Photo Daily: Michelle Lamb and Pamela Vandenberg, NYC

Michelle Lamb and Pamela Vandenberg, New York City, ©2002

Michelle Lamb and Pamela Vandenberg, New York City, ©2002

I’m in awe of dancers. And they’re a joy to photograph. The concentration to know where every toe and fingertip is pointed, combined with strength and beauty that looks effortless, and you end up with nothing short of ethereal.

I was in New York City, doing some editing for my wonderful friend Lois Greenfield in her beautiful original studio on White Street. So many inspiring images were created there. Her portfolio from those early years was a large part of my photographic education when I was just getting started.

I had the privilege of editing her first motion film and we became fast friends during the process. Lois is one of the most generous artists I’ve met in my travels. Always willing to take the time to answer my questions on her technique and process. I’m a better photographer for having known her.

After we finished up our editing one day, Lois offered to bring a couple of dancers into her studio that she wanted to test and asked me if I’d like to photograph them. Incredible.

She let me shoot with one of her Hasselblad cameras, outfitted at the time with the first digital back I had ever worked with. The back alone was $30,000, using two fiber optic cables tethered to her Mac workstation a few feet away. Very early digital camera technology, but even more than 10 years later, the images we made that day remain beautiful.

Michelle Lamb and Pamela Vandenberg arrived at the studio shortly after we were set up, and for the next few hours, we just played. Jumping, dancing, experimenting with fabric and fans. I love how Michelle’s finger is seemingly being gently held by Pamela’s hand. They were both wonderful. It was an experience I’ll never forget.

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