Community Assignment Winner: Andre Schneider’s Beautiful Peak Action Image
“Photography is not like painting. There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera.”
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
Last week we wrapped up our fourth Community Assignment on Peak Action/The Decisive Moment. Over 20 unique submissions were reviewed and critiqued by the RGG EDU team. Choosing a favorite was unusually difficult for this assignment as every one of the participants had successfully captured their subjects at peak action. To narrow it down, we had to get nit-picky and analyze the finest details.
After scrutinizing over every detail, one image remained absolutely flawless. Andre Schneider’s black and white image of an airborne dancer was the winner. The image was compositionally sound, well-balanced, and beautifully toned. It had great energy and movement, read left to right, and was perfectly timed. Andre not only captured his subject at the apex of form and action, but managed to get beautiful expression as well.
I caught up with Andre this week to find out more about the image and how it was produced:
For those who don’t know you, tell us about yourself and your work.
My name is Andre Schneider. I am a Brazilian photographer living in New York City for the last 18 years. I am mainly a fashion and beauty photographer. I occasionally do portraits too.
What brought you to RGG EDU?
Tell us about your image. Does it have a title? What inspired it?
The image has no title, I always have the worst time finding titles for my images so I just gave up on naming them. Every time I think of a name it always sounds too cheesy, so I’d rather keep them untitled. The inspiration came from numerous images of dancers and fabric movement. I wanted to do something that would stand out and be beautiful to look at.
How did you create the image?
I called a friend of mine, a model and former ballerina, Luda Ols. I explained to her what I wanted to do, and she was very excited to be a part of it. We had a stylist, Rosie Mae, take care of wardrobe and we went to work!
It was my first time shooting a dancer and fabric in movement, so I had no clue if it was going to work or not. I explained to Luda and to Rosie that there was a chance that nothing good would come out of it. With some planning, tweaking of lights, and direction we were able to get lots of stuff that we were all very happy with!
The lighting was done with umbrellas on the background, so the light we are seeing on her is all bounced off the background. I also had two V-flats in front of her to bounce a bit more light onto her.
Did you learn anything creating this image?
Shooting dancers is very, very hard. Getting the timing, pose, and expression right is not easy. It’s difficult to look gorgeous while making sure your form is correct, and if you manage to get both you have to make sure you don’t fall flat on your butt when you come down. There’s a lot to think about in a fraction of a second. It’s very different than shooting fashion.
What are you working on? Do you have any goals for 2018?
I have a number of ongoing projects. Some long term, some short term. I have a few magazine editorials that are being edited now. There are also some just-for-fun shoots that I do with friends/models/etc. It’s fun shooting with no responsibility to get anything in particular and just creating a beautiful image. If I have free time, I’ll shoot anything!
Where can we see more of your work?