Some may have noticed that in the Baptized to the Bone program at {the new ensemble}, we placed the Production Photography credit in with the rest of the production staff, rather than with the sort of “general staff” section.  And that is because I believe the production photography is among the most underrated – and underutilized – of the creative contributions of a production.

In the past, I’ve often done the production photography myself.  I’m not a bad snapshot taker and I know the show, so I’m able to anticipate important or dynamic moments.  But not having the artistry or the technical abilities of a committed photographer, my shots are at best. . . “useful”.  Rarely do they achieve any sort of artistry.

But a production photographer gifted in anticipation, the elements of storytelling, and the ability to synthesize the visuals of a production with the construction of a great photograph is invaluable to a company.  Truly artistic photography captures the essence of the production in just a few integral moments.  It conveys the artistry of the set designer, the lighting designer, the costumer and the director (staging) in a flash.  When it does all of that and captures a glimpse of dynamic performances on top of it. . . well, not only do you have an amazing moment-in-time record of a production, but you’ve got something that helps you communicate to your audience and the world at large what they are missing if they miss your show.

Talented production photographers inspire audiences to see shows, they give artists perspective on the aesthetic value of their shows, and at times they sell tickets as much (or more) than any amount of good ink (and can often offset the bad ink) in the newspaper or on blogs.  More and more productions are understanding the value of partnering with a talented photographer who understands the marriage of art, theater, and commerce.

Value them. (Even if– or especially when– you can’t pay them!)

Some production photography I’ve appreciated this past summer, for a variety of reasons:

And yes, Kristin Goehring has been rocking the Fresno production photography this summer.  It helps that she has a background in performing and so understands how and when things happen in plays and musicals.  It also helps that she just has an excellent eye. It will be fun to watch her work evolve over the next several years with more experience.

One comment

  1. Kristin · · Reply

    A year and a half later and this still means the world. Thanks again! 🙂

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