Looking Back: Dance Photography Pop-Up

 

In February 2019, we hosted a Pop-Up event in Vancouver about Dance Photography. For Danse Bloom, our Pop-Up events give us more opportunities to open conversations between dancers and professionals and to educate Bloomies on valuable topics. By hosting these events, we hope to impact, connect, and inspire the community around us.

Photo by Nicole Yen

Photo by Nicole Yen

At this intimate event, our community had the chance to talk to others who were interested in photography, get to know fellow artists, and partake in a panel discussion with dance photographers. Our panelists were three wonderfully unique and credible photographers and artists - David Cooper, Andi McLeish, and Laura Zeke. The panel allowed the realities of photography to be discussed and gave Bloomies the opportunity to learn directly from professionals in the industry. There were some incredible takeaways from the panel: we learned that experimenting is a key way to improve, how to be prepared for a successful dance shoot, and learned the perspectives of each photographer and their work. We truly felt like our community was able to come together to connect over a common interest.

At this Pop-Up, we met the inspiring Nicole Yen from Vancouver, BC. This talented 18 year old is a portrait photographer and dancer who has been immersed in dance and art from a young age. Her Instagram account (@the.nicoden) features a stunning portfolio of photos. The consistent aesthetic and comforting, warm tones link her passion for dance and photography. Art and dance have given her outlets for expression that fuelled her ability to reflect and communicate. This coming fall Nicole will be studying Photography at Sheridan College in Ontario, Canada.

The photos featured in this article are taken by Nicole of myself dancing! If you don’t know me, my name is Erin and I’m the Community Activator at Danse Bloom. I’ve been lucky enough to compose these Story Bloom articles for the last 7 months, as well as occasionally create content and manage Danse Bloom’s social media. As a dancer, my love for art and movement has consumed my 17 year old life. I’m eternally grateful for Danse Bloom and how this project has helped me find new outlets to express my passion.

Nicole and I got the chance to meet at the Dance Photography Pop-Up event in February. I was familiar with her photography account and loved her work. It was also inspiring to see how she was a student and dancer pursuing photography so eloquently. We instantly connected. A few months later Nicole reached out to me to see if we could collaborate on a dance shoot.

Photo by Nicole Yen

Photo by Nicole Yen

For our experimental shoot, Nicole came up with the concept of using a blindfold while I dance. The constraint of moving without seeing my surroundings was initially challenging, but it eventually allowed me to find comfort and trust within my movement. We were able to use many locations and concepts to create a different atmosphere for each shot. It was also helpful that Nicole is a dancer because she was able to give me suggestions and improvisation tasks to create my own movement with. Nicole’s direction and creative eye made the collaboration open and enjoyable. Because of this, each photo is truly authentic and unique.

I’m grateful that the Dance Photography Pop-Up event allowed Nicole and I to connect and eventually collaborate. This comes as a reminder that reaching out and connecting with your network can lead to amazing results.

Photo by Nicole Yen

Photo by Nicole Yen

A few words from Nicole:

"Erin and I met at a Danse Bloom Pop-Up a few months ago. We became friends very quickly! She was familiar with my photography, and I knew her from dance competition circles. I wanted to branch out my photography and work with dancers in the community and I immediately thought of Erin! I'm very grateful that Danse Bloom provides artists the opportunities to meet other artists and create meaningful connections."

For more from Nicole, check out her Instagram @the.nicoden. Danse Bloom’s next event is another opportunity for connection, education, and inspiration. Get your tickets for Bloom Day Vancouver on October 20th here.

 
Erin Lum