Flashback to some 13 years ago when I first set foot in Escape Amsterdam to photograph.
I was invited by my friend who was a dancer there back in the day to come along and photograph her and a beautiful woman who was her dancing partner.
Their names are Sjan and Ania.
They were the most awesome dancers I had ever seen! They were in-sync, danced their asses off and I photographed them.
Not long after my introduction I became the resident photographer for the Sunday nights at the Escape and after a lot of asking, and asking some more (from my side) I also got the Saturday night to photograph.
Knowing how it went with previous photographers, who came there mostly for the party and free drinks, they really didn't last that long. A couple of months at most before they were replaced by another who thought he or she was good enough.
That was before my time. I came and I worked and photographed the very best I could to stay and have my place as a resident on both nights.
A few years later the nights on Sunday stopped, I had no influence on that whatsoever.
In return I got to photograph on the Thursday nights and later also on the Friday nights.
So I gained two nights by losing one and I have been the resident photographer for the Escape for nearly 13 years. I protect my place. I work hard for it too.
In the meantime the Thursday nights stopped.
Fortunately I still have my Fri- and Saturday nights to photograph at the Escape.
Since I was introduced by Sjan there was one thing that I find very important and I still do, next to photographing the dj's and the visitors who come to the Escape or any place where I photograph for that matter.
At one point, Sjan and Ania both quit and I wanted to stay and I did.
The dancers nééd to be photographed as cool as I can, as fast as I can because there are two dancers on stage at the same time and they dance three rounds of 15 minutes each.
So I have about 7 1/2 minutes per dancer per round, considering that they move, and sometimes they move really fast depending on who is dancing, because some dancers are more powerful than others while others are making slower movements and move their body very elegantly.
Another factor is lighting.
Joury, who is the lighting technician at the Escape knows exactly what lighting is cool and what goes well with the outfits the dancers are wearing, and I know his style.
I count the flashes of the light to capture them in concert with the dancers, or as I call them : "The Girls!"
I never, ever, ever, want to have photographs of the dancers in the dark, as if there is no light.
No, I want my photographs bursting with colors! Cool poses, compositions and movements, and I love to play with the lighting available - to use my flash or not is a decision that I make on the spot.
I try to make them as diverse as possible and not do the same thing over and over each and every time, I have to challenge myself and that's one of the reasons I love photographing The Girls and always in the style I created.
They need to have an impact. Not just for myself or the dancers but also for all the people who go to the Escape website or Facebook page.
I want photos that make the dancers *whoever they are per week* proud to see how I photographed them.
This also goes for me, I have to be proud of my work or else I will never show the photos to anyone.
I have literally made milions of photos of the dancers throughout the years and I can only upload so many onto my blog.
I have a great bond with most of THE GIRLS, and with some I have very good friendships.
I wanted to say that I have a lot of respect for THE GIRLS who dance their asses off, every time - they deserve awesome photographs.
Here they come!
PS : The photos of the dancers that I will show you now are from these two agencies : Showpony Productions and Entertainment Matters.