Capturing the essence of a dancer in nature is a different experience than a studio session. In the studio, it’s a more intimate experience, confined by the backdrop. It’s a distinct trust, born of music and confidence.

Outdoors, the dancer can more easily release uncertainty by conjuring the feeling of limitlessness, pulling energy from the sky, swirling visualization, curiosity. She can come up and out of herself and become part of her surroundings, harnessing sunlight, a delicious breeze.

Behind the scenes
I’ve been blessed to travel for the past ten years, photographing over 11,000 belly dancers from all over the world. Some days I find myself at dawn in a Nevada desert willing the sun to crest over red rocks in a way I dreamt about the night before. Some days I am driving along the backroads of my neighborhood living in wonder & possibilities. It’s an intuitive process, a renegade experience.

I make impulsive decisions based on light and energy. It’s nearly impossible to predict exactly how the light will fall for outdoor shoots. Likewise how a dancer will feel over the course of a shoot. My job as a photographer is to instigate moments, to sift through fear and draw out the pearls of who is in front of me, who they truly are, or strive to be. I am sparked by light, both in nature and within people… and when these elements come together, art happens.

This collection of photos is the result of this merging of light and energy, faith and movement…

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