Dance photoshoot behind the scenes (feat. Jessica Dandine)

I have been sharing a lot of dance photoshoots behind the scenes lately, so I might slow down a bit. I’ve worked on several different projects in the past weeks so I will concentrate on these, just to show that I don’t always photograph dancers. This is the First photoshoot session we made at the Château la tour carnet. A different vibe there compared to the previous castle I worked in.

Dance photoshoot behind the scenes (Feat. Axelle Chagneau)

Dance photoshoot behind the scenes (feat. Anaëlle Mariat)

Fine art Portraits Behind the scenes photoshoot (feat. Loïs Bret)

Dance photoshoot behind the scenes at Château la Louvière! Feat. Marina & Oleg

Some of these images were the intro of my Fujifilm video and here you finally have the entire selection of this session. Jessica and I have worked together in the past, so things were easy to set up. But before we dive into this, I am going to answer a question I’ve been asked a few times recently… and to paraphrase some of you: “Why?”, “Why did you choose to do that?”, “Why did you compose your image this way, or retouch and color grade this way, what was the goal?”…

There is a reason why I don’t always answer these questions.

  • I don’t always share the full session so they are taken out of context
  • Most of the videos I share here require agreements and authorizations from the models, entire team, location, and possible client.
  • I often share and prioritize the images that I can dissect technically, photographs that I judge interesting visually (it can be the color, the shapes, the framing, the overall concept) instead of sharing a series of photos that were constructed around a story or carried by a deeper message.

So some of them were part of a series, where there was actually a story a specific theme from the start, or a message. But I just didn’t want to focus on that!

I know this sounds weird because usually, we are encouraged to create things with a story, a message, or a meaning. “Style over substance”, something you might have heard frequently. For sure, up to a certain point, you have to go beyond the creation of beautiful pictures with beautiful models in beautiful places.

Even though I’ve mostly shared this on my YouTube channel up until today, this doesn’t mean I will not discuss this in future videos.

Now you know why, and I am seriously considering sharing more than the technical aspect of my photography, and share more of my personal work in the future. Emphasizing the aesthetic a little less and talk about the why and give more details on the gestation of the project.

In the meantime, let’s look at these images.

The first time I saw these stairs, I knew I had to play with the perspective. The shape of the rail greatly helped me to choose a starting point for Jessica’s shape. Of course, we had to find a pose that was comfortable enough for her to hold for a few seconds.

Jessica Dandine (Château la Tour carnet – Saint-Laurent-Médoc I France)
Fujifilm GFX100s – GF 63mm F2.8 R WR
1/125sec f/2.8 ISO 200



The following images were actually made on the table where we had our meals during our entire stay. The chandelier on top, the reflection on the table were enough to convince me to use it for a few shots. The problem we faced here is the slippery surface of the wood which made it difficult for her to hold a pose and she couldn’t move too much once on it because damaging this historical piece of furniture would have resulted in the end of my career. 


Jessica Dandine (Château la Tour carnet – Saint-Laurent-Médoc I France)
Fujifilm GFX100s – GF 63mm F2.8 R WR
1/125sec f/2.8 ISO 200




We carried on with another attempt at the surreal long dress. I think that now I can officially say that I am sick of these images… and that’s a good thing. I now know how I want to execute them now, and this last one is clearly not the way I want to make them. But that’s part of my learning journey. I’ve shared this kind of image not the blog quite often, from tests to real sessions, you now know how I make them. I cannot wait to show you what all this work was all about, but for this next step, you are going to have to be patient.


Jessica Dandine (Château la Tour carnet – Saint-Laurent-Médoc I France)
Fujifilm GFX100s – GF 23mm F4 R LM WR
1/125sec f/4 ISO 200


For whatever reason, this image ended up being the thumbnail of my video for Fujifilm on their YouTube channel. It was a nightmare to light because of the multiple light sources. The windows, the practical lights in the room, and my strobes. By killing the ambient light my flashes were making shadows on the ceiling, so I had to take multiple clean plates to erase some of the unwanted elements in my original shot.


Jessica Dandine (Château la Tour carnet – Saint-Laurent-Médoc I France)
Fujifilm GFX100s – GF 30mm F3.5 R WR
1/60sec f/3.5 ISO 100


To end this session, we made 2 simple portraits in the winery. Just to remind us where we were!


Jessica Dandine (Château la Tour carnet – Saint-Laurent-Médoc I France)
Fujifilm GFX100s – GF 110mm F2.8 R LM WR
1/50sec f/2.0 ISO 200



Jessica Dandine (Château la Tour carnet – Saint-Laurent-Médoc I France)
Fujifilm GFX100s – GF 63mm F2.8 R WR
1/60sec f/2.8 ISO 200



And That’s it for today folks, I hope you’ve learned a thing or 2 because personally, these sessions had a great impact on me. I made so many mistakes, took so many wrong decisions, which means that I’ve learned a ton of things, that I cannot wait to put into practice.

And this sums up what this channel blog and YouTube channel are all about, sharing my findings, experience, and hopefully maybe inspire you with a few of my ideas. So tell me, what brought you here in the first place, was I of any help in your own work. Tell me in the comments below.

Dance photoshoot behind the scenes (feat. Jessica Dandine)hazekware

One comment on "Dance photoshoot behind the scenes (feat. Jessica Dandine)"

  1. Why “Style over substance”?

    Do you use presets in your editing, if so, which ones? If not, why not?

    You said you made many mistakes and wrong decisions, how about sharing a few, and the corrections you made towards the final outcome, so the rest of us can learn from your mistakes.

    What did it take for you to shoot at Chateau la tour carnet? How many people were on your team for the photoshoot?

    I really liked the vibe at Chateau la tour carnet and the red dance outfit (and subduing the background) really made the model pop in each of the photos you shared here. However, I lost the model’s hair, the one wearing the white dress, in the ornate background and I was more focused on the background and dress in the image presented here.

    Looking forward to seeing your work on some of your other projects, although, I really enjoy your dance and fitness BTS. Great job, keep up the excellent work and keep them coming.

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