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Dad Combines Landscape Photography with Ballet in ‘The Ballet Project’

By Tanya Goodall Smith on September 19th 2013


Many photographers I meet first became interested in photography after they had children. Others, like myself, were already into photography before having kids, but become absolutely infatuated with photographing their own babies once they arrive.

I’m not sure what it is about having a baby that makes you want to capture every smile, giggle, cry, laugh and accomplishment throughout their growth. Perhaps because those moments are so fleeting? They grow and change so quickly. They also tend to look absolutely perfect and more beautiful to you than any other child ever could.

Maybe that’s what happened to New York photographer Eric Christian, when he combined his love of landscape and nature photography with his daughters’ talents for ballet in The Ballet Project The Ballet Project is an ongoing photo series of ballet poses at beautiful unexpected locations around the Hudson Valley and Catskills region of New York. The photos are shot in scenic locations with lighting on the subjects to give them an almost story book surreal feel.


My goal was to create a fantasy world but retain the identity of the location. I was inspired to start this project because my daughters study ballet and I wanted to create images that depicted them in an almost story book scene so the rest of the world could see the vision I have of them.


I think this is a fantastic personal project. Imagine the adventures these two girls must have with their dad. Not to mention the opportunity to get to know the incredible scenic locations of their local area.


Through the years this will also be a wonderful way to document the growth of the girls. If you look through the series from the start (about one year ago) you can already see how the girls have grown. I think the photographer’s work and vision has matured and been refined since the beginning of the project as well.


The benefits of taking the time to do a personal project of this nature are many. Aside from the opportunity to spend time with your kids (who can be convenient and low cost models, haha!) one can also take the opportunity to experiment with new techniques, try out new locations and hone technical skills.




You can see more of Erik’s work on his website and connect with him on Facebook.


Have you seen any other great ongoing personal projects involving the artists children? Have you done one yourself? I’d love to hear about it. Post a link in the comments.

CREDITS: Photographs Erik Christian Photography have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artists.

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Tanya Goodall Smith is the owner, brand strategist and commercial photographer at WorkStory Corporate Photography in Spokane, Washington. WorkStory creates visual communications that make your brand irresistible to your target market. Join the stock photo rebellion at

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting

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