He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life – Muhammad Ali

I class myself as a seriously lucky guy. Every week I have the privilege to meet and work with some incredibly inspiring people. All of them superbly talented and masters of their craft. I get the chance to capture their talent and show case it through my photography. Each one, has a story to tell; a reason they keep dancing. These stories are reflected in the way they move and their constant desire to push boundaries. It’s this part of their personalities that inspires me the most because, as strong as they are individually, there’s one thing they all have by the bucket loads. Balls.

 Mel Braithwaite

Mel Braithwaite

There comes a point on every shoot where I think to myself “I probably shouldn’t ask them to do this”. This thought normal comes whilst I’m asking someone to do something completely stupid like climb a London Underground sign or strip down to dance wear and whack their leg up in the middle of the Tate Modern. The best thing is though, before I’ve even finished the thought it’s interrupted by courageous “YES”. It’s this guts that keeps DOL growing and moving. It means we achieve shots that the day before were just dreams in my head. It’s what made Klodi get up on that river wall and hold her leg in the air. It made Nadia jump in her cyr wheel and give the folks of SoHo something to look at. And, it led to Amelia and Demmi bringing Carnaby Street to a standstill.  

 Klodi Dabkiewicz

Klodi Dabkiewicz

I think the thing that’s most important that we all can take away here is the ability to just throw caution to the wind and go for it. Whatever it is, take the risk and do it with commitment. So many of us sit on projects that we’ve always wanted to start. It becomes safer for us to accept that they probably won’t work out. we place them on the back burner and give ourselves excuses for not doing them. This makes me wonder about how many fantastic ideas haven’t come into fruition purely because someone lacked the courage to start them. So, take a page out of the dancer’s book and grab the bull by the horns. Know what you need to do, take a breath and just do it. Write that book. Apply for that job. Train for that marathon. After all, like Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

 

If you want to see just what these ballsy dancers do head over to https://oliver-meredith.squarespace.com/config/pages
 

That's it for this week folks.

Hope you enjoyed it.

O

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