The Importance of the Photo Credit

Good observers may have noticed that I am making an effort to give credit to the photographers who take the pictures on this site. Let me tell you why I think this is important.

To start with, I should describe the role that photographers play in the dance world. Us dancers are often caught up in the moment of the dance, focused on connecting with our partners, the music, and the spirit of the night. In addition, we empty our pockets during dances, so as to not have stuff get in the way of our movements. We don’t have phones easily at hand. We are not well suited for capturing the moment in any sort of permanent way. Enter the photographer. Their job is to create permanent reminders of temporary feelings.

Organizers of dances will often hire photographers to be a part of the dance. The photographer spends the night weaving around the dance floor, snapping pictures here and there. Good photographers will connect with the mood of the evening and find ways to take pictures that show that off that mood. Good photographers will have an understanding of the ebb and flow of the music, whether from a live band or a DJ. They will know when breaks in the dance are coming up, as well as when the peaks are at hand. Good photographers will know what it means to dance.

I would argue that as a photographer moves around the dance floor, they are dancing in their own way. If I catch a photographer out of the corner of my eye, I will often try to involve them in my dance. Sometimes that means flashing a cheesy pose. Sometimes that means trying 100% to be in the moment for them. But it always means that I acknowledge them.

As dancers, we are always discussing our connection. “Good connection, bad connection, weak connection, strong connection,” and on and on. I like connecting with photographers on the dance floor. My only rule is that I am dancing for the photographer, not the camera.

If you take this idea further, we must also ask ourselves whether or not the person who attends a dance but never leaves their chair is not also dancing? Does tapping a toe along to the beat count? Something to think about at least.

I am making an effort to give Photo Credits to all the photographers whose pictures show up on Dancers Say What. It is important to acknowledge everybody who is a part of a dance evening, however they choose to dance. The next post will be from the point of view of the musicians.

As a reminder, send me your favorite Survivor Pic from 2018 and I’ll highlight them in a post in December. Of course, make sure to tell me who took the photo, gotta give credit where credit is due.