Tiny Dancer | 5 on 5

Our daughter loves to dance and this past summer we spent a week at the Encore DCS Grand Finals in Charleston, South Carolina. It was a pretty long car ride for a five year old who just wanted to get there and dance. She's still talks about how long the ride was!

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This was her first year in competitive dance and as much as I wanted to photograph every single minute, I just couldn't. I couldn't be there for my daughter the way she needed me to be and still be a photographer. I'm not gonna lie, it can be really, really hard to put the camera down, especially when you're a documentary photographer. Over time I've learned to be okay with missing moments and not getting the shot when life gets in the way. Even though I didn't walk away with a ton of photos from the dance season, I have a few that make me smile and bring me right back. 

We start every competition by getting ready in our hotel room where it's quiet and where there are no distractions. It’s all about flat ironed hair, false eyelashes and dramatic lips. It can be a bit of a time crunch and this is when my nerves really start setting in. Thankfully my girl is not nearly as anxious as I am! 

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When we arrive in the dressing room we’re almost ready to go. I help my girl into her costume and she lights up like a Christmas Tree. She's ready to dance!

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Photography isn't permitted inside the auditorium, so the dressing room is one of the only places where I can take photographs. The dressing room gets a little crazy and is not an easy place to grab photos. The Moms, including myself, are super busy and the girls are changing in and out of their costumes. I was able to quickly grab this candid moment between my daughter and her teacher. I love this sweet peek of them having a few seconds together before the girls hit the stage.

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Then, even after it's all over, my little girl is back to dancing, even if it's just in our hotel room :)

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We come home with photos and DVD's of the dance performances but they don't tell the story of what happened behind the scenes. The story isn't just what happens out there on the stage. It's long car rides, time spent together getting ready and the dancing like crazy even when the show is over. It's all the reasons why I pick up my camera in the first place.

Up next in this month's blog circle is Amy Thelen, Portland, OR Photographer and she's sharing some Creative Live Awesomeness. Amy, I'm so jealous!!! Head on over and show her some love!