Here are a few photos from a Master Dance Class taught by Martha Graham Dance Company at Kingsbury Hall. The class was taught for University of Utah dance students. I love the opportunities I have to take photos for Kingsbury Hall and see all of the different amazing performers they bring in. Not to mention that one of the perks includes free tickets to see the performances. The evening performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company was incredible! The dance company I work for, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, leans towards new contemporary choreographers, which is the type of dance I am usually drawn toward. But the classical look and style of modern dance pioneer Martha Graham was actually quite refreshing and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would have.
I have pretty much become the resident photographer for Wasatch Theatre Company in Salt Lake City that performs at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. I take the publicity photos they use to send to the media with press releases and then I also take the production photos of each show.
Here are a few publicity shots I took of the next show Dead Man's Cell Phone last week. The performance runs May 6-22 at the Rose Wagner Center. Here is a brief synopsis of the story:
A woman answers a cell phone going off at the restaurant table next to her. The cell phone belongs to a man who has just died. Answering the cell phone call initiates a series of happenings that change the woman's life forever. Sarah Ruhl's drama addresses issues such as spirituality, love, and the meaning of life in a clever, touching, and sometimes comedic way.
As much as I would love to just take photos all day long, I do have my day job that really pays the bills. That is as the Marketing and Public Relations Director for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company.
When I have a chance, I love to use my photography skills there at work. We just recently finished one of our largest events of the year called the Cabaret of Fools which serves as our annual fundraising gala. It was held on April 3, 2010 and it was INCREDIBLE! We had the highest turnout we have ever had in previous years. We are still crunching the numbers but it also looks like we have raised the most money as well to support our Educational and Artistic Programming.
On March 12th and 13th I took a Workshop on Wildlife Photography at the Utah Hogle Zoo. The first class was held on Friday night and was focused in the classroom on photography techniques. Unfortunately it was a bit more of a beginner workshop than I thought it would be. The first part of the class was focused on Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed settings and how each operates. It didn't help that many of the people in the class were actually beginners and didn't quite know how to operate these things. I must say though that the most frustrating part was to look at people who had amazing lenses but yet didn't know how to use their camera. But it gave me some eye candy to scope out other people's camera equipment and add to my wish list of items I want to buy.
The second half of the class started going more into things like composition, tips for approaching wildlife photography, and things to look for which is what I was really hoping to get out of the class. My dilemma with wildlife and action photography is I am so worried about missing "the shot" that I just keep on shooting away with my continuous shutter which means I sometimes sacrifice the composition with the thought that I can crop it later. I need to remember to be patient, find the right background or foreground and patiently wait for the right shot.
The second day of the class was a full day of shooting in the zoo. These shots of the male tiger, Kazek, were quite an example catching the exact right moment in wildlife photography and I am so thankful I was able to get these shots. He was ignoring us most of the time and was not too photogenic. The keepers brought some meat for him in order to lure the big guy towards the front of the cage. There were many people in the class but I managed to snag a spot by the fence that was off to the side of where he was eating. He primarily kept his head down but then (I think in annoyance at all of the clicking cameras and flashes) he started looking my way and licking his chops. Many of my photos look like he is growling and snarling at us, but I have to admit this was not the case. He was actually just licking the meat out of his teeth and off his snout, but his eyes told a different story. They had such a fierceness to them that showed his utter annoyance at our rude interruption of his meal.
Here is a look at my new blog I am publishing on my own website. Any followers from my page on Blogger can now start following here. I will continue updating both blogs for a while until I completely transition here.
This is an opportunity for you to take a closer look at some of my most recent photoshoots and my experimenting with photoshop and workshops. I hope you enjoy!
To start out things, here is a preview of some shots I took at the Hogle Zoo during a recent Zoo Photography Workshop. These are the pre-edited photos. Come back later to view the full set.
Jessica Montana Ballard
Here is a closer look at my adventures in photography as I go off on my next shoot or I experiment with new techniques I am learning. I hope you can learn from some of the things I am doing and perhaps you can share some opinions and insight on my photographic work.