Inside the Photographer’s Mind: Dance Photographer Omar Z Robles

Dance photographer Omar Z Robles has been shooting for the better part of 15 years now; and he’s earned quite a bit of fame from it.

In our most recent episode of Inside the Photographer’s Mind (hosted at Adorama) we interviewed Omar Z Robles about his journey as a dance photographer over the years. Omar first started out as a mime and then went back to school to rediscover himself. He found photography and got into shooting street photography. Over time, it turned into working with dancers on the streets to create a type of image that has become iconic on Instagram over and over again. While Omar feels like he still does some sort of documentary process with his work, he feels like he is a creative director of the most part.

During our show, we discussed Omar’s creative vision–which he cites comes from his study of various dance techniques and moves that he particularly likes. With him, it isn’t a process of having the dancer just move and he captures them; but it’s instead a process where he thoroughly researches what he likes, cherry picks, and asks the dancers to do those moves. On top of that, Omar discussed having empathy for your subjects and being on top of everything during a shoot. But at the same time, he likes to not plan too much to allow things to happen in the images. I guess we can call them “happy accidents.”

As a Fujifilm X photographer, Omar typically uses the Fujifilm X-T2, but he brought his X100F to the set. Omar usually doesn’t use flash but these days he’s doing it with a bit of fill. He also doesn’t typically work in studios and instead prefers to make the city his playground. Indeed in such a vibrant city, it has its own character that lends itself well to images.

We hope you enjoy this episode as months of planning went into it.