You wait for ages then three turn up at once.

This week’s photocalls have been a bit bunched up, which makes for a pleasantly varied week! Tuesday was the completely frantic day, with Julius Caesar at the Globe in the morning, Nederlands Dans Theater (full dress) at The Wells in the afternoon and New English Ballet Theatre (full dress) at the Peacock in the evening. It made for round-the-clock working (editing, processing and outputting taking longer than the shoot, FYI) but the effort was well worth it. The Shakespeare was exciting, and the two dance productions beautiful and emotionally charged.

 

Beware the Ides of March! Caesar is assassinated!

Beware the Ides of March! Caesar is assassinated!

Nederlands Dans Theater, SCHMETTERLING, Sadler's Wells

Nederlands Dans Theater, SCHMETTERLING, Sadler’s Wells

So far, the published results have been three from NEBT, in The Times (large picture, surrounded by terrible news), The Guardian (uncredited, grrr) and the Financial Times.

New English Ballet Theatre in the Times

New English Ballet Theatre in the Times

New English Ballet Theatre in the Financial Times

New English Ballet Theatre in the Financial Times

New English Ballet Theatre in the Guardian

New English Ballet Theatre in the Guardian

Wednesday saw the launch of the Barbican’s new exhibition, Digital Revolution, which is mainly in the Curve gallery, though extends out the back of this space, down to the Pit theatre, in the open space outside the front entrance to the Curve and also to a site in Finsbury Square. The Barbican’s exhibitions are always intriguing and this one was no exception. It was notable that this digital exhibition was being examined, processed and enjoyed in a digital manner, with people taking photos of the installations on their mobile phones and even posing for selfies with the Pac Man arcade machine! My favourite pieces were three interactive art exhibits: Petting Zoo (‘snakes’ which respond to movement in not-always-predictable ways), Pinokio (a Pixar-esque lamp that follow your face), and birds made from mobile phones which spring to life when you dial their numbers). Ingenious and fun!

Digitising the digital at Digital Revolution, Barbican.

Digitising the digital at Digital Revolution, Barbican.

 

On Thursday, a tiger came to tea at the Lyric Theatre, where “Thriller” happens every night. I photographed the author of the book, “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”, Judith Kerr, last year at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and she was lovely, so it was an especial pleasure to be able to do the production photography for David Wood’s adaptation for the theatre. With children’s productions, the shoot is often straight after a morning performance and it always takes me back to my own childhood when I enter the auditorium to the wails of tots, reluctant to leave the magical world behind. As David Woods noted in a newspaper interview this week, children’s theatre is hugely important. I am not going to get into a whole diatribe about the importance of the arts to human imagination, creativity and downright happiness here; suffice it to say they are! That given, engage them early, before adults have taught them that “that’s not for the likes of us” and you have a new generation of theatregoers who want to see something live on stage, and feel the emotion of a production, without a physical fourth wall of glass or screen to hamper that engagement.

Tigerobics with The Tiger Who Came To Tea at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Ave.

Tigerobics with The Tiger Who Came To Tea at the Lyric, Shaftesbury Ave.

“What do you do when you’re not working?” is a question I get all too often. What the inquisitor usually means is “what do you do when you’re not shooting?”, as if that is all a photographer does all day. It’s an infuriating question. If they bothered to stop and think, they’d realise that running a small business entails way more than the principal service or product you are providing. This means that my working week, rather than having oodles of free time, as I am sure some of them imagine, I work longer hours than I did in previous jobs (and that’s not easy, given I was working in advertising at a senior level, which entailed stupidly long hours). So, for the rest of the non-shooting week I have been doing the painful, unglamorous, but utterly necessary tasks of …..chasing late payments, invoicing, marketing (that’s a chapter in itself), supplying print-ready files to clients, negotiating, travelling, researching, recceing, accounts updating, social-mediaing, expenses updating, sorting out equipment and making sure batteries are charged and everything’s working, packing, unpacking and re-packing camera bags, etc etc. Not to mention the editing, processing, captioning, keywording and outputting, which takes longer than the shoot. Those files don’t just instantly come out of the camera ready to be used as some might imagine! Also, the nicer activities of keeping in touch with colleagues and clients, and talking to potential Leading Ladies and other interested parties about said LL project. Over the last few weeks a few more fabulous LLs have agreed to take part – I am not going to reveal who until after they have been photographed and I am happy with the results though! Still a long way to go on the project, but 15 wonderful people have taken part so far with many more lined up. Watch this space!

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