Dance photos can be incredibly beautiful. The elegant lines, the powerful poses, the movement of dancers captured in time. If done right, dance photos are great, but it can be quite difficult to capture a dancer in motion. Photographing dancers can be a challenge since they are constantly moving around the stage and if you don’t know the proper settings, they tend to come out blurry on camera.

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to dance photography is making sure your subject is in focus and not blurry. Dancers are always moving quickly so it is important to make sure you have a fast shutter speed in order to be able to capture them. It is recommended that your shutter speed is at least 1/1000. It is also helpful if you set your camera to Continuous Autofocus in order to make it easier for yourself. You should also try using a tripod to keep your camera as still as possible.

Photo by Dominique Villamor

Another difficulty is that there is usually poor lighting at dance performances and competitions. If possible, use a camera with a high ISO without too much grain. Despite what camera you use it’s likely that you will have to turn your ISO to the highest setting. Most of the time, flash won’t be allowed, but it’s still helpful to carry an external flash just in case.

You should also consider the aperture (also called f-stop) on your camera. The lower the aperture, the more light it lets in. Depending on the lens, the f-stop can range, but you should aim to have it as low as you can, usually 4 to 5.6, to increase the amount of light in your photos.

For example, I took these photos on my Canon Rebel T6 in very dim lighting. I had an ISO of 3200 and an f-stop of 4. I also used a telephoto lens with a shutter speed of 1/1000

Even if you have all the right settings, it may still take a while to get the perfect photos, so just remember not to get frustrated. The most important this is to keep practicing!