This is it! My last post of the year. I've only started this blog a few weeks ago, and things are doing great so far. 2014 was a rich year for HK Visuals. I have met so many great artists, and for a start, it has gone way beyond my expectations. When I decided to start shooting dancers and performers in late 2013 I just couldn't imagine how far this would take me in a year. I thought at first that I would only shoot dancers from time to time, but look at my work today, dance photography has taken a special place in my body of work.
I've been allergic to social media until recently. I guess that today you don't really have many options if you want to show your work. So I had to use today's tools and share my pictures. Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and photo sharing websites like 500px and Flickr. They were a pain in the a** to use for me at the beginning, but I managed to organize myself in order to share my work efficiently on all different platforms. I only started a few months ago, and in this short period of time, I managed to get some of my pictures noticed.
From the honorable mention for the 500px anniversary contest to articles on blogs like Ufunk, Whudat, and interviews by the Club des ambassadeurs, oh happy world, and The gallery art magazine, the year ended nicely for me. I cannot deny that the time spent on communication paid off. Projects are coming and I'm eager to start 2015.
Throughout the year there is one thing that struck me often. Usually, the pictures I liked were not the most popular ones according to the people that follow me on the web. To celebrate the end of this fantastic year let's go through a selection of pictures made by yours truly based on your reactions and feedback across all social media platforms and photo sharing websites. I added a few words to the back story and my feelings about them. Let's travel back in time.
1/ Marlo Fisken
I totally understand why people love this picture so much, but It is not my favorite picture of the session I made With Marlo Fisken. Spotted on Phlearn and Fstoppers, it is one of my most popular pictures on Instagram (in black& white) and 500px. I had the chance to organize this shoot before her Pole dance workshop in Strasbourg and much of the pictures that were made with her were improvised on location. Personally, I prefer this photo of the series that was also chosen for the inspiration weekend CXXVI on Phlearn a few weeks later :
I'm really happy that this one got picked by Emily. I'm a fan of her work, and I truly respect her young carrier. If you don't know this talented photographer, I advise you to go and give a look at her fantastic work ( http://www.emilysoto.com ). When I got the news I was thrilled as this is one of my favorite pic of the photoshoot done with Alizée in Paris. I enjoyed this photoshoot session very much, as Alizée is an easy and fun person to work with. It all happened in Parc de Bercy on a cold autumnal afternoon. We were supposed to work on 2 different outfits, but time and weather didn't give us the opportunity to do so. But guess what, her first dress was my favorite anyways.
Photo of the day on Fstoppers (12.12.2014) and Dance Spirit
I love this one! It is the second picture captured in Long Island City with the Talented Juliet Doherty. This picture is apparently not a favorite on My Instagram and Facebook page. This is maybe due to a bad posting time. Anyway, this picture was easy to make. Juliet only did 2 or 3 attempts and nailed it on each one. I loved shooting with her. She's fun, professional, and trust me, it's hard to make a bad picture of her. I really hope I will be able to work with her again. According to social media, you guys preferred this one :
4/ Kevin Yee Chan
I first met Kevin in Strasbourg, when he was a dancer at the Opera National du Rhin. Unfortunately, while he was in Strasbourg, we were unable to match our plans and find time to work together. We had to do something together somehow but I guess Strasbourg wasn't the city to make it. We just had to wait a couple of weeks and we made it to San Francisco!
5/ Gianna Gi and Ismaera
Two incredible artists I met in Paris before the Defipayette event (a dance event created by french photographer Homard Payette). This was random and improvised before the show and I, kind of, regret the fact that I didn't make the most of the situation. I only took 2 pictures of this duo! You can find the 2nd one below which is a variation of the first one. This highlighted something important missing in my work so far... I'm lacking duets and group works.
6/ Fanny and the Cathedrale Notre dame de Strasbourg
Shared a couple of times on Facebook, this picture was fun to make. It was my 2nd time working with Fanny, a local artist in Strasbourg. Fanny is one of the rare artists that I don't mind working with regularly. We always manage to find new ideas with minimum effort. Shared by Dance spirit Magazine last summer, this picture was captured in mid-day. I didn't want anybody else on the photo like in most of my pictures. The problem is that at that time of the day the place is full of tourists. Fortunately, we used an angle that allowed me to avoid having anyone else on the shot. I also hate shooting during the middle of the day because the light is too harsh but sometimes you just don't have the choice. This didn't prevent us from making this cool picture.
7/ Martina and the manhattan bridge.
One of my first early shoots in Brooklyn was made last summer. For unknown reasons, this picture didn't get the attention I expected. I personally like it, but maybe my feelings are biased by the souvenir of this fun shoot. With the help of social media, I had the chance to meet Martina Heimann. I first saw this talented lady on stage, during the Just debout event in 2012 at Paris Bercy, I never thought I would get the chance to work with her in New York 2 years later.
8/ Fanny George
One of my latest photoshoots of the year! Made inside the Andre Malraux media library in Strasbourg, this one wasn't easy. You can judge for yourself as I made a special article on my blog with a behind-the-scene video on this special photo shoot. This one was well appreciated by my followers on Facebook.
9/ Sarah Hochster
Another recent picture received a lot of positive feedback. A little different from the pictures I usually make, and this was possible with the talent of Sarah Hochster a ballet dancer from the Opera National du Rhin. One of the rare photoshoots where we could afford to take our time. This was great because we worked with less pressure, and were able to experiment a lot more things than usual.
10/ Monica Ramirez
Another personal favorite, captured in Paris. I sometimes have cancellations, and these are not fun when they happen. I was in Paris for a few days and one of the dancers I came for couldn't make it to the shoot. So I tried a last-minute call on Facebook and with a little luck got a response from Monica. Maybe sometimes things are meant to be. This gave me the opportunity to meet a wonderful artist.
This selection is sort of an overall view of the work done so far but I'm going to personally add 3 pictures. A lot of people ask me if I shoot male performers. Well, yes I do, and here are 3 of them who unfortunately didn't get noticed, and weren't so popular, but are important in the work I've done so far :
Pascal Molat, principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet
Stephane Déheselle, winner of the experimental category at the Juste Debout 2014
Dave Scott (Hollywood choreographer and dancer)
And here is a little bonus I would like to add, the pictures and a little video of my last dance photoshoot of 2014 featuring Sarah Hochster!