PDD Photography Conference February 2022 Austin, TX
As I go through the journey of multi-tasking my life, I found a way to get better at a passion that I have. The last two years have been crazy for everyone. I have not posted to the blog in almost two years! It’s been too long. I thought teaching dance remotely during the 2020-2021 school year was difficult but boy was I wrong. The last school year has taken so much of my time. We went back to in person learning full time and with that came all of the craziness that is teaching a performance based class. Suddenly: choreography needed to be done in a timely manner, performances had to be planned and prepared for, equipment (shoes, costumes, music) had to be ordered. Although it was a very intense year, it was also very rewarding. I started a dance team at my school. They competed and won competitions. They also learned to choreograph their own dances. My middle school dance students worked hard and had successful performances.
On top of all of the school stuff, I also was still managing my dance company. This year, I took on the extra task of doing our photo shoot for the promotional items as well as organizing all of the necessary things to put on a show. We normally perform in February but PDD was on the weekend that was available to us for our show. So we performed the weekend after new years. That was crazy. A performance right after holidays and to top it all off, my house flooded right before it. We got to move back in to our house the week that I left for the Pas De Deux Photography Conference.
I heard about the conference through Jonathan Givens on Facebook. I had done a photo shoot with him when he came to New Mexico to photograph dancers at White Sands. While I didn’t make it into his book, I enjoyed the experience. I was not able to attend the conference that was held in 2020 in Arizona because I had just started teaching dance at the middle school. I was so excited to get to attend this conference. I spent time looking through all of the classes that were offered and was sad that I couldn’t do everything that I wanted. I signed up for extras as well to maximize my time there. It gets to the week of the conference and the weather took a turn for the worse. I was so thankful that my flight was direct and didn’t have a stop in Dallas as they were having a severe ice storm. I got to Austin (normally warm and mild temps in February) and it was raining and 40 degrees. The off site excursions were cancelled for dancer safety (thank goodness for their bodies) and I was thankful to have worn my Ugg boots and brought a heavy coat.
I met some amazing people at the conference with tons of knowledge. By the end of the first full day, I felt like I didn’t know anything about photography. For some reason all of my dance knowledge also was lacking. I was a bit sad. I went to workshops that I thought were going to be beneficial but I didn’t necessarily get as much out of them as I would have liked. By the end of the second day I was just overwhelmed and exhausted. So the last day of the conference, I said to heck with it and went to whatever I thought was interesting. This was the best day. I got to take photos of talented dancers. I got to watch the models perform (a major plus for my dancer soul) and I got a new younger perspective on lighting and taking photos. There was so much to learn and I know I don’t remember all of it. It’s also been 4 months since I attended. I am just now getting to posting about it. I still have hundreds of photos to edit because life happens. Here are some of the images I took. More to come as I edit and contact the dancers.