Behind the Scenes: The Vengeful Sword

Here are some behind the scenes photos of the shoot I did for Kennedy Theatre on Wednesday! I arrived early and was able to take some getting-ready photos of the actors dressing strangely felt like shooting a wedding, since a lot of brides request these types of preparation photos.

Even though there were only three actors being photographed, makeup had to start 4 hours before the shoot started!

This was our first attempt at posed photos. I had the stage lights dimmed, and lit the actors with a SB900 thru an umbrella. However, their black costumes blended in too much with the background, and the tungsten light from the stage lights started seeping into the photos. We had to adjust. 
Stage personnel adjusted the backdrop, so we had a blue background instead of a black one, but my camera wasn't picking it up. Couldn't ramp up the ISO because all the black in the frame would generate a ton of noise. 
The stage personnel tried a red gel, and I knew instantly we were onto something! I tried placing a flash behind the actors to separate them from the background more, but the light was spilling too much and I abandoned the idea.

*note: the black ceiling of the stage also made my flashes act crazy, since it appeared to absorb the infrared light that my flashes use to communicate with each other.  
To saturate the background, I underexposed the background by a full stop, and increased power on the flashes. This is the final shot from that series, but as you can see, there was a lot of trial and error that had to be done, in order to get to this point. 
Here's the set up for the previous shot: SB900 thru 41 inch umbrella high camera right. SB600 bounced off of improv reflector low camera right to light the seated actress. Finally, a reflector on camera left to provide some fill on the left side. 

we did some dramatic shots from scenes in the play with the stage lighting on. 

Also took some headshots for the actor bios in the program. These were also done with the stage lighting on. 

That's it for now...thanks for reading!

If you would like to see more behind the scenes photos from my future photoshoots, please let me know by commenting below :)


  1. awesome job Reese!!! I would love to see more because I love looking at your work!!!

  2. Thanks for the feedback Aaron! Looking forward to seeing more of your work on FB too :)



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