Amidst all I do as the marketing guy for the B Street Theatre, one of the duties that's fairly new to me is taking photos. Recently I've taken a few that I particularly like. Now, we have an official photographer, a pro, that comes in and does archival shots. But the quick and dirty, get advance stuff to the press, that falls to me. And I'm strictly amateur, though I think I'm getting better (and more efficient) with every show.
The following is for our current show, a world premiere by Kira Obolensky (Lobster Alice, Hate Mail). The show is called Lune, Pronounced Loony, and I like this photo because it captures the semi-real, semi-cartoon/dreamy sense of the show:
Kurt Johnson (foreground) and Jason Kuykendall (wheelbarrow)
There's an art (or science?) to these shots... getting the shot clear, making it something that the editors will run, and then that will catch the eye of readers. Beyond that, it should somehow convey the tone of the show, and/or hopefully, some bit of story. This shot is not as active as you would want, but I still like it, and we ended up using it in our print ads.
It's a funny bizness. The shot was done during tech rehearsals, 2 days before previews. It's a constant battle between the technical elements of the show (particularly costumes and set for these photos) and press deadlines, and I'm always in the middle. Tech would rather I not take anything until as late as possible, because they're really never done until opening night. One little example, the actor in the foreground dyed his hair black the next day for the show.
And sometimes you have to get way ahead of the game... here's a shot for the same show, taken weeks before:
L to R: Jason Kuykendall and Kurt Johnson
For this, the production manager and costume designer gave me a rough idea of what to pull from our costume shop and we shot on a dark stage with black curtains in the background. The net is actually the same that's used in the show. I shot this way earlier than we usually shoot anything but that's because I knew we had two magazines (one national, one local) that would likely run these photos if I got them a shot. So far it's paid off - this month's Sacramento Magazine has our show as the #1 "don't-miss" performance of the fall, with my net picture featured. Pretty cool.
Just for kicks, here's another pic I like, for our children's theatre show, Alexander, Who's Not, Not, Not, Not, Not, Not Going to Move. I like it because it expresses the show, while showing off our set and lighting (usually underapprecated!):
Peter Story as Alexander
photos copyright Brian Kameoka