Combining golf, which I live and breathe every day, with the art of photography and ballet is a dream come true.
It started with an idea. “What if I juxtaposed a ballerina against the vast expanse of a golf course?” I asked my husband what he thought of the concept. His animated response surprised me, “Do you know how much ballerinas have in common with golfers? The hours and hours of work that no one sees, just for one event. The abuse their bodies take. They make the movements look easy and natural but they aren’t, just like in golf.” I knew all that, I was just surprised he did.
Next I looked for inspiration. I studied the 21,000 images I had captured of the boys high school golf team that spring. Stories sprang to life before me. If the image was interesting from a golf perspective, I looked for ways to tie in a ballerina.
All of the images were captured at Purgatory Golf Club. The Noblesville High School boys golf team were the golfers, and local ballerinas provided the magic.
The project has taken on a life of its own. The body of work as a whole has a modern art, edgy feel. It is uplifting and intriguing. I would have loved to have captured more and told more stories, but I ran out of time before winter arrived.
There were three disciplines that required technical excellence in this project, photography, golf and ballet. By honoring the esthetic needs of all three the storytelling and art was able to shine through.
As a result, a photographer looks at this body of work and sees great story telling and lovely art, a ballerina sees a lovely performance in an unconventional local, a golfer sees an intriguing and magical version of everyday life.
The masters don’t always agree. The poses a ballerina admires may not appeal to an artist, a scene that conjures emotion to a golfer may seem mundane to a ballerina, and images that are beautiful to an artist may seem abstract to a golfer. This body of work offers images that appeal to all three audiences, but some images may appeal to only one of the masters.
A Big Secret
When I started the project, I was encouraged to keep it a secret as this combination of golf and ballet had never been done before.
So we were out on a golf course on a regular basis, doing photo shoots with light stands and big soft boxes. Ballerinas were walking around in tutus and pointe shoes. We tried to stay far enough away from the golfers that no one would take a picture with their phone and post it on social media.
During one shoot near the clubhouse, we had a big group of wedding goers walk by and they clearly wondered what we were doing. I had more gear set up than the wedding photographer did. I don’t blame them for gawking, I’m just glad nobody tried to take a picture, and that we have been able to keep this exciting project hush hush. But no more, now the cat is out of the bag, and we can't wait to show you the amazing modern art we have created!