Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tango Dancing And Concept Stock Photos


Almost anything can trigger ideas for concept stock photography. While planning a recent stock trip to Buenos Aires, it seemed everyone kept asking me if I was going to shoot tango. Yet, for whatever reason, tango was not appealing to me. But because I was being asked so much I decided to see if there was something there that did appeal to me.

I started trying to think outside the box, so to speak, about how I could put my own spin on some Tango dancers. Cliché’s appeal to me, and one popped into mind. “It takes two to tango”. There might be something there. Plus, dancing can be a metaphor for teamwork, an essential and always needed business concept. I could have them holding a contract and pen to indicate sealing the deal, agreement and negotiation. Plus, tango also has that dramatic element to it.

I started picturing tango in an office. It could be dramatic and conceptual. Might be worth investigating further. The next step for me is to see if I can base a shoot around the tango concept. It occurred to me that tango dancers are, or at least probably are, athletic. Maybe I could add in some other “athletic” shots in. One technique I use for brainstorming is to think of opposite. One opposite of two people dancing is…fighting.

At this point I felt I had enough to base a shoot around. I had my Argentine producer (and fellow shooter), Paula Zacharias, check on models and an office we could shoot in. She found two tango dancers both of who also know some martial arts. One of them suggested another friend of theirs who was also a martial artist. We decided to go with the three of them. When the woman tango dancer asked if she could bring her young daughter to the shoot we decided to add some mother daughter shots as well.

It turned into a really fun shoot. We started in the office, which was actually limited to the reception area. We had the woman tango dancer, her young daughter, and a man tango dancer. The fourth model was to meet us later at the second location. This was a pretty low-key shoot. Just Paula and me, our models and one ProFoto 7b power pack with two heads. We were shooting with a Canon 5D. We spent an hour in the office shooting tango dancing, mother and daughter at work, and both the woman and the man karate-kicking the monitor (with the help of a little post-shoot Photoshop work).

Following the office portion of the shoot, we left for the nearby Puerto Madera section of Buenos Aires. This is a trendy waterfront area with lots of new shops, cafes and a cool suspension footbridge. We started with a little tango dancing on the bridge and then switched to a fight scene between the men, again using the ProFoto 7b. After a half hour of shooting a security guard ushered us off the bridge. We then shot various activities in the immediate surrounding area including working at a laptop at an outdoor café and strolling by the shops with mother, father and daughter. There was also a business park and we used the buildings as a background and had the models on each other’s shoulders with the top person scanning the horizon, some more fighting scenes, and, to finish up, shot the models sprinting towards and past the camera.

A simple half-day shoot with free locations and model fees amounting to $150.00. Not bad! I got 35 selects into Blend Images. The images recently went up so I don’t have any sales information yet but I am confident, from experience of two things. First, these images will sell. Second, you never know if an image is going to sell. Hmmmm….

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