Starcatcher Backstage Series

I love it when the opportunity arises that I'm able to mesh my acting career with my photography career. Obviously, I love shooting headshots and portraits in studio, but whenever an acting contract comes up and I have to step away from the studio for an extended amount of time, I also look forward to documenting that journey in some way, shape or form.

For me, this was a bit of a perfect storm; a brilliant show, an amazing cast and crew, a cool space to shoot and beautiful costumes. Added to all of that I had the need/desire to try out a new lighting set-up I've learned from Michael Schacht, an incredible photographer out of Chicago, who's been generous enough to start teaching his 'sky lighting' technique to fellow Headshot Crew Associates and Mentors.  

Doing  an 'on-location studio set up' during a theatre run can be a bit of a challenge, and I'm always conscious to not interfere with the actual show and the process that each individual needs. Given those circumstances, time is a huge challenge, and so is energy (remember that I also have to do the show). Typically the most efficient way to make it work (and get the best bang for everyone's buck) is to set up on a two show day. Meaning, loading in and setting up before the 1 hour call in the morning, and then leaving the entire thing set up until the end of the second show in the evening. That way, there's more opportunity to grab someone for a second and grab a portrait. The second hurdle is not messing with anyone's day. Wardrobe has a pretty tight schedule to turn things around for the second show, so shooting AFTER the first show is pretty much a no go (actors need to get out of costume ASAP). It leaves the window of opportunity for shooting from the start of the extended half hour (when actors can start putting on their costumes) to 10-5 minutes before the show starts. So, in this case, it's about 30-40 minutes to get through 20 or so people. Do-able, but it means things need to be good to go, it was a bit of a gamble here trying out a new lighting set-up, but I'm pleased with the results and I feel like that gamble paid off.

The bonuses of doing these shoots, especially later in a run is, it doesn't take long to get the shot. We know each other really well, and they also know their character really well, and I know their character really well. So it's easy to get on the same page and know how to get what I want out of each character (typically I don't even have to say much, as their just in it). It's a huge advantage compared to coming in blind to a shoot for a character for a show... and I'll never take that for granted.

So, here's the Starcatcher Team. I'm glad I was able to get this done, this has been a really special show for all of us.

Costumes: Megan Koshka