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  • Alexandra Donald

All Time Favourites!

During this time of staying at home I have had a lot of time to work on my photography, not actually taking photographs, but looking back on past sessions and seeing what I liked, what I could change and things to work on for when I can go back to doing what I love.


When looking at past sessions I realised that I really do love what I do and what a journey I have been on. So looking back I have decided to pick out 10 of my favourite photographs from across the years and places I have been.


1. Lauren, SSE Red Tunnel, Glasgow (2018)

Why not start off the favourites with this colourful photograph!

It was a pleasure working with Lauren who was in Glasgow for the CYD Glasgow convention and we photographed her session the day after the convention was over. Lauren brought one outfit to the session, this beautiful two piece by Eden Dancewear, and instead of concentrating on the outfit we worked with body movements and the mix of colours. This is my absolute favourite from the session as I feel the blend of colours really mix well, enhancing Lauren in the photograph showing both her skills and the teal dance wear.

I recently printed this photograph on a pop up stand for CYD Glasgow 2019 and it printed just how I imagined.

Colourful. Eye-catching. Vibrant.


2. Serena, Glasgow University Cloisters, Glasgow (2017)

From colourful jumper to a simplistic black & white ballerina. For this session, we collaborated for an Instagram competition as she was leaving to go study at Elmhurst Ballet School. We thought this would be a great way to acknowledge her big move by doing a photo shoot with someone she inspired. The winner of the competition was Keavie Holliday, who has grown into an amazing dancer and was recently seen on the Greatest Dancer with Dancepoint. During the session I worked with both girls together and individually.

This one of Serena from the session is when I realised I really do love what I do, just seeing the composition you have thought about in your head, come to life and work out really well.

I love the simplicity of this photograph, the way the light comes from the side creating the long shadow at Serena's feet. The white tutu contrasting with the dark shadows the cloisters have created. The lines of the brickwork and structure of the cloister pillar enhancing the arch of Serena's bending back and the curve of the tutu.


3. Abbie, Buchanan Street, Glasgow (2019)

People make Glasgow.

This photograph was taken just 2 days before Christmas Day on a very wet, busy and festive Buchanan Street. I love working with this girl she always brings so much poise and a great attitude to sessions. Rain, hail or freezing winds she is there posing as if the weather isn't against us.

In this photograph, I love how you can see the rain drops, which I think really adds to the atmosphere and shows how wet and rainy it was on this day. For this session I wanted to try something a bit different that wasn't leo's and two pieces but have a dancer in every day clothes with pointe shoes on. I love this combo, everyday mismatched with the elegance of pointe shoes. The colours throughout the photograph all help enhance Abbie in the centre, with the warm golds from the tree and the ambient light from the shops behind.


4. Sofia, Ocean Drive, Miami (2018)

From one busy street to an even busier street. What can I say about Ocean Drive, Miami. It is filled with supercars, roller skaters and lots of restaurants (pretty much how you see it in the films.) What a day we had at Ocean Drive and South Beach the sun was shining, the music was blaring and opportunities were just there to be captured. Sofia was such a great sport, doing everything and anything for the perfect photograph. This photograph had to make the cut for top 10 favourites as it is one of my favourite memories too!

I must tell the story first of how we came to capturing this photograph. Sofia and I were finishing up our session with of course getting a couple of photographs together to mark the photo session as it was my first overseas session. Sofia's mum was standing by waiting, noticed the car and had said her dad would love to see that car (the one in the picture) as he loved cars. So Sofia and I just looked at each other like "Could we?" As the car stopped at the traffic lights, we both ran over to ask if we could get a photograph with the car and the couple were laughing but loved the idea. We had to be really quick as there was a queue of traffic but we got this shot the first time!

I love the vibrancy of the overall photograph. I feel it really emphasises the lively Ocean Drive atmosphere that it is famous for. The smiles throughout the photograph from Sofia to the girl sitting in the car, create a happy and joyful time when looking at this photograph.

I feel in the split second it took to create this photograph, I captured the ambience which Ocean Drive is most famous.


5. Teri, Chatelherault Country Park, Lanarkshire (2017)

From upbeat city vibes to a tranquil park. I love the calming effect this photograph has as it springs memories of reading, on holiday and just general relaxing. It was one of my photographs for a university projects which I then exhibited at Free Range in London, a graduate exhibition that many universities across the UK take part in. I wanted to created something eye- catching, contrasting the location and the dancer. The project incorporated photographs of different dancers in a mixture of locations. I love this photograph the most from the project as it shows a dancer can do the impossible, reading upside down.


