Test shoot - Dance - Natalie

Early this week we brought back a hip hop dancer that we have photographed in the past.  Staying in the outdoor studio and keeping the huge silks for our lighting, we moved around to get a more natural blue sky background.  A little less studio feel, a little more natural – while still using beautiful big light sources.

Bob and I got to talking yesterday about this work – why dancers, why flying?  It seems like he is drawn to this as a more pure form of the motion portraits he sees us doing in our fitness work.  The dance images are still about photographing people, still a portrait, and the motion is still fitness.  But working with these dancers, the project feels more like a study of form and movement.

This Oakland based dance teacher is great to work with and we hope to collaborate with her more.  Using the blue sky felt more authentic and true to her as a performer.  Here are a few from the shoot.  We will keep putting these on Instagram and Twitter, so please check our feeds.

Enjoy.  – Kala

Test shoot - Dance - NatalieTest shoot - Dance - NatalieTest shoot - Dance - Natalie Test shoot - Dance - Natalie Test shoot - Dance - Natalie


studio news\katie…

No square dancing today, but the goats and the tractor still managed to get in on the action.

It was time to create an outdoor studio at the ranch, and Bob wanted to collaborate with professional ballet dancers.  Hanging two 20×20 foot silks, and pulling in a ton of gear, he set up a ‘seamless’ studio in the corral, adjacent to the studio – a wonderful amount of space for he and the dancers to play.  Despite a slashed finger, the dismantled trampoline and a few extra sunburns, I’d say the day was a great success.

What do YOU think?  Send us a note.

Here’s a teaser…

Ballet dancers in flight



Check out Bob’s instagram feed for some more behind the scenes shots.photo 1



I’ve shot video for The Dailey Method before – the What Is?
video on their home page has been viewed over 50,000 times.  So, when this exercise method with over 40 studios around the US, asked me to shoot a viral video on location in Chicago and San Francisco this spring, I jumped at it.
The goal: to increase TDM’s social media presence.

The production was quick and lean, just an assistant doing lighting and sound while I shot and directed.  We started by asking regulars at their studios, “What does it mean to you to Do It Dailey?”  We riffed from there.  We have hours of footage for additional pieces – this is the first:


Last month we shot a video in Chicago and San Francisco for the exercise studio, The Dailey Method.  The video was posted yesterday and got 3000 views in the first 24 hours.

We shot hours of footage in the two studios and plan to edit more but we had to do the first one using the footage from this one woman – she was great to work with.

listen and play

I was commissioned by a pharmaceutical company to photograph executives and patients for their corporate collateral and website. I flew to DC to photograph the executive director of the National Organization for Rare Diseases on the steps of the Capitol, and also a young girl with Morquio Syndrome at her home outside DC. I had learned ahead of time that the disease was very rare, and unlike some of the other MPS diseases, there currently was no treatment available. [MPS – mucopolysaccharidoses, involves not having enough of a certain enzyme to break down large sugar molecules.] While a clinical trial for Morquio Syndrome was about to begin, the family didn’t yet know if their daughter would be in the study group.

So, I’m at her home, not sure what to expect – the story I had been told was quite sad. Immediately upon arriving the four year old girl asks me to come play in her room. I take a few pictures of her with her mother on the stairs, and then we head to her room. She asks me to wait outside because “we’re going to play princess.” She had to change to her princess dress. Once invited in, I lie down on my stomach, camera in hand, and I listen.

She began bringing out her stuffed animals and telling me all about them – who was who – what their names were – what they liked. She pulled out a book and sat in front of me and read it to me. All the while I listened, photographing her. It was as if I didn’t have a camera in hand, that played no roll in our conversation, our play. It was just something I used once in a while. Reflecting on it, I wonder if she’d grown used to dealing with adults that had some other purpose, some other thing in their hand. She had undergone numerous surgeries already in her four years. But on that day, that didn’t seem to play a roll. To her she had loving parents, a sister who she adored, a room full of stuffed animals and books.

And, she had her princess dress. Before she climbed into bed for her afternoon nap, almost two hours after I’d begun photographing her, our time playing, she said, “How about we dance like a princess.” With her blue Cinderella dress, and no heed to her slightly deformed legs and feet, she began to twirl. Again, I listened, photographed and stayed with her – at that moment, she was a princess, you could never tell her otherwise.

I smiled and thought about her all afternoon – the only sadness that crept into my mind was wondering how long it had been that I had spent that much time on my own son’s floor – listening, and playing.

Please Note: Vimeo is having a problem with Safari at the moment
The video below is working in Firefox and other browsers.

Princess turning from Robert Houser on Vimeo.