To say this Belfast Photographer was excited to cover Bruiser’s latest show, Cabaret was a vast understatement! I have been taking production stills for around 10 years now and its a sub-discipline of photography that I love. I never know much about the show I am going to photograph so it means I have to be ready to react once the show starts. What I did know was that there would be lots of singing, dancing and naughty outfits! By the nature of theatre, the spaces in which the performances happen are usually dark so I have to rely on the stage lighting tech team knowing what they’re doing. If they dont know what they’re doing its a nightmare to take photos as the lighting is patchy, inconsistent and over used. Great lighting is key to getting great production stills.
Bruiser and those involved on the Cabaret team did an amazing job with the set, the costumes, the choreography and most importantly the lighting. One thing I did know about Cabaret was that it would be fast. During the dance scenes I wouldn’t have time to change lenses so I kept the 24-70 and 70-200 attached and cameras raised.
Its not until you take production stills that you can really know your camera gear. Pro level camera bodies have illuminated buttons but both my cameras dont have that feature. This means that when theres a scene in a theatre with a low lighting level you have to know what the buttons do and where they are without fumbling for the torch app on your phone. I usually shoot production stills in manual so controls like ISO, white balance, shutter and aperture all are controlled by muscle memory. If you have to look down at the camera to find a button you’ve already missed the shot.
The only bad thing about Cabaret is that its only on show in The Mac for 2 weeks. As of day its half way through its 2 week run so if you want to see the spectacle that is Cabaret then you better hurry up because it finishes on the 4th October! Get your tickets over on The Mac website.