Chasing Motion Photography: Creating Magic with Carly Connors

Chasing Motion Photography: Creating Magic with Carly Connors

This month we are delighted to catch up with the talented Carly Connors. Carly is a photographer who specialises in dance and movement from Bryon Bay, Gold Coast and Brisbane and is the creator of Chasing Motion Photography.

Evie Wilson - By Carly Connors http://chasingmotion.com.au/Image: Evie Wilson by Carly Connors 

Formally a professional dancer, dance school owner and choreographer, she is highly skilled in all styles of dance. 

Ballet Trove was fortunate to work with Carly for our launch. Her collaborative  partnership in the studio resulted in capturing the magic we desired and loved her work so much, we just had to share her story with you.

Ballet Trove Launch - Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography
Ballet Trove - Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography

Carly, tell us about your background in dance. Where did you start and how has it evolved?

“I started at a young age, like most dancers, around 6 years old and after the first week of attending, I fell in love and was doing 3 classes the following week.”

“I went on to train both in A.T.O.D and R.A.D syllabus for classical at multiple dance schools as well as, tap, contemporary, lyrical, jazz and hip hop. I was so in love with dance and wanted to do it all!”

“At the age of 14 I started teaching my own classes and began my own dance school in Lennox Head which ran until I was 17.”

“Although as a teenager I was being pushed into the professional side of ballet, I had a lot of self doubt, was very hard on myself and really struggled to find the level of love needed for a career in classical. I began concentrating more on the commercial side of dancing and began pursing that side of my career by moving to Sydney and acquiring an agent.”

“During this time I started suffering with pain to the right side of my body and without a diagnosis I decided to take a step back from the intense schedule of working, training and auditioning to take over Brunswick Valley School of Dance in my home shire. Even though I wasn’t looking at this as a long term decision it turned out to be exactly what I was needing.”

“I had the pleasure of being the owner and creative director there, training dancers for over 15 years in all of the above styles. I really loved being a dance educator, particularly in classical, and feel that that was my true calling.”

How did you move into photography?

“It was quite a natural progression as I originally picked up a camera after having my first child and had fallen in love with the creative process of photography while taking images of him.”

“Over the years I’d been to a few photographers to update my dance images. However after taking some of my younger students to update their images, I realised how beneficial it was in having a photographer who has a dance background - particularly when working with those younger dancers who are in need of correct and safe technical correction.”

Image: Emily Sprout by Carly Connor Chasing Motion Photography
Image: Emily Sprout by Carly Connor Chasing Motion Photography 

“During this time I was also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (which was part of the original pain I was suffering earlier on) so as I started cutting back on my teaching and I used the time to gain experience in photography, particularly studio work.”

You capture incredible still moments in time, yet the images have a sense of motion. How do you work with the dancer to achieve this, and what do you look for?

“Thank you, that’s such a lovely compliment!”

“I  draw on my experience as a choreographer and teacher and to be honest I work on instinct to achieve that sense of motion. My intent is always to bring out the real human emotion in my dancers and I am really nothing without their trust in me and wouldn’t be able to create these images without this.”

Image: Daisy Sexton by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography
Image: Daisy Sexton by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography

What is your favourite thing about working with dancers?

“Their passion for their art! The hours of training that go into mastering each count of 8 is incredible, and that dedication in order to perfect each movement is what creates great images.”

Image: Evie Wilson by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography
Image: Evie Wilson by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography

How do you nurture young minds in the process so their unique selves are revealed?

“Every dancer has something unique to them, no matter what stage or level they are at, and giving dancers that sense of self confidence in themselves is so important.”

“Dance photo shoots feel like dance classes so correcting movement and pushing to get the best range for each dancer, is a big part of our sessions.”

“During my pre professional and professional stage I allowed rejection, the way I was being corrected and the pressure that was being put on me to create doubt inside. At times it made me lose my passion for something that I loved dearly and left me questioning my place in that world.”

“Because of that I think it's important to create a safe and trusting environment so that mistakes are seen as lessons and not failings and that is always in the back of my mind when I have a dancer in front of my lens.”

Image: Daisy Sexton by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography
Image: Daisy Sexton by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography

In your opinion, how does the art form of both dance and photography allow students and artists to be deeply connected to themselves, their community and world around them?

“Dance has been used throughout the world  in all different cultures to to tell stories, and to celebrate. It gives us a way to release and self express and when you have a genuine passion about something it fills you with positivity creates a ripple affect to those around us.”

“Photography is another form of self expression and captures that moment and emotion and creates a memory bank of that feeling.”

“I absolutely love what I do and I feel very blessed to be able to combine these two art forms.”

Image: Joel & Dani by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography
Image: Joel & Dani by Carly Connors Chasing Motion Photography

To view or enquire about a session with Carly, visit her website here.

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