Behind the Scenes at the Alameda Civic Ballet: Part Two

Alameda Civic Ballet training

The performance is done, the film photos are developed, and the life of the images themselves is on the horizon.  While photographing the training, dress rehearsal, and a performance produced by the Alameda Civic Ballet, I relearned my natural pace of shooting outside the direction of a commissioned project…  and it was fantastic.  The dancers, parents, and directors accepted my presence in their space, and gave me the opportunity to tell the story freely.  I’m very thankful. Now, the editing part begins… culling down the hundreds of photographs taken, down to a mere fifteen, destined for a touring exhibition and a book.

Currently the pool is down to 95 images.  This means that there will be much care in selecting the few that make it.  What’s involved in this editing process?  Obviously the chosen ones have to be strong technically, but they also must possess that indefinable magic, and be able to dynamically stand alongside each other as a group.

Ballet dancers training inside the Alameda Ballet Academy

Why fifteen?  It gives enough breadth to illuminate the ballet story while keeping it engaging.  The costs will also stay in check.  For the film, shooting, developing, scanning, and shipping, I personally ponied up the investment, but for the exhibition stages, I will be approaching outside sources to help.

A large part of the proceeds will go towards charity.  Once the exhibition costs are met, 30% of all profits will be split evenly between three reputable, and diligently helpful children’s causes. In addition, 20% of all profits will go directly to the Alameda Civic Ballet.

Be sure to check back to the blog often to see how this project unfolds.  Part three is up on the horizon, specifying the chosen fifteen images, with much more info regarding the exhibition and book production! In the meantime, please explore this project’s benefitted charities:

  • International Child Art Foundation – ICAF’s mission is to integrate the arts with science, sport and technology for the development of children’s innate creativity and intrinsic empathy – preconditions for the Creativity Revolution. ICAF’s interventions remediate suffering (Healing Arts), reduce violence (Peace through Art), grow imagination (Arts Olympiad), and develop empathy (World Children’s Festival).
  • Invisible ChildrenWe are story tellers. We make documentaries about war-affected children in east Africa and tour them around the world. We use the power of media to inspire young people to help end the longest running war in Africa. Our model has proven effective, and hundreds of thousands of people have been called to action through our films and the volunteers that tour them. We are made up of a tireless staff, hundreds of full time volunteers, and thousands of students and supporters. We are young, we are citizens of the world, we are artists, activists, and entrepreneurs. This fall, we are using our voice to ask President Obama to spearhead efforts to bring peace to Northern Uganda. We are mobilizing a generation to capture the attention of the international community, and make a stand for justice in the wake of genocide.
  • Project LinusBlanketing kids with care. Every child needs a security blanket — especially kids who are seriously ill or who’ve undergone some kind of trauma. Project Linus makes sure that these children have something to snuggle up with. Volunteers create homemade, washable blankets of all sizes and styles and distribute them to kids “in need of a big hug.” Since 1995, Project Linus has given 673,000 blankets to children in countries around the world.


  1. Pingback: Week 4 – MelissaBrand Photography

  2. These are absolutely stunning Doug and Katherine. Thank you for sharing them with us! -Meg

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