Following a decade of photographing portraits, weddings and shows, photographer Caroline Holden is now entering a new chapter as she concentrates on dance photography and events.
She began her career as a journalist for Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire Life magazines, and it was while working on jobs with the photographers, that she knew where her real interests lay.
Caroline, of Longridge, said: “My love of photography actually began while studying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism at what was then Preston Polytechnic, but I soon learnt that the unions wouldn’t allow you to do both, now the media expects you to.”
Too tall to dance herself, Caroline’s love of ballet was reignited when her daughter began classes with the Sutcliffe School of Dance in Longridge, where she began to photograph classes, rehearsals and shows.
She then branched out to work with among others the Northern Ballet School, Stonyhurst Dance Academy, The Sophie Gallie Dance Academy, the English Youth Ballet and the Bristol Russian Ballet School. Professional companies include Birmingham Royal Ballet, English National Ballet and the Northern Ballet where she has photographed world class dancers such as Tamara Rojo, Daria Klimentová, and Ivan Putrov.
Caroline went on to gain a licentiateship and associateship with the Royal Photographic Society with her dance work.
She added: “Dance photography is the art of capturing movement and for me beauty. It’s not easy as often I am working with very dark stages, but I’m guided by the music, and hope the dancers are in time! I struggle now to watch performances, rather than see them through the end of a lens, and have to sit on my hands. My favourite ballet is Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet with its achingly beautiful choreography, and Tchaikovsky’s music in The Nutcracker has produced an enduring love affair with the Dance of the Snowflakes.
“The dancer I would most like to photograph would be Misty Copeland of American Ballet Theatre, who last year was the first African American woman to be promoted to principal dancer in ABT’s 75-year history. And the company I would most like to photograph would be the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
“I would love to photograph a ballet at the Palais Garnier in Paris, and the dream would be to photograph a ballet in every country.
“My career highlights include being commissioned by BRB to photograph their Evening of Music & Dance at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall; getting the cover of ENB’s The Sleeping Beauty programme and having my image used for their Christmas card. Seeing my ENB Nutcracker images on the walls of the Liverpool Empire Theatre and having my pictures printed in Dancing Times and Dance Europe magazines were also highlights. Seeing a banner with my image of Giselle was also a special moment for me.”