The Art of Photographing Dance at Jacob’s Pillow

Led by award-winning dance photographer Rose Eichenbaum, The Art of Photographing Dance is a unique 6-day workshop that focuses on the art of photographing dance and dancers.

Produce stunning images by capturing the beauty of the physical body, the essence of a dancer’s gesture, the choreographer’s vision, and the spirit of performance. Increase your understanding and execution of the principles of photography: lighting, composition, perspective, and the interface of the temporal and bodily nature of dance. This workshop provides in-depth discussions on the art of creating images, the opportunity to photograph professional dancers both on the stage and in one-on-one sessions on the Pillow’s beautiful Berkshire campus setting, and immersion in the performances, events, and educational offerings of the world-renowned Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Participants will have a chance to develop their photographic eye and personal aesthetic, hone technical skills, add to their portfolios, gain familiarity with the mechanics and vocabulary of dance movement, and learn to communicate with dancer-models collaboratively, safely, and effectively.

Workshop Topics and Assignments

  • Learning to direct your own shoot.
  • The essential dance portrait
  • Capturing movement and action
  • Creating photos for dance marketing and self promotion
  • Dance documentation
  • The creation of fine art dance images

The Jacob’s Pillow Experience

Lauded as “the dance center of the nation” (The New York Times), Jacob’s Pillow offers workshop participants the chance to dive into the world of dance while onsite the historic and bucolic campus, among an international community of artists and dance lovers.

  • Attend Festival performances
  • Work side by side with significant and diverse dance artists
  • Attend Festival artist talks, film screenings, exhibitions, tours, and open rehearsals
  • Explore your special interests in the Archives’ rich resources of videos, historic films, photographs, and programs representing more than a century of dance

Sample Daily Schedule

7:30-9:30am  Early bird shoot–Assignment (optional)
8:00-9:30am  Breakfast
8:00-9:00am  Community Dance Class (optional)
9:30-11:00am  Critique of photos, preparation for shoots
11:00am-12:15pm  Presentations/Discussions–workshop content
12:15-1:15pm  Lunch
1:30-5:00pm  Shooting sessions, live rehearsals, and setups
5:00-6:00pm  Dinner
6:15-7:00pm  Attend Inside/Out performance
7:30-7:45pm  Pre-Show Talk by Pillow Scholar (optional)
8:00-10:00pm  Attend a Festival performance or edit photos in the lab

Evening Options

  • Attend Post-Show Talk (Thursday and Friday)
  • Social time at The Barre at Haven at the Pillow or No. Six Depot Cafe with dance artists, faculty, and staff
  • Personal editing time
  • Festival Finale celebration with artists (Saturday)

Photography at Jacob’s Pillow

The Pillow has nurtured rich and fruitful relationships with dance photographers over eight decades, beginning in the 1930s with John Lindquist and continuing with John Van Lund in the 1940s and Jack Mitchell in the 1950s. The Archives at Jacob’s Pillow houses tens of thousands of dance photos and negatives, including images by George Platt Lynes, Edward Weston, Barbara Morgan, and George Hoyningen-Huene. Annual exhibits showcase and give insight into dance and dance photography, and leading photographers including Annie Leibovitz and Philip Trager have discussed their work in public talks. In recent years, many renowned photographers have shot at the Pillow, including Rose Eichenbaum, Mike Van Sleen, Christopher Duggan and Toby Old. Each summer Jacob’s Pillow also offers a 15-week internship in Photography.


Meet our Faculty

Rose Eichenbaum

Rose Eichenbaum is an award-winning photographer and one of the most respected photojournalists working in the arts today. A former dancer and graduate student in Dance Ethnology at University of California Los Angeles set the groundwork for a career dedicated to teaching, research, photographic documentation, and the investigation of artistic creativity through performance.

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Christopher Duggan

Christopher Duggan runs a wedding photography and film studio in New York City and the Berkshires and is a well-respected dance photographer in Manhattan and beyond. Christopher has been the Festival Photographer for Jacob's Pillow Dance since 2006, and he has personally collaborated with a wide range of spectacular and talented artists.

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Join Us

Increase your understanding and execution of the principles of photography.

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