Ladislav Polak is an experienced photographer working mainly in the field of dance and the performing arts.
He shoots quality location photography, as well as doing studio work.
When I photograph dance, I listen to the music, I watch the choreography and again and again I feel connected with the dancers in such a way that my heart speeds up, my breathing deepens, I move and rebalance myself often, my muscles relax and contract and I can anticipate, I somehow know, what the next move will be, even though I have never seen the choreography before.
I have been taking pictures since childhood, but I chanced upon dance photography much later and soon became hooked. The very first bait I took and that lured me in the direction of dance-photography was a strong positive feedback and enthusiasm from a Swedish folk-dance group Stora Tuna folkdansgille.
Majorettes then literally crossed my path on my way to a restaurant. There was an older policeman who made me stop my car to allow them to pass. So I watched them long enough to become interested. Fate is sometimes quite determined, isn’t it?
Their rehearsals have proved to be a good training ground for me in rhythmics and dance-photo basics thanks to the years I have regularly attended them. I have shot officially at many Czech national and even two European championships which widened the circle of my fans and friends and broadened my experience.
Although nowadays I haven’t enough time to attend their rehearsals or competitions regularly, I still admire baton twirling and therefore I try to shoot at at least one competition or a master-class every year. It is always so good to meet old friends.
And that about sums up my photographic roots.
In terms of photographic training, aside from several short courses and workshops I have no formal qualifications but it would be arrogant of me to state that I was self-thought. This would be dismissive to all the authors of books I read and all the courses I attended and watched on Internet.
I am always captivated by the way Daria Klimentova, Christopher Hampson or Tamás Solymosi dance or work with dancers, I am always astonished to see artists such as Nadja Saidakova, Anna Osadcenko, Michael Braun or Vadim Muntagirov (to name just a few) dancing in class or at rehearsals. It is uplifting, immersive and inspiring.
Although it is always a great pleasure and excitement to take pictures at opening nights, dress rehearsals or capture dance competitions, I take the same if not slightly greater satisfaction in crafting professional photographs shot offstage, during studio rehearsals, at the dancer’s favourite place etc. It gives me an otherwise impossible opportunity. It allows me to learn something more about the person I photograph. It may seem unnecessary but to me it’s substantial in a way similar to taking a light-meter reading.
I‘m passionate about dance and I can afford to shoot some projects and dancers just for the love of it. Write and tell me about your idea and don’t hesitate to take this opportunity.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss any photographic requirements you may have.