There are some days that I feel the need to pinch myself. From as long as I can remember, my dream in life has been fill my days with good things: family, good food, beautiful friends and lots of art. These are the things that light me on fire and ignite the best parts of who I am. The fact that I get to make art for a living still blows my mind and there isn't a day that goes by that I feel incredibly grateful for this gift. As many of you know, dance is my first love. I've been dancing for over 20 years, have traveled around the country and world training and performing and have a BFA in dance. For any dance major, the ultimate goal is to be able to incorporate dance into your life post graduation in any way possible. We unfortunately live in a time and place where arts funding is limited making jobs very difficult or nearly impossible for many extremely talented dancers. I knew this going in (and out) of my college program, but somehow knew it was all going to be okay and that if I was pursuing something I loved more than anything that I would learn things along the way that would make it work. After moving to Boston from Minnesota I never once regretted my decision to study dance - even though the free lancing dance world can be exhausting and you live on close to poverty level salaries. When photography came into my life, I realized that it wasn't necessarily dance itself that has me in rapture - it was creating art. Now my days are filled with lots of weddings and beautiful love stories to document, but I still get to dance. It's a beautiful thing and I'm beyond grateful. Three years ago I started a small dance company here in Boston in hopes to have a deeper and more meaningful relationships with dancers and choreographers. When the company started, I had no idea that it would be where it is today. No, it's not an international success with dozens of funders or scholarship programs or national tours. In fact, I'm sure that many people in the Boston Dance Community don't even know we exist. Instead it's grown into a beautiful space for dancers to share bits of themselves and their lives and for us to create art together to address these snippets of our collective perspectives through performance. It's a beautiful group of women who are open and honest with each other and have hopes for making our world a better place simply by being better people. These women inspire me every week to live bigger and take risks. Once I year I convince them to allow me to photograph them - and once I year I feel the most exhilarating surge of excitement combining my two creative pursuits. Aren't they beautiful?
We thought you might enjoy taking a peek at a personal project of sorts...not that looking at couples in love ever gets old. Kendra has a Dance Company in Boston called Six One Seven Dance Collective and they are preparing for a show in June. We decided it might be fun to do a non-traditional photoshoot for their upcoming show, as well as cross off a personal photography goal of ours: shooting underwater. Special thanks to the pros at LensProToGo out in Concord for mentally preparing us to trust the underwater camera housing that we rented from them especially for the shoot. (that thing looked like a submarine!) Since Kendra also dances in the company, I (Matt) was the primary photographer for this shoot. For any photographers looking to attempt this in the future; be sure to bring along ankle weights, good goggles and a lighting rig to shine into the water. We did this in an indoor YMCA community pool, so there was very little natural light. Also be sure to check out Kendra's company and come to their show in June!