Dancer – Caroline Hearst.
Location – San Francisco, California.
© 2012 Oliver Endahl
This photo of Caroline was captured outside the Punchline Comedy Club in San Francisco. What drew me to this particular spot on location was the green ivy above Caroline, I thought it looked very pretty and would compliment Caroline’s outfit.
What I really like about Caroline in this photo is that, not only is her line gorgeous, and she looks amazing, but Caroline projects that feeling of being otherworldly graceful to the viewer. Which is a very rare quality.
Today’s blog post is an interview with ballet dancer, Jeanette Kakareka. The interview was done in December, 2011.
Jeanette is currently a trainee with the San Francisco Ballet School.
What music are you listening to lately?
I’ve been listening to Poison Control Center’s Sad Sour Future album.
What are you currently trying to improve about your ballet technique?
I’m always trying to improve my technique and I’m also always trying to get stronger. There’s got to be about a million things I see in the mirror every day that I’m working on fixing. I also have to remind myself to be patient so I don’t get overly frustrated too easily. Everyone’s body comes with a different set of strengths and weaknesses. I focus on my body, and what I have to do with the body that I have, to accomplish what I want.
What’s your favorite book?
Anne of Green Gables or The Time Traveler’s Wife.
What’s your current favorite ballet?
My favorite ballet will forever be Romeo and Juliet. Juliet is my dream role, far (far far far…) above anything else.
Have you thought about choreographing a ballet?
I’ve thought about choreographing something short, but I don’t have the confidence yet that I’d be able to carry it through. I never want anything to be just mediocre.
See any movies lately?
I saw the Muppets, which was hysterical, and the Descendants, which was heart-wrenching the whole movie. I loved them both.
What kind of pointe shoes do you wear?
I wear custom Bloch Alphas that have an extra hard shank and tip. When my shoes don’t arrive in the mail fast enough, I experiment. Right now I’m experimenting with some Freed’s I got upstairs from the company shoe room. I like them but they die too fast.
What’s it like doing a Ballet Zaida photoshoot?
It’s just you and the photographer so it’s really casual and laid-back. I also love photography and Oliver really knows what he’s doing, so I feel like I always learn from the experience.
Do you plan dance poses for the photoshoot ahead of time?
Sometimes I come up with a few and Oliver usually has some ideas of his own.
What’s your favorite part of the city of San Francisco?
Christmas time at Union Square is insane and I love it. I pretend I’m in NYC. I like crowds, just as long as I’m not in any big rush. I’m a fast walker and I pummel people down.
Any favorite place to shop?
Not in particular. I shop at a lot of different places.
How would you describe your personal fashion?
I wear what I want to wear. I usually want to wear big sweaters, boots, and scarves. I like pastels and dark colors. I love dresses.
Any favorite quotes?
“I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
- Ray Bradbury
What’s something that surprises people about you?
I guess it surprises people how much I eat.
Get any new leotards recently?
I bought a pink Yumiko this year.
Who inspires you?
There’s lots of dancers that inspire me. I think Alessandra Ferri is my favorite because of how she made every step purposeful. What also really inspires me is when a dancer can continue to improve over the years and not just get comfortable.
Dancer – Candy Tong.
Location – Pulgas Water Temple. Redwood city, California.
© 2012 Oliver Endahl
This shot of Candy showcases her doing a “Coupé back”. (Which in ballet terms, means her foot is connected to the back of her leg, slightly above her ankle)
This pose may look easy but it’s actually ridiculously difficult to pull off on camera. The reason for this is because the Coupé has to be placed very precisely, it has to be turned out, and the upper body has to also be making good lines. If the Coupé, or upper body is even a little bit off, the pose won’t work. Candy definitely nailed it in this photo though, she looks great.
When we took this photo at the Pulgas Water Temple, there was only a few people there besides us which was awesome. (If there’s a lot of people in the background of the photo, it means more time photoshopping them out during editing)
The only editing that was done for this photo was a slight boost to the lighting, a little cropping, and some sharpening.
Today’s new photo features Caroline Hearst at the Legion of Honor.
This photo of Caroline was captured at the Legion of Honor, which is one of San Francisco’s Fine Art Museums. We only have access to this courtyard at the Legion during their open hours, so there was people entering and exiting the museum as we did our photoshoot. Which thinking about it, must have been pretty fun for those people. They go to the museum to see Fine Art and end up walking right through a ballet Fine Art photoshoot.
