dance move at the optimum moment and in the optimum place in the frame.

Static posing – This element focuses on the physical form. You will work with different lighting set-ups specifically designed to enhance shape and create specific moods.

Dragging the shutter – Here is your opportunity to freeze movement and to introduce blur into your dance photography, using constant light and flash. It’s a chance to play with the abstract and really get creative.

The Location

The workshop is based at the Flashback Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Event

The workshop runs between 10am - 5pm . It is limited to a maximum of 8 photographers and includes lunch. The cost of this workshop is £140 per person (approx. R2500). 

The Gear

You will need a DSLR or CSC camera plus suitable lenses. we recommend lenses that will cover 24 -150mm on a full frame sensor, but please bring along your kit bag, and a notepad and pen. Please let us know if you are a Sony user. If you have any questions regarding equipment, please contact

The Model

Our dancer/model for this event is Alexa Hilton

Booking onto this event confirms your agreement of the terms and conditions. Please click here for terms & conditions

  • October 22, 2017
    10:00 am - 5:00 pm