JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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July Moonshine Hafla 3 – Havre de Grace's own April Monique

Aug 2, 2019

Going into shooting April Monique dancing again, I knew that I had to work to get something a little different – in a way these are portraits taken at the same place but at a new time and, hopefully, from a little of a new perspective. In the end I'll add them to my April Monique collection – not the type of thing I ever expected to be working on. I spent decades looking on myself as Mr. F/22 – the scenics from a tripod mounted medium format camera guy. Now I'm accumulating a considerable collection of what I call Havre de Grace Street images – that include everything from kids playing to performance portraits.

Belly dance is a lot of fluid to fast movement with occasional holds, or poses – which are great for pictures. This time with April I was looking for something a little more interesting, if riskier as far as getting something usable. The first two here sport a lot of movement, but with audience eye contact. Maybe next time I'll focus on spins. Again, Nan selected the opening image. 

The third image is my favorite. I zoomed in at one of those semi-still moments, concentrating on the eyes. The heavy strand of hair coming down and across her right eye simply had to go – that one sent me looking for more coffee during, and wine after.

Last is something of an odd one. For the life of me, and believe me I tried everything, I just could not get myself to crop down from the origina exposure. Anything off, anywhere, ruined everything I like about it. Thatt's gonna make it a little awkward figuring out how to handle a print.  And it's rare that an image like this works with the subject's eyes closed – a real issue with photographing both dancers and singers – but here I like it. And omehow the drifting hairs on this one make up for that. The expression is April's signature look, always seeming to convey a little irony.

By the time I announce this Friday morning, the Local Theater PDF album should be updated – on the Havre de Grace Street page.