Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
I Have Been Adopted by Dancing Girls
Posted By: Mike Cash, 11-17-2007, 05:31 AM

My wandering into the performance of the traditional Japanese dance troupe has turned into far more than just a one-off photo shoot. A week or so after the performance, I delivered some index sheets and a few A4 prints to the home of the teacher, whose sister received them in the teacher's absence.

Apparently, the photos caused quite a stir. They normally hire a local pro to do both still and video of their annual recitals. For whatever reason, this year they found themselves without one. Entirely by chance, into the void waddled yours truly.

The teacher called me up and very excitedly thanked me for the photos, and told me that the various kids and parents want prints. I had mentioned to the sister that I would like the chance to shoot their practices and other performances, and the teacher was eager to take me up on it. So today I met them at a local hospital where they put on a show for a crowd whose average age must have been somewhere around 80. At the hospital I was introduced as "one of the group" and afterwards accompanied the teacher and some students/parents back to their practice room. We spent about three hours gabbing, and I got to watch (and shoot) as the teacher held a lesson for two of the students.

I don't have the words to express the enthusiasm and appreciation they all showed to me. One of the mothers pointed out that for her the photos are all the more valuable because the mothers had to be on the kimono fast-change pit crew in the rear and really didn't get to see their kids perform. I had to tell them that not only was this the first time anyone had shown that kind of appreciation for a photo, they were also the first people I had ever shot who asked me to shoot them again.

I wondered at the praise being heaped upon me....until I had a chance to look through an album and see photos shot by a "pro" they had hired before. I know full well I'm not so hot and that I still have tons to learn and polish up on....but I can without immodesty say they ought to have asked for their money back from that guy.

Anyway, I'm one of the gang now. I'll be getting a kewl staff t-shirt to wear to events (as soon as they locate a tent maker and find my size), and I'm invited to a barbecue next Sunday. Even better, I get willing and appreciative models to practice shooting.

Another shot from the recital, which seems to have been a big hit among the parents:

S-M-C Takumar 105/2.8
Views: 2,363
11-17-2007, 05:51 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,631
WTG Mike! Yea and Hooray and all that! I've always been an admirer of your work and I'm glad you're getting a chance to shoot from a different venue than your truck! Good luck and keep up the good work, and if you can, post some more shots.

NaCl(couldn't happen to a nicer guy)H2O
11-17-2007, 06:27 AM   #3
Veteran Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
Wow, Mike. Good story.

And your pics are as good as they would have gotten with anyone else.
11-17-2007, 06:34 AM   #4
Senior Member
Nick1946's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: NW Arkansas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 130
Great job, Mike. Please post some more, I can see why they wanted you to continue.

11-17-2007, 06:47 AM   #5
Veteran Member

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Posts: 2,030
Congrats Mike! Now that we are all jealous of you in so many ways you'll have to share your secrets with us. Have fun with this and you'll do an amazing job!
11-17-2007, 07:48 AM   #6
Inactive Account

Join Date: Mar 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,675
So the dance troupe groupie landed a job!

Congratulations Mike! I am sure your enthusiasm for their hobby has convinced them you are as sincere towards your own.

Plus, you take fantastic pictures - I am sure that had something to do with it.
11-17-2007, 08:02 AM   #7
Inactive Account

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Lancaster, PA.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,041
That's great to hear Mike. In following your work I can say in all honesty you do a great job and most of the work you do is on a pro level. I would say this troop found a great photographer and you found appreciation.
congrats and please post more of your work.
11-17-2007, 08:34 AM   #8
Senior Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Collinsville, Ok.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 218
That is totaly stinkin' awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this. I too have always enjoyed your photos. Congratulations and a job well done.

11-17-2007, 08:35 AM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
daacon's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Alberta,Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 20,915
Good things happen tp good people for good reasons. Congrats on the gig and love the photos !
11-17-2007, 08:57 AM   #10
Veteran Member
JCSullivan's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, Canada
Posts: 3,057
Good on ya Mike. I guess its not only us who can recognise class.
Good luck pal. Oh, BTW, what do the wife and daughter say now!
11-17-2007, 10:20 AM   #11
Veteran Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,711
Cool Mike,

Trust me on this one, your better with the camera than you could possibly know.
11-17-2007, 01:12 PM   #12
Veteran Member
vievetrick's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Easthampton - Massachusetts - USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,183
MIKE THAT IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good for you. You get to shoot and make a few bucks. Yea you are a pro now hopw you will still share your work with us little people.
11-17-2007, 04:22 PM   #13
Veteran Member
Mike Cash's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Japan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 6,951
Original Poster
Thanks everyone for your kind words and for sharing in my thrill.

I am managed to skip "groupie" status and go straight to "roadie". There is no money involved in this and I wouldn't accept it if it were offered. It's a mutually beneficial relationship. They get pictures for nothing. I get the chance to practice with cooperative and appreciative models, a space we can use as an impromptu studio, the chance to go out and enjoy some activities with a bunch of nice people spreading smiles to others. It may in the future lead to some word-of-mouth requests to shoot something that may lead to a few bucks, but that's not something I'm actively seeking out.

The teacher asked me how I came to be at their show and if I was interested in traditional Japanese dance. I was frank with her and told her that I came wandering by and so long as the place permitted flash photography I didn't give a hang what the event was. And that, no, I had never particularly had an interest in dance of any sort. I did honestly enjoy the performance, though. But without photography to serve as a bridge, I never would have gone to see it.

I would like to suggest to others who want more opportunities to work on their photographic skills that there may be some similar opportunities in your community. A dance class, martial arts class, amateur/kids sports team, theatre group, etc. Shoot one of their events, work up your best prints from it, and then go share them with the teacher/coach. If they're pleased with the photos, say you'd be glad to do more for them and having improved access to the group/venue would help.

And my wife and kids are just as unimpressed as ever. Nothing like family to keep one's feet firmly nailed to the ground.
11-17-2007, 04:42 PM   #14
Veteran Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,420
QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
And my wife and kids are just as unimpressed as ever. Nothing like family to keep one's feet firmly nailed to the ground.
I can help out a little bit with this one, too. You really should be charging them something. Even if it is a token amount for each print, or a token amount for each session.

I've done similar things as this, dropping in on local businesses and taking shots for them. There is nothing wrong with charging, in fact it gets you used to that sort of pressure - even if it is only a small bit of it. And they will think they're getting a bargain.
11-17-2007, 05:08 PM   #15
Veteran Member
Duplo's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Copenhagen
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 924
Congrats Mike,

That is excellent news indeed and very well deserved.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
appreciation, camera, chance, hospital, mothers, parents, photo, photos, practice, shot, teacher
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My Dancing Girls: A Backstage Pass Mike Cash Post Your Photos! 9 11-10-2008 10:08 AM
Some More of My Dancing Girls Mike Cash Post Your Photos! 13 01-18-2008 08:15 PM
More of the Dancing Girls Mike Cash Post Your Photos! 1 11-07-2007 06:05 AM
Dancing atnbirdie Monthly Photo Contests 0 10-19-2007 08:37 AM
Adopted a cat... but had to give him back nycxaro Post Your Photos! 3 09-27-2007 12:32 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:29 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]