There is a time and a place for cheesy stock dance photos. However, they are ALL over. It is amazing to us when we are looking for quality dance photos to use for blogs, social media, website, etc. how LITTLE there is available!
Which led us to Kasidee. Kasidee Karsten is a Social Media and Public Relations specialist from Michigan who we met when dancing for the Indianapolis Colts. She interned for the Colts Cheerleaders and kicked butt in social media, action photography, and pretty much everything else she did during that time.
Kasidee has photographed everything from dancers to events to clothing, and she rocks at it. So, we spent one lovely summer Sunday morning having Kasidee shoot some of our favorite dancers to give us some quality images to use (FINALLY!).
Here are just a few of our favorite photos from the shoot!
You can see more of her work on her website here! Isn’t she adorable?
We sat down with Kasidee to ask what makes her images so great. Here are three quick tips from her on how to capture the best dance action photos!
- Set your space: Think about where you’re shooting. What kind of light will there be? What time of day is it? What is your background going to look like? The amount of lighting you have will determine where you’ll need your ISO set at. In addition, consider pre-focusing. Pre-focusing is where you set the focus on where your subject is going to be, not where your subject is. The trick is to set your focus where the subject will be and use the switch on your lens to lock it into manual mode. This way, your camera will already be focused before your subject moves into the frame and you won’t have to physically move the camera to follow them.
- Think speed: The best rule of thumb is to make sure your shutter speed is set to 1/1000. You might be able to get away with 1/800 but always zoom in on the first couple of photos to see if there’s any blurriness. You might have to up your ISO to as high as 1600 in order to get the proper lighting at this shutter speed but that’s ok! Additionally, it helps to get a fast memory card so that your camera isn’t slowing down with a large number of hi-res images. I use the Sandisk Extreme Pro card at 45MB/s and holds up to 32GB. It’s worth noting that this card is recommended for my camera (Nikon D7000), but I’ve always had luck with their Extreme Pro cards. Whether or not you need 32GB depends on how much shooting you plan to do. If you’re taking 600 photos or less, you’d be fine with a smaller size.
- Body Position: Where you are physically will determine the outcome of your photos. When shooting dancers, I’ve noticed that my photos come out better when I’m down low. I’ll either sit on my knees, or sometimes am completely flat on the ground, but these photos make my subject look more powerful than if I was standing eye-to-eye with them. It’s also better to be further back than too close. I like to give myself just a little extra wiggle room to crop the photo exactly where I want it, rather than getting too close, especially since dance requires extra space for arm and leg movement.
We hope this is helpful for all of you dance photo lovers out there!
Kasidee, thank you so much for your awesome work, we are excited to share the talents of both our dancer and photographer friends!