6. Kate & Mantra, Sloans, Glasgow (2018)

This dynamic duo from Australia, accompanying Lisa Ellis on her 'Dance Prescription' UK Tour. These two girls are just phenomenal! Coming all the way from Australia, where the sun is nearly always splitting the trees to Glasgow where the trees are almost always blown over with the wind, they powered through this particularly grey, cold and windy day in Glasgow for a photo session incorporated with a small sightseeing tour along the way. The composition of this photograph is my favourite, the girls are hugged in just off centre with the dark paint work of the alleyway. The lighter building behind theme really makes the girls stand out and their black leggings allow the eye to be directed around the photograph to the different little details. For example, the Sloans sign on the wall and the fairy lights at the top of the photograph.


7. Carmen & Ava, an apartment building, Glasgow (2019)

When I first started my photography studies a lecturer once told me, if it isn't working straight on try looking up or looking down. During this session with the two of a kind duo The Curleez (Carmen & Ava), we were using a friends apartment building in the West End of Glasgow. The building is an older style building with a big stair case and this is the main entrance floor, all tiled white. On the second floor there is an opening which gives you a perfect view of this flooring, making it ideal for a backdrop. The girls are both wearing Cirkis Dancewear leotards, which really add to the photograph the pop of the contrasting colours against the white really stand out. I love the bold pop of the solid colours against the white. This photograph speaks fashion to me, as soon as I took it I instantly thought billboard campaign or double page spread in a fashion magazine. I love the geometric shapes throughout the full photograph from the square floor, the angles of the girls legs and the triangles the material from the leotard has created.


8. Charlotte, Little Havana, Miami (2018)

Another overseas session in Miami, this time in Little Havana where men play dominoes in the park and every second shop sells a Cuban sandwich (which are meant to be the best you will get, anywhere in Miami.) Working with Ilogear model Charlotte, was a great experience during this session we wanted to create more shapes that concentrate on dance technique. Creating shapes in photographs is something that I strive for, when thinking about composition. In this photograph, I was trying to contact the curve of the wall with the geometric shapes of the Ilogear leotard by also having the dancer in a strong angular shape. I feel the colours all flow perfectly throughout the photograph enhancing the bright red leotard. This photograph shows a strong young female, almost warrior like, ready to take on the world at force. Creating this vibe in the photograph, was great for the Ilogear brand as they are all about empowerment.


9. Shannen, Aberdour Castle Ruins, Fife (2019)






















From bright and colour Miami, travelling back to traditional Scotland. The Aberdour castle ruins were beautiful and perfect for this photo session with Shannen, who was one of my CYD Glasgow 2019 competition winners. Shannen has been one of my followers from the start and finally we got to shoot together. This photograph, to me, is almost like a painting. I feel the tones in the photograph are very pastel like and remind me of the likes of Rembrandt. I love the classical feel in this photograph, from the elegant position Shannen is in to the derelict feel in the building. The spotlight in the middle underneath Shannen, really highlights her almost like she is on a stage performing to the world. The skirt we used in this photograph is one of my favourite parts. I love the way I have captured the movement, creating the swooshing feeling that you can see which creates shows the dancer is in motion contrasting with the stillness of the church.


10. Rhiannon, Monkland Canal walk, Coatbridge (2018)

Finishing with a bang! This was the first time I had worked with smoke grenades, so I was unsure on how they would turn out in the photograph, if they would even turn out at all. Rhiannon was a great sport during this session as we had to plan out what we were going to do with each smoke grenade. The first one we used, I forgot about the direction of the wind and the smoke ended up coming towards me meaning I could not take any photographs and I could not see Rhiannon at all. Eventually, once we had considered everything and remembered everything, the results were a success. During this session, Rhiannon had to improvise as the smoke grenades last for 60-90 secs, we did go over ideas but feel the improvisation worked best as it was less stiff and the smoke created shapes, following the movements. I love the colours in this photograph the contrast of the teal, orange and the green from the trees. The smoke fills the majority of the frame and it guides your eye along towards and around Rhiannon, completing her jump and elongated legs.



I hope you all enjoyed reading all about my favourite photographs up until now. I would love to hear which one is your favourite or if you had seen a previous photograph on Facebook or Instagram that you think should've made the cut into the Top 10.

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