Albert Ayzenberg was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine, and came to the United States as a young child.

As a portrait, documentary, and dance photographer, he has been fortunate enough to work with some of the world’s most talented and interesting clients. For him, there is nothing better than capturing that one frame that tells a complete story.

You can find more of his work on 500px, his website, and Facebook.

Lia Cirio by Albert Ayzenberg on

As a portrait and dance photographer, I have been fortunate to work with the best dancers in the world: including principals, soloists, and corps de ballet. In the process, I’ve learned a thing or two about photographing these incredibly talented artists.

Dancers are very critical on themselves, so you have to come with a great game plan. You don’t want to waste any time. Know what you want out of the shoot and go after it.

I like to pick the location first and then build what we want to capture. In many locations you might only have 10 seconds to get a frame before you get kicked out. I love to show movement in the location, but I prefer natural and soft because I want the location to be secondary.

You never know what you will run into during the shoot so be flexible. I have had light’s go down, cards not reading, and police asking for a permit.

Here are a few more tips that will help you make the most of your first shoot with a dancer:

Michele Wiles by Albert Ayzenberg on

1. Choose dancers that want to be there.

I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wide variety of amazing dancers. Most of the time they’ll see my work and approach me about a photo shoot, so they come enthusiastic and eager to create.

We’ll go over what we want to capture and how we want the images to come across. My job is to make them comfortable and keep the energy going in front of the camera. It all shows in the frames.

Lauren Post by Albert Ayzenberg on

2. Check out your chosen locations beforehand.

I scout out my locations a few days before the shoot and make mental notes. Sometimes I look for iconic locations in the city, other times I want a natural feel with lots of greenery.

Different locations are fun to shoot. Pick spots that stand out: it will make the image pop.

Liz Walker & Amber Neff by Albert Ayzenberg on

3. Talk to your subject and make them feel at ease.

It’s always a collaboration when you’re working with a dancer. We have a conversation about what might work best and what’s comfortable for them. This is the most important part of the shoot.

Talk to them about life, music, and what they think will work. The more comfortable they are with you, the better the frames will look.

Alexandra Basmagy by Albert Ayzenberg on

4. Make sure you bring the right gear.

Shooting on location is very different to shooting in a studio; you don’t need to bring the studio with you. A camera, lens, light, and your eye is all you need.

Play with light. That’s all you need.

Elinor Hitt by Albert Ayzenberg on

5. Have fun!

This might seem silly to some, but it’s actually critical. Come with the right attitude, stay flexible, and stay positive! Shooting dancers is amazing because they always strive for perfection.

Liz Walker, Elinor Hitt & Amber Neff by Albert Ayzenberg on