Fashionable ballerina

When you are as lucky as I am to work with a model who is not only beautiful, but also happens to be a ballerina, it really is only a matter of time before the two worlds will collide.

Although I do a lot of stock photography work, I firmly believe that as a professional photographer, one can never stop playing, and therefore you sometimes have to do creative shoots for no other reason other than it being loads of fun. When I’m not stressed about getting commercially valuable shots, I tend to push the envelope, relax and often add some of my best work to my portfolio.

A “shoot just because we can” was the idea behind the shoot I can’t wait to share with people. Although Moya Fourie, model/ballerina/ several-other-jealousy-inducing-titles, and I’ve previously done a classical ballet shoot, we wanted to do something with an edge. The brief to the makeup artist, Maureen Grobler, was to make the makeup for the shoot very hard, edgy and theatrical. We stuck to black, silver and grey colors in the wardrobe styling, using a Cloud Grey Colorama backdrop in the studio setup. The concept I had in my head was to juxtapose the sweet, feminine ballet dancer with edgy, urban fashion. I told my model to use her ballet skills, but to give me a lot of almost contrived poses, as it was more a fashion shoot with ballet pointe shoes than it was a ballet shoot with edgy fashion.

Maureen, as always, did not disappoint in creating the perfect makeup with the shoot. She used a lot of black liner and a nude pink lip gloss. We struck gold with Moya’s hair, as she went to have her highlights done just prior to the shoot, and the hairdresser used a shampoo that created a silver tint to some of the strands, resulting in true serendipity!

I did a basic lighting setup, using two Hensel Integra Pro 500 lights, one with an umbrella, the other with a soft box, as well as a beauty dish with a SB 900 Nikon speedlight. I kept the lighting similar through most of the shoot, not wanting to stop the flow of the shoot once we got started. Moya then basically had to come up with several poses, which she did in her  intuitive way that makes her one of my favourite models to work with.


Here you can see Moya getting ready to create magic, putting on her shoes.



As always, my son, Paul, was in the audience. The jury’s still out on whether he or Moya can pull of a fedora better.



A Hensel Integra Pro 500 light with a soft box was placed on the model’s right, and we used that as a primary light. I set the light on a very high value, creating the harshness in the lighting we wanted for an edgy effect.



Another Hensel Integra Pro 500 light with an umbrella was placed on the model’s left, shooting from above. A Nikon SB 900 speedlight modified with a beauty dish was set slightly in front and left of the model to soften some of the shadows in order to preserve some detail in the darker parts. A fan was also placed on her left to give some movement to the fabric of the dresses and the model’s hair. That and the fact that it was in the middle of summer in one of the worst heat waves Pretoria had seen in years!




The result was even better than any of us had anticipated:



The rest of the images will be added to my website and my Facebook page ( soon.


Please join me on Salomephoto soon, where I’ll give sneak previews of some model portfolio and family shoots I’ve done, along with a makeup training shoot.

One thought on “Fashionable ballerina

Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: