The Dutiful Wife

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As a Belfast photographer I am treated to something very unique.  For such a small city Belfast produces a lot of theatre and drama.  It hosts a lot of touring companies as well.  Thankfully small drama and theatre groups are reasonably well looked after by the larger organisations such as The Mac.  One such group that is benefiting from assistance from The Mac is Off The Rails Dance.

Can these dutiful wives stand by their man in the face of public scrutiny?

An emotive and highly physical piece of dance theatre that looks at the role of ‘the wife’ within the world of politics.

Following the lives of these Stepford Wives who stand by their husband from the highs of the early campaign days, through to the public humiliation and personal pain of very public apologies.

Read more at Off The Rails Dance.

My role was not to take production stills like I usually do with drama groups but to take the promotional images.  The show was all about politicians and their wives. The images kind of had to take a “House of Cards” style.  Lots of black, contrast and slimy looks!  The set up for this shoot was very simple.  One back drop frame with black fabric and two speed lights.  One one a soft box to the front and an umbrella to the rear.


There would essentially be two sets of photos as there was multiple wives and politicians.  The lighting was kept really simple to maintain consistency through the images.  The images weren’t all to be the standard head shots with the subject looking down the barrel of the lens.  These images would replicate the typical kind of poses often seen by those in positions of power.

This shoot for The Dutiful Wife show would fall in to two parts.  The portrait images were shot in The Mac.  These images along with the second batch would be used to put together a newspaper which would act as the program for the show.  The second batch of images would be shot in The Merchant Hotel.  I have to tip my hat to Eileen from Off The Rails.  Not many people would be as ballsy to go and ask such a prestigious venue for use of their space.  But she did and they said yes!

The Merchant was perfect for capturing the couples together in what would be their native environments.  We also got shots of the politicians in there as well.  The decor and lighting really suited the style of the images we were trying to achieve.  As before the light was kept really simple, though this time purely for the fact that we would be working in a public environment and I didn’t want people tripping over my gear.


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