I am honored to announce a teaching collaboration with Rich Harrington and the ThinkTAP Learn group. We have teamed up to produce a series of teaching videos–a five-day assignment, parsed into five teaching videos. The idea was pretty straightforward–create the exact kind of assignment I’ve been doing my whole career–an interrelated set of portraits that has a unifying theme.

In this case, working in the government driven environs of Washington DC, we set out to find folks who do, well, something different for a living. They are not bureaucrats or government officials, and they certainly don’t go to an office on the hill every day. They are free spirits, responding to their creative juices, and making a life out of their art, be it belly dancing, burlesque, fire eating (yikes!) as an example.

Cindy Marie Martin does belly dancing, among other entertaining and creative endeavors. A lovely lady, she embraced the art of belly dancing as a way of staying in shape, and it grew from there to become part of her entertainment repertoire. The essence of belly dancing is fluidity and movement, and that was what I keyed on photographically, right from the start. This course will be the first video in the series. I blacked out the dance studio, used a mix of flash and hot lights, as well as strategically placed bicycle lights, to create a flow to the picture.

Photo by Joe McNally

It was a complete day in the field, on video, from the time we unloaded the truck to the small amount of post-processing done to the selects. Here’s a sample clip from the day’s adventures: