Working with the same theater companies over time makes the capture of publicity photos a lot easier and a lot more fun. When I arrived to shoot for the Senga Classic Stage Company, producer and director Francisca Beach already had a list of eight scenes mapped out. Not only does Francisca set aside time for specific photos, but she is patient with my need to light each scene – even to achieve the simple, even lighting we usually want for press and front-of-house images.
This production is called The Farndale Avenue Housing Estates Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol. If the title alone doesn’t give you an idea of how funny the play is, I hope the photographs will. I depend on Nikon’s CLS (Creative Lighting System) for staged images like these. I wirelessly control SB600 and SB800 speedlights from my D300 camera, shooting everything with manual settings. For quick, even lighting, I shoot both flashes into umbrellas, usually positioned a few feet to either side of the camera. By using manual settings on the camera and the flashes, I can nail the exposure with two or three test shots and then shoot away. Sometimes, I’ll move the SB600 behind the subjects to control shadows or produce a bit of backlighting.