What I love about this photo of Caroline is her port de bras. (which in ballet terms, means her arms) It’s incredibly difficult to achieve this “swan” pose that Caroline is in. (I say swan pose because this pose is from the story ballet “Swan Lake”) It’s really difficult to achieve because the arm placement has to literally look like a swan. You have to get just the right amount of curve, softness, and placement in order to achieve the look, and I think Caroline nailed it in this shot. She looks very elegant, and very swan-esq.
Today is the first blog post featuring your Instagram ballet photos!
All the photos featured today were uploaded by fans of Ballet Zaida using the iPhone app Instagram, and tagged with #BalletZaidaIgers
There was hundreds of submissions to choose from, and I was blown away by the talent and artistry from all the fans who contributed. It was really interesting to see all the different dancers from different places all over the globe. If you haven’t checked out the photos, I’d highly recommend taking a look. Just search the tag #BalletZaidaIgers on Instagram.
Today’s photo selection and commentary is done by me, the founder and photographer of Ballet Zaida, Oliver. And also my sister Alanna, who is the Social Media / Creative Consultant for Ballet Zaida. Here’s the shots that really stood out to us, and why we like them.
Instagram username: Calley_marie
These shots of Calley_marie showcase excellent ballet technique. Her positions are clean, long, and elegant. - Oliver
Calley_marie has clean lines & straight legs, her postions are great! - Alanna
Instagram username: Gabistone
The lighting and atmosphere are just beautiful, love it! – Alanna
The colors in this shot are great. The mix of red and black with a hint of pink and white, and that golden sun backlighting her hair is perfect. – Oliver
Instagram username: Sophcrow
Sophcrow’s “Kitri” jump in this shot is great. Her feet are nicely shaped and pointed, her legs are straight, her jump is high, and her line is excellent. – Oliver
This is a great “Kitri” jump! Sophcrow’s lines are clean, and the photographer timed it just right and got a great capture! – Alanna
Instagram username: Sarahleeroes
This is very cute! I love that the shoes are dead, it adds atmosphere. – Alanna
I think this shot is very fun, I love the subtle editing choice used on it. – Oliver
Instagram username: Stretching3
Stretching3′s jump in this shot is great! She’s making a nice line and she’s got great air. - Oliver
Stretching3 has a beautiful split in the air with a clean postion. I love the lighting she used that makes her silhouetted. – Alanna
Instagram username: Tinapel
This shot captures a city environment, and adds a touch of softness with the elegant arms of the dancer. – Alanna
I think this photo of Tinapel is excellent! Her outfit works well in the urban city, and her postion is very elegant. – Oliver
Instagram username: Misstylerjoy
There’s a lot of things to like about this photo. The dancer is showcasing nice foot shapes, excellent lines with her upper body, and lots of charisma with her pose. The lighting is beautiful, and I like her outfit! Excellent shot Misstylerjoy. – Oliver
This photo has amazing light! The pose flows very nicely with her arms extending. My eyes follow past her fingertips, and beyond. Very pretty. – Alanna
Instagram username: Luizalopes
I love the view of the theatre with all the dancers on stage taking a warm up class. Beautiful. – Alanna
This photo captures the atmosphere of taking warm up class on stage perfectly. I think the composition used is very clever, showcasing the dancers and also the theatre. – Oliver
Instagram username: Luizalopes
I love the setting and light in this shot. The ballet postion in it is great, and the photo is well composed. – Oliver
This photo from Luizalopes is just flat out cute. Not only are the ballet positions clean and elegant, but it’s super romantic and has a wonderful atmosphere. – Alanna
Instagram username: Haileygolich
Simple and sweet is what popped into my head when I saw this photo from Haileygolich, lovely colors and setting! – Alanna
I’m a big fan of the environment and colors of this shot. The big power lines in the background really add to the atmosphere and create a nice setting. - Oliver
Instagram username: Andriesdancer
This shot of Andriesdancer has excellent texture. I like her soft arm postion and how her hair falls, leading the viewers eyes down towards her nice foot shape. – Oliver
In this photo from Andriesdancer the arms are well placed and relaxed, and the front foot shape is lovely! – Alanna
Instagram username: Andriesdancer
With all the dancers standing on the stage waiting, it gives the viewer a glimpse into the life of a dancer. – Alanna
This shot from Andriesdancer is classic. The candid poses of the dancers makes the photo real and puts you right in the moment. The composition is excellent, having the two girls on the side of the photo frames the girls infront of them. This is a wonderful photo. – Oliver
Instagram username: J_carara
I think the brightly colored outfit choice in this shot is cool. Her lines are great, and the setting is fun. – Oliver
The colors pop in this photo from J_Carara. Her pose is simple, yet relaxed. Just lovely. – Alanna
Instagram username: Littlemissballerina
Littlemissballerina‘s position’s are clean and nicely placed, great job! – Alanna
Not only are Littlemissballerina‘s positions clean, but the photos are also nicely composed, and her outfit works well in both shots. Excellent photos Littlemissballerina. – Oliver
Overall, we were both very impressed with all the Instagram submissions so far. The next Ballet Zaida blog post will showcase the ballet photos we receive through E-mail, BalletZaida@Gmail.com, Twitter, @BalletZaida, and through the Instagram hashtag, #BalletZaidaIgers
So keep the submissions coming, we can’t wait to see them!
