Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Posed, or not? That is the question ...

In Sunday's post, I presented some pictures I took of a handful of costumed performers during a rehearsal of the Garfield Shakespeare Company's upcoming production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The photos of the costumed actors and actresses were intended for use in advance publicity. Except for one or two hamming-it-up shots, none of those -- or any of the shots I took at rehearsal -- were posed.

There isn't anything wrong with posed publicity shots; it's just that in the time I've spent doing theatrical photography, I really relish getting natural "looks" and motion.  At the same time, I've learned lessons -- like Thursday (and, now that I think of it, also at one of my two shoots last spring at rehearsal for the same theater troupe's production of "The Taming of the Shrew"). And that lesson is: If the lighting is not going to deliver for you in the way you'd like or need, then go to Plan B: pose the shots, and possibly introduce some artificial light.

I took a couple hundred shots over the course of two days of rehearsals last week, and today's post is dedicated to presenting every one of the actual "posed" shots I took; and contrast those with some that were not posed, so you'll hopefully know the difference ... if your'e one of those who wasn't clear on it before! A full gallery of images from the PR shoot can be found at my site at SmugMug.com.

So now I throw it back to you. Can you tell which of the photos in this post are posed, and which are not? The answer is pretty easy. The one leading off the post and the first seven below were the performers caught in actual mid-routine and in serious rehearsal. Not posed. Everything below the line of asterisks was posed, but then ... I took those because the performers themselves -- not I -- spontaneously hammed it up during a break, and I felt the shots accurately represented the "fun" atmosphere I sensed at the rehearsal at the time. I did not intend to use any of those for formal publicity purposes.

If you missed Sunday's post, the actors you see here are Susan Yeaw and Stephen Foxworthy, in the lead photo and in several below, who play Titania and Oberon; J.D. Bonitz, who you see immediately below as Puck, the mischievous fairy and servant of Oberon; Gabby Sandefer, who plays Fairy No. 1 (aka Mustardseed); Ashley Chase and Spencer (the first pair of "lovers" below), who play Helena and Demetrius; and Christy Walker and Andy Sturm, who play Hermia and Lysander.

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  1. I'd assumed all the photos on your prior post were 'action' (as opposed to posed) photos...glad to see I was right.

    Both sets of photographs are fun and have a lively vibe but there is definitely a different feeling from each set.

  2. It was interesting to photograph the "fun" (candid) aspects, including and especially those who were not in their costumes. But the actor-initiated posed shots in this post do convey some of that. I initially started this post to dwell on that angle, but then that comment came along and, well. LOL. Maybe next time ...