Portraits , August 1, 2015
As a portrait photographer, I knew instinctively that Sally Clark would make a great subject for an environmental portrait.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Sally in her capacity as a certified dance instructor with the Antigonish Creative Dance Association. I thought Sally would be an interesting character study because she radiates a beautiful and open energy. Her disciplined presence has young children focused and following after her as though she were the pied piper, when lesser people would have come across as cat herders. All the while she’s able to impart structured knowledge about dance fundamentals, movement and physical expression, and her classes are constantly fun and flowing.
According to the Highland Heart newspaper:
Sally’s early training was in ballet, creative dance, and modern dance at the North Shore Centre for the Arts in Winnetka, Illinois. She studied choreography and modern dance at Columbia College, Chicago, and trained in tap and jazz at the Gus Giordano Studio in Evanston, Illinois. She has completed the Dance Instructors Course at the Virginia Tanner School, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Sally’s child-centered approach to dance is rooted in the school of thought developed by dance educators such as Barbara Mettler, Mary Joyce and Virginia Tanner. Today in addition to teaching for ACDA, Sally is an instructor for the Human Kinetics Department at St. FXU.
Sally’s natural humility made her a somewhat reluctant subject, but once she was on board for the shoot, she was patient and generous with her time. Not only that, but she was awfully co-operative standing in the slippery (and slimy) post-rain grass on the rooftop we were shooting from on Main Street, Antigonish.
I thought the rooftop would make an interesting setting for these images. To me Sally is a powerful force. She radiates a healthy beauty. When sifting through the frames we captured, I especially like the images where Sally is photographed from below, putting her largely above the horizon. I think it’s an empowering perspective that compliments the grounded poses we were working with. I also thought the rooftop was a great setting because it communicates that Sally is “on top of the world”, or “above the din”.