Creative Ballet Photoshoot – Red Swan

Whilst on a recent trip to the UK, I went with Mike to his creative ballet photoshoot and to video Amelia's Red Swan routine. I asked if I could do a quick shoot with Amelia at the end ... and I was I glad I did!

Creative ballet photoshoots are so much fun. I asked Mike if I could do a quick shoot with Amelia after he had finished filming. Wow, I was so glad I did. Amelia was not only an amazing dancer but worked the camera as if she’d been modelling for years. In fact, I could not believe this was her first-time modelling … ever!

The Look

The shoot took place on the white, infinity curve at Natural Light Studio (just before the refit).  Amelia wore white leggings and leotard for the first set and a red tutu for the second.  Her face makeup was a white base with beautifully made up eyes and enormous eyeslashes.  Mike put together his mood board to share his concept.

The Shoot

Planning and Preparation

I had put together a mood board for my creative ballet photoshoot on Pinterest, which really helped define the looks I wanted. I was aiming for a mixture of the grace and beauty of a swan, along with a strong, fierce and a bit of an ’out-there’ look. My ideas could of been a bit ambitious but Amelia got it, again and again. After showing her the image idea, we just put our own spin on the look.

I didn’t realise until Amelia pointed it out, that one of the images used on my board, was from the all male cast from Mathew Bourne’s Swan Lake.  I did some further research and would recommend looking through the incrediable images (even if you’re not a ballet lover).

#Look One – White

When it was my turn to shoot Amelia, we began with her wearing the white, which worked perfectly for the swan-like, graceful movements, with an edge. Amelia got it perfectly… just look at those eyes!   

Amelia recreated a smiliar look when she ended in her dance routine. I asked her to look up, which I thought finished the shot perfectly.

Amelia -Red Swan - Creative ballet photoshoot

Look 2 – Red Tutu

We carried on with the swan-like angles and then added the red tutu, loaned from Dancique. I thought this pop of colour, complemented the eye makeup perfectly.

Amelia -Red Swan - Creative ballet photoshoot

Equipment and Settings

I used my Nikon D610 and 50mm lens (Nikon prime). My camera settings were: F7.1, ISO 100 and Exposure 1/160 for each of my images.  Trish helped me change the lighting, as I wanted a pure white background.


I used Adobe Lightroom to organise and chose my final images to edit. All I needed to do was add a little exposure and sharpen. I made the bottom of some of the backgrounds a little whiter and that was all the editing required 🙂 #happydays

Creative Looks

At the end of a shoot, I always try and leave a little time for a bit of creative fun. After exploring Tris’s prop supply, we found a black feather boa, which I thought looked really good with a dash of red. We finished off by putting the red tutu on Amelia’s head, which actually worked well, considering it was for a bit of fun.

Using the Neewer 18inch LED ring light, we had a little bit more fun.

My shoot with Amelia was amazing. I enjoyed working with such a talent and look forward to working with her on another creative ballet photoshoot soon. You can view more of my work on my portfolio.


Photographer: Me (Jane Kelly) | Mike Hardley (Videographer – Dancing Portfolio) | Cleo Young – Makeup Artist | Amelia – Dancer and Model | Studio: Natural Light Studio | Tutu: Dancique

Jane Kelly

Jane Kelly

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Creative Ballet Photoshoot – Red Swan

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