2019 in swing dance world


At the end of 2018, I set my goal for next two years. I want to be one of the best swing dance photographers in Europe. And at the same time, I knew that there are no rankings for that, there is no one you can say he/she is the best. You can be just known as a photographer and for your work. And I also knew that there are amazing photographers around Europe who just take photos for some small events or communities and they are not well known but their work is amazing. So basically, only reason why I set this goal was that I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to be better. I wanted to know if I’m able to build my portfolio strong enough to be able to say yes, my work is really good (and yeah, we all know that I will never be satisfied with my work for 100% :) ).

At the beginning of 2019 I wasn’t so bad. I was the main photographer for almost every big festival in the Czech Republic and local people knew who I am. But I was just once abroad as a photographer. But then I went for my Erasmus study to Barcelona and I knew that I would like to get some experience there because swing community there is quite big. So I asked few swing dance schools if I can take some photos on their socials or events. And one answered and I started work for SwingCats. Interesting thing is that this gave me more friends and dance skills than what I gained in photography (many thanks, Aitor! And also others!). And then I was taking photos on local events and festivals and basically after 2 months, half of the Barcelona’s community knew who I am.

And then I wanted to work more with dancers. My first photo shooting there was with Alina. I convinced her to go out in the morning and take some photos during sunrise. And because she is night-time person she didn’t go to sleep at all. And we made it! And then I had photo shooting with Jana, Sandy, Carla, Nick and Kate, Ivo and Masha and others! Clara was willing to wake up even twice for sunrise because I had some ideas and she went for them. And then I wanted to go for afternoon party on Valencia Balboa Festival. I arrived at two in morning, I didn’t have accommodation and because I wanted to see the city I was just walking around. At 7am I had 11 kilometres, at noon 25 and at 16h around 36 kilometres walked. And then I had planned short photo shooting with Andreas and Olga. At the end, that photo shooting took almost two hours, I missed the balboa party and on top of that I had to run 4 kilometres to catch the train back to Barcelona. Sometimes it was funny.

I went back home in July and during summer and autumn I was as a photographer on many socials, exchanges or festivals in the Czech Republic and also in Europe and I had many photo shootings with dancers, the local ones and also the top international ones. And for the first time I was on two festivals only as a dancer, not as a photographer. And yes, I had to take at least few snaps. Also, during the year I had to say no for seven festivals because of the another photo shooting, school or other plans. So yes, organizers not just in the Czech Republic, but also in Europe were starting to know who I am. And on top of that I finished the year as a main photographer on The Snowball. And I think these photos are pretty good! So what I could want more? :)

If you read all of that, I would like to thank you for this amazing year in swing community. It was tough, but I think I managed a lot of work and interesting things. I was working with top dancers in the world, I was working with local dancers who were amazing with their passion and skills, I was the photographer on amazing festivals and I hope that I can say that my work is quite good. But what is more important to me, I met amazing people!

So what for 2020? I want to be even better! Thanks to you! :)