What Happens When a Ballet Dancer Becomes a Photographer

It’s not often that photographers get to live out the lives of their subjects. That distance—the lens separating the artist from the subject—is one of the hardest to overcome, especially for portrait photographers. Wouldn’t it be easy, then, if photographers could dedicate a few years to understanding firsthand what they’re shooting? If, say, someone photographing ballet dancers actually worked as a ballet dancer for years before?

Turns out that’s happened. Meet Kyle Froman:

Froman took up photography in 2005, when he began shooting his fellow dancers at the New York City Ballet from the side of the stage. Soon he started posing them in different positions, contorting their bodies the way he understood they could be contorted.

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After a year, his career blossomed, and in 2007 he published his first book, In the Wings: Behind the Scenes at the New York City Ballet.

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His style is unique because he blends dancers with their surroundings, creating the sorts of magical images we often associate with ballet and modern dance.

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“Sometimes I’ll see something in my life, or an image will just pop into my head, and that’s the moment that I love—that’s when I know I have to photograph it.” – Kyle Froman

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