Getting Started with Dance Photography

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Photographing dancers is a joy, but to create sellable images, there are dance-specific terms and techniques you must know. In this comprehensive course, Whitney Collins will walk you through everything you need to know to confidently start working with dance clients of all skill-levels.


Included in this Bundle:

What’s Included?

1 Hr, 56 Mins

23 Videos

Lifetime Access to Course in the Portrait Masters Store

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What You’ll Learn



Module 1: Setting the Stage for Success

Welcome to the introductory module, where you’ll gain essential insights for kickstarting your journey in dance photography. Explore vital topics including dancer safety, camera basics, and client preparation. Prioritize dancer well-being with insights on identifying and mitigating risks. Master camera fundamentals such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Learn the art of client communication and expectation management to foster a collaborative and productive environment. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to set up your space, select equipment wisely, and ensure a successful photoshoot experience for both you and your clients.

Lessons in this module

03:08 Introduction
03:18 Setup
04:35 Camera Basics
04:39 Prepping Your Client


Module 2: Dance Basics for Photographers

Module 2 covers essential elements for photographers, from demystifying ballet technique to mastering popular poses. Develop the confidence to collaborate effortlessly with dancers across all age groups and skill-levels. Explore the fundamentals of ballet, understanding how to translate this 3D artform to a 2D medium. Learn the art of dance posing, discovering techniques to highlight your dancer’s skillset. By the end of this module, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to speak the dancer’s language, so that you feel confident and credible while working with dance clients.

Lessons in this module

08:00 Working with your Dancer
09:40 Ballet Basics
14:34 Ballet Posing


Module 3: Lighting Setups for Dance Photography

Delve into the mastery of lighting dancers with Module 3. Learn the intricacies of setting up lights tailored for dance photoshoots within your studio space. Whitney expertly guides you through the progression from utilizing a single light source to her favored configuration with four lights, guaranteeing meticulous capture of every dance movement.

Explore the lessons within this module, beginning with the fundamentals of using a single light and advancing to techniques such as incorporating a V-Flat and utilizing two lights. Discover the nuances of overhead lighting and the comprehensive coverage achieved with four lights. By the module’s conclusion, you’ll possess the expertise to illuminate dance scenes with precision and creativity.

Lessons in this module

01:23 Introduction
05:15 One Light
02:03 One Light & V-Flat
03:27 One-Light & Overhead
01:47 Overhead Only
03:45 All Lights


Module 4: Retouching Philosophy for Dancers

Learn Whitney’s distinctive approach to retouching for dancers in Module 4. Gain insights into enhancing and refining your dance photographs while maintaining the authenticity and essence of the performers. Understand the complexities involved in managing the retouching process specific to dance photography.

Explore the lessons within this module, beginning with strategies for outsourcing retouching tasks and progressing to hands-on techniques for retouching dance photos. Gain an understanding of ethical editing practices, ensuring integrity and respect for the art form. By the module’s conclusion, you’ll possess the knowledge and skills to elevate your dance photography through thoughtful and tasteful retouching.

Lessons in this module

02:13 Outsourcing
04:02 Retouching Dance Photos
02:09 Ethical Editing


Module 5: Bringing it All Together – Live Shoot Experience

Engage in hands-on lessons within this module, beginning with a live shoot featuring stationary posing and tutu elements, progressing to capturing simple movements, exploring floorwork, and incorporating fabric dynamics. Each session offers invaluable insights and practical skills that prepare you for real-world scenarios in dance photography. By the conclusion of Module 5, you’ll be primed to step confidently into the world of dance photography, armed with newfound expertise and inspiration.

Lessons in this module

17:44 Fabric
05:00 Floor Posing
02:08 Leos and Sets
15:32 Tutu
02:05 Outro

Bonus Videos


  •  Dive into the PDF guide on Ballet Basics to master fundamental techniques.
  • Explore Flow Posing for Dance in another PDF, perfect for planning your shoot from start to finish
  • Watch the instructional video on Working with Fabric for expert tips.
  • Discover the power of Campaigns with our video tutorial, guiding you to kickstart your dance photography journey effectively.

Lessons in this module


Embark on a journey to master the art of dance photography with our comprehensive course led by photographer, Whitney Collins. This course is designed to equip photographers of all levels with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the art of dance photography.

Whitney believes that anyone can master the art of dance photography, regardless of if they have been trained in dance. This course will provide the foundation to help you speak the dancer’s language, so that you feel confident and credible while working with dancers while also teaching the technical aspects of dance photography.

Join Whitney as she guides you through essential aspects of dance photography. Learn how to set up your studio for optimal results while prioritizing dancer safety. Explore the basics of ballet and master effective posing techniques. Discover go-to lighting setups tailored specifically for dance shoots, ensuring your images showcase the movement and emotion of the dancer.

Moreover, gain valuable insights regarding retouching, refining your photographs to perfection while maintaining authenticity. Witness Whitney seamlessly integrate all of these concepts in a live shoot, providing a firsthand demonstration of how to apply these skills in a real-world setting. Through this immersive experience, you’ll not only refine your technical abilities but also develop the confidence and expertise needed to create stunning dance photographs that will empower and excite your dance clients.


Module 1: Setting the Stage for Success

Module 2: Dance Basics for Photographers

Module 3: Lighting Setups for Dance Photography

Module 4: Retouching Philosophy for Dancers

Module 5: Bringing it All Together – Live Shoot Experience


How to use Campaigns to Book Dancers

How to Work with Fabrics


Session Workflow PDF
My top 5 poses (that any dancer can do) PDF
Ballet Basics PDF
Prep Guide for Dance Clients PDF

Dancers are a vulnerable clientele- one disappointing portrait session can totally derail their confidence. That’s precisely why I’ve developed this course. Leveraging my background in teaching teens and my own experience in dance, I’ve crafted a program to teach you how to create stunning dance portraits while also uplifting and motivating young dancers. You don’t need to be an expert in dance to capture dancers effectively- I’ll equip you with all the essential knowledge, ensuring you have the skills to consistently create marketable images that empower and inspire dancers.

It doesn’t matter how good the technical aspects of a photo are, if the dance technique does not reflect the dancer’s best shot, you don’t have a sellable image. – Whitney Collins

Whitney Collins is a working portrait photographer located in Savannah, GA, specializing in tweens, teens, high school seniors, and dancers.

It was the launch of her dance photography campaign, For the Love of Dance, that helped her transition to photographing mostly dancers. She has created a luxury dance portrait experience that commands luxury prices, which allows her to run a low-volume photography studio.As a former dancer, she is passionate about teaching photographers how to work with dancers safely, and to ensure they are trained properly to create a client-centric experience that is both empowering to their clients, and profitable.

IG: @whitneycollinsphotography
Facebook: Whitney Collins Photography