-Oliver & Alanna Endahl.
Ballet Zaida is now accepting fan submissions through the iPhone app “Instagram”
Post a ballet photo of yourself either in a dance studio or outdoors, and tag the photo with #BalletZaidaIgers and we’ll feature our favorite shots right here on the Ballet Zaida blog!
- Oliver Endahl ( @OliverEndahl )
Dancer – Caroline Echerd.
Location – Ocean Beach. San Francisco, California.
© 2012 Oliver Endahl
I was really excited to take photos of Caroline using balloons because I was interested in the idea of extending ballet lines with them, and this photo does just that.
Caroline’s ballet line starts with her tendu back, and instead of the line ending at the other end of her body, the line extends all the way to the balloons and perhaps beyond.
Another thing I love about this photo is the colors. I used my own mixture of vintage editing in Photoshop and added a tiny tiny bit of cross processing to achieve the colors of it. I also added some vignetting to the corners to really make the sky pop.
-Oliver Endahl ( @OliverEndahl )
A new photo has been added to the Sonatas gallery. The photo introduces dancer Angelica Tilton.
If you haven’t guessed it, Angelica Tilton is the sister of Abigail Tilton. Angelica and Abigail did a photoshoot together, which was a blast. Their both very talented and photogenic dancers. (The sister’s older brother Raymond, has been previously featured in Ballet Zaida. I know, talented family right?)
I think this photo of Angelica is stunning. The colors in the original unedited version of the photo were much more red/orange looking. I toned down the reds, and added more blue which in contrast to Angelica’s red lipstick and white attire, really makes it pop.
The sparkler and her expression are what really make the photo for me. I think with the gold sparks falling to the sand and Angelica’s confident but mysterious expression, it really creates a unique and interesting atmosphere.
I got the inspiration to use sparklers in photoshoots because just like bow-ties and fezzes, sparklers are cool. The sparklers we used in these photos only lasted about 10 seconds each at best, so it became a race once the sparkler was light to snap the photos.
The photo in the bottom right frame is actually a candid. Angelica was either talking or listening to her sister Abigail who was to her right.
Candy Tong’s Sonata was uploaded on Monday, January 16th.
Candy’s Sonata was taken in downtown San Mateo, which was a nice change from shooting in San Francisco. Downtown San Mateo was very elegant and the few people that were still out when we were shooting were friendly. (A shop owner even offered us his cafe to take photos in!)
Right when we arrived downtown I saw this fence that had lights on it. I think it was the fence for an upscale hotel, but I’m not totally sure about that. Whatever it was a fence for, I knew right away we were going to utilize it.
Candy was excellent at performing the various poses I suggested to her. She took each pose and made it her own, which was great. I was very excited when we captured some of these shots because I had been looking a while to find a location with this many lights at it.
Today, a new Sonata photo was added featuring dancer, Emma Rubinowitz.
The location used in this photo is a staircase in San Francisco that leads up to the PunchLine comedy club. I like using this location for 2 reasons. The first is that the lighting is gorgeous, the natural soft light looks great at anytime of day. The second is that the staircase is fairly hidden so we only get the occasional passerby.
As always during a Ballet Zaida photoshoot in San Francisco, it was freezing. I was cold wearing jeans, a shirt, and a leather jacket, so Emma must have been sweating bullets.
All the poses Emma hits in this photo were made up on the spot. I took several shots of each pose during the shoot, then later selected the ones that flowed together the best.
The photo in the upper left corner was the toughest one to choose, because I had a lot of photos of that same pose that also included Emma’s hands. After trying out several different combinations though, I decided to use a shot with neither of her hands showing. With the version I ended up choosing I assume if the viewer looks at that frame, the viewers focus will start at her necklace, then move down to her tutu, or down her left arm. Which will lead the viewer to either a different frame, or Emma’s name.
Emma’s Sonata showcases a great balance of grace and power.
This Monday a new photo will be added to the Asteria album introducing dancer, Shannon Tse.