Ballerina Megan Maher dances en pointe to Valse Fantasie during Scarsdale Ballet's Spring, 2010 Concert Dance performance at SUNY Purchase, NY (© Michael Maher).
Photographing stage performances by your kids can be very difficult. The lighting is rarely adequate to capture the fast-moving activity on stage, and your child is moving around so much it’s tough to keep him/her in focus. My daughter is a ballet dancer, and less than half of her performance numbers have enough light for me to capture good photos. The approach that works best in such situations is twofold – 1) photograph the ones you can when there is ample light, and 2) for those without enough light, use a slow shutter speed and shoot when there is not very much motion. It’s also smart to plan your pictures in advance, asking your kid beforehand where he/she will be entering, standing, moving and exiting the stage, so it’s easy to anticipate, focus and shoot. Take a few close-ups of your kid, and avoid shooting from far away, or you’ll be unable to clearly distinguish your kid from the others on stage. I was lucky with this photo, because I incorrectly set the shutter speed priority on my new digital camera, making every picture but this one blurry. Fortunately, all I needed was this one great shot.
1) Stage performances are difficult to photograph because the lighting is often low, and the movement very fast.
2) Ask your kid about the performance so you know where he/she will be entering, standing, moving to, and exiting.
3) Be sure to take some close-ups of your kid and avoid taking crowd pictures of the stage from too far away.