Freezing motion is really fun and can create some amazing and breathtaking photography. As with any session in studio, it’s important to plan ahead to ensure that you’ll have all the tools you need to bring your vision to life. In this case our list included, lighting, backdrops, the proper wardrobe, flowing material, potato flakes and plenty of space.

In this session, we invited 6 beautiful dancers from the Ohio-based Z Company Dance Studio in for a morning shoot. Each of them brought their own sense of style and grace to this session. Each had their own favorite jump and we let them do what they felt most comfortable executing.

 

Exposure

Underexpose the background by 2 full stops - we want to let the background fall off into darkness. In order to do that, we negated any ambient lighting by underexposing.

Freezing Portraits
OM-D E-M1 Mark II, M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. F4.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 200

Freezing Portraits
OM-D E-M1 Mark II, M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. F4.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 200

Grids

Use grids on your back lighting. Controlling the spread of light is important when you’re working to keep the light from spreading everywhere. Grids offer a more directional use of light to enhance specific areas of your subjects. 

Sequential Shooting

Make sure your Olympus camera is set to low speed sequential shooting. During motion, low sequential gives us the ability to capture a sequence of movement so that the moment is not lost. Imaging trying to capture a single frame at the exact right moment. Because pro-capture mode uses a silent shutter, it will not trigger strobes for the lighting - so low sequential was the best solution for this particular situation.

Freezing Portraits
OM-D E-M1 Mark II, M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. F4.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 200
Freezing Portraits
OM-D E-M1 Mark II, M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. F4.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 200

Aperture

Set your aperture to f/4.0 or above since your subject will be moving swiftly. I kept mine set at f/4.0 throughout the shoot, for each dancer.

Tossing

You can see that the dancers have been tossing something in the air each time they jump. In this shoot, I used potato flakes because they tend to float a little longer in the air than other materials I've tried,  stay in clumps when tossed, and are relatively easy to clean up. You can try other similarly sized objects, like glitter or confetti.

Freezing Portraits
OM-D E-M1 Mark II, M.Zuiko ED 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO. F4.0, 1/250 sec, ISO 200

Web: http://www.traciejeanphoto.com
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Tracie is an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer living in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio area.

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