Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee

From the winning combo who brought you Sweet Charity, Bruiser Theatre Company returns to the MAC with the hilarious hit musical comedy – Spelling Bee.

You’ll laugh out loud at this story of six young people, overseen by adults who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, vying to win the spelling championship of a lifetime.

A quirky cast of outsiders, for whom the Bee is their chance to finally shine, learn that winning isn’t everything and losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser.

This Tony-award winning show proved a hit with critics and audiences alike on Broadway, praised for its charming cast, catchy numbers and hilarious script.

A Bruiser and MAC co-production, you won’t want to miss it – only at the MAC.


My challenge set by me by the MAC was to photograph the cast against a white background.  I was asked to get both individual photos of each of the performers whilst in character as well as one large group photograph.  The group photograph would be needed to replace the original advertising picture currently being used.  It featured a previous cast from a previous performance so to keep things updated we would replace the cast with a completely new image of the current performers.  The individual images would be used around other various bits of advertising for the show.

The picture below shows the set up i used for this shoot.


Due to the large group image of all six characters i bought the 3.1 metre backdrop with me.  I could of used the wall in the rehearsal room but that would involve “photoshopping” the floor out.  So to make life a little easier during the post processing process i opted to use the backdrop.

Hi-Key photography is a fairly simple set up.  If you look at the picture above you can see four speedlights.  The two to the rear flash straight at the white background, thus “blowing it out.”  This means the background is turned pure white.


To make sure that the subject(s) then are exposed properly against the lit background i had to use two more speedlights at the front.  These would be fitted with 30″ umbrellas and battery packs to enable a quick recycle time between flashes.

I was using both the 24-70mm F2.8 and 70-200mm F2.8 VRI lenses for this job as i had to get a mix of full length and close up images.

Most of the shots were taken using the same settings.  ISO 500 – F9.0 – 1/250th shutter.  These are average settings but you get the idea.  The flashes were all set to either 1/2 or 1/4 power.





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