Lion in the Dark – The Talented Kaci Hillis

Over a year ago now I had the opportunity to do a photoshoot with Kaci Hillis – An incredibly talented dancer who at the time was studying at the Ministry of Dance in Melbourne.

Step 1: Add Kaci

Step 2: Add Flour

Step 3: Say “jump”

Step 4: Pick your jaw up off the floor.

Kaci is off to dance in New York next year – I wish her all the best! It goes to show that hard work really does pay off 🙂

Dancer: Kaci Hillis
Photography: Michelle Tara Cumming

© http://www.michelletaraphotography.com

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Publisher? Check! – Sneek peek!

Before you read on, I just got myself on INSTAGRAM! Follow me by searching: michelletaraphotography

Wow – what a whirlwhind journey I have been on since February!

I have been fortunate enough to be contacted by the Executive Director of the Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation (AASCF) to publish a book about cheerleading – busting any stereotypes around it, showing the hard work that goes into it – and generally showing people who have never heard about cheerleading exactly what it is.

Given my strong background in cheerleading (and my absolute love of it – so much that my dream job – second to this one obviously – would be getting paid to watch/train/perform cheerleading all day every day for the rest of my life) I was absolutely excited at the opportunity to produce the publication.

AASCF is a great body for cheerleading. As a cheerleader myself I have competed at numerous competitions from different providers between Australia and New Zealand – AASCF hands down hosts the best competitions – the staff are fantastic, and they run smoothly. (I swear I am not paid for saying that – I sincerely mean this from the bottom of my heart!) Not only that, AASCF also helps out people who generally want to get involved – be it new athletes to new cheerleading gyms – from providing top notch coaching resources to gym gear.

5000 copies of this book have been produced – but they are sooo hot off the press I can’t even show them to you yet – so here’s the pallet they are in 😛

For the diehard fan to someone just interested in what it is – if you would like to get your hands on a copy keep following me here. Also follow AASCF of their facebook page for updates on where you can get one 🙂

Tumble Time!

I am currently in the midst of shooting my major folio for RMIT. My photographic life has gone from ‘one day it would be neat to do this’ to “ok, lets actually do this and I only have 2 hours to do it in – don’t screw it up”

I have always wanted to shoot a gymnast doing a tumble pass. The tricky part was to get fast enough lights to freeze the movement of the gymnast. I hired out the Broncolor Scoro from the friendly bunch at Sun Studios in Melbourne. If there is ever a lighting kit on steroids, trust me, this is it!

Second step – add gymnast.

I put a casting out for an exceptional gymnast – Emily Atherton, a talented level 5 cheerleader and ex gymnast at Outlaw All Stars in Melbourne messaged me. She was as excited as I was about the shoot, and had level 5 tumbling skills – a perfect mix!

As tumbling is hard on the body, I needed a gym with a sprung floor to shoot in – Royal All Stars in Narre Warren helped me out with this (they also helped me out with my book – you can check that out here)

With the help of my two assistants, Cameron Cooke, and Daniel Campbell, set up and shooting was a breeze. I thank them very much for giving me a hand and putting up with my small car on the drive to the location.

Also big props to Emily for being a great model/athlete to work with.

All images © www.michelletaraphotography.com

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