My love of ballet goes back a long way… not as a dancer (I have two left feet) but as an artist. When I was studying for my A Level in art, I chose Edgar Degas as my case study. I spent hours replicating his paintings of ballerinas. He often used pastels to paint with, which I loved as a medium. I would scratch away with my pastels on huge canvases I had stuck to the wall. I used to stand on a chair to reach the top. I also traveled to Paris to see Degas' paintings in the museums, and to this day the statue of the little ballerina standing in the middle of the gallery is etched so clearly in my mind.
When I was running my family photography business in Hong Kong, I had the pleasure of photographing several little ballerinas. I was so captivated by these sessions at the time, because they were inspiring and fun, as well as beautiful.
Fast forward a few years, and possibly subconsciously, when I placed a model call for a little deer for one of my 'In the Wood' shoots I somehow felt that because of their elegance, my deer should be a ballerina (you can see some of these photos here). After this, I decided I would like to offer ballet dancers and their parents a photo session with a more fine art feel, that would reflect the beauty and elegance of their craft.
After almost a year of searching and asking, I chanced upon Great Fulford. It really is a manor lost in time in the depths of Devon. Although in part beautifully restored, other areas have a lovely feel of time gone by. The faded and peeling wall paper in the grand staircase adds something really special contrasted against the elegance and beauty of the ballet dancers.
I spent one Sunday morning a week or so ago with three families exploring the light and possibilities the different rooms had to offer. It was really magical. And I'm so pleased with the photos - I hope you like them too. Please leave me a comment on Facebook or Instagram to let me know which are your favourites.
You can book one of my Fine Art Ballet sessions taking place on 10th and 24th March. Further details can be found here.