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Dance Photography International Residency – Kate Taylor

Queensland photographer Kate Taylor diversified her practice as part of an international mentorship, leading to new skills and work opportunities.



Wanting to develop her skills as a dance photographer, Kate Taylor undertook an international residency in 2019, working with New York City-based dance and movement photographer Rachel Neville and undertaking a creative residency at Ballet West in the United States of America (USA).

Through the residency and working one-on-one daily with the staff at Ballet West, Kate developed her skills and built her experience in dance photography. This has supported Kate to expand and diversify her practice.

As part of the project, Kate established a portfolio of work with images from her international residency. Her portfolio has received positive feedback and interest, leading to opportunities as a photographer with local dance companies.


When and where

January to March 2019

New York, Salt Lake City (USA), Brisbane


Arts Queensland investment

$6,800 – Individuals Fund 2018

Arts Queensland supports individual artists and cultural workers to participate in transformational professional and career development opportunities.



  • Kate developed a wide range of new skills during the residency including photographing dancers in a variety of contexts, use of lighting for body and mood and story telling. She also increased her knowledge regarding business practices and preparing images for approval.
  • New industry networks with dancers and industry professionals in the USA have increased Kate’s reputation and her online reach.
  • Work created during the project has helped Kate to develop and expand her portfolio. Kate feels confident in using this work to approach national and international dance companies, and has received interest and enquiries for commercial dance photography.

This project has also provided me considerable experience and photographic material to confidently expand into commercial dance photography. The expressions of interest and enquiries received since this project demonstrate how I have successfully expanded into this new market.


Learnings and reflections

Kate also enjoyed the opportunity to work outside her comfort zone and try different strategies in her practice.

Having the opportunity to work so closely with the team at Ballet West was both a formative and humbling experience. 

Upon reflection I still see my strongest images are the serendipitous and emotive images, as always [I am] captivated by some of the smaller moments.

Kate commented that the ability to receive immediate feedback during the mentorship, accelerated her learning, helping to refine her approaches and style.

The intensive nature of my project provided me with the ability to receive feedback immediately on my photographs, helping me refine my ‘goal’ images daily.  There were different challenges throughout the process but it was exhilarating to work through them and step out of my comfort zone. 



Tips for others

Go for it, even if you get knocked back at any stage during the planning of your project and grant writing phase.  Have a support network and don’t be afraid to ask for help from others. Speak to and seek advice from the staff at Arts Queensland.


What next?

Kate was offered and attended an Artist-in-Residency in France in July-August 2019. There are also some exciting collaborations with international and local dancewear and dance companies in the works.  


Find out more

Quince and Mulberry Studios website

A pdf version of this case study is available here.