Coincident with my decision to do less theater photography, I got a request for a collection of images I’ve made for the Ojai Art Center Theater (OACT). The person only needed a few, but wanted a diverse sampling, so I spent much of yesterday reviewing old files. Along the way, I flagged my personal favorites. Of these nine, four were captured during rehearsal performance and five were staged and lit as promotional images.
Revisiting hundreds of images covering almost four years, a few patterns emerged. For one thing, I noticed that my favorites were rarely anyone else’s favorites. I’m drawn to tight shots of one or two subjects that suggest story elements, whereas the images chosen for publicity often include many people, since this is a small town and friends and family buy the tickets. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, my three favorites all come from the same session, when we shot promotional images for Wait Until Dark. That evening was devoted entirely to photography, and we took time to collaborate and PLAY.
I’m glad I got the external motivation to review the work I’ve done for this theater. I’ve made a few images to be proud of, and as for the rest, I have to quote the old joke about sex: when it’s good, it’s great, and when it’s not so good, it’s still okay.