November 1st, 2014 by Helen
Last month I was asked to travel to Istanbul to take production photographs of Beauty and the Beast. It is an international production currently travelling around the world to a diverse range of countries including the Philippines, Thailand, Greece, Italy, United Arab Emirates and of course Turkey. I had never previously seen the show and I was very impressed – it has a fantastic score, beautiful large scale dance numbers and the set is a vivid extravaganza of colour – perfect for a photographer. The young cast were extremely talented, many of them had stared in the show in the USA. I shot two dress rehearsals, including one with an invited audience who were extremely appreciative. Large-scale musicals of the sort we see on the West End or in Broadway are relatively new to Turkey, but judging by the audience’s reaction they are becoming extremely popular. If you do find yourself in a city with it on, I would recommend you check it out.
Please click on the thumbnails to see large images.
October 23rd, 2014 by Helen
In 2012 I photographed Julius Caesar, the first of the all-female Shakespeare trilogy directed by Phyllida Lloyd, and it was one of my favourite shows of the year. I was delighted when the team asked me back to photograph the second installment, Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse. Like Julius Caesar, Henry IV is set in a woman’s prison and stars the excellent Harriet Walter, in this case playing King Henry.
From a photographer point of view it was an excellent production to shoot. The Donmar is an intimate venue and I was able to get right up close to the action. In this scene The Earl of Douglas and Hotspur are preparing for battle, but as it is set in prison Cynthia Erivo and Jade Anouka spar in the gym.
The production is fantastic, as with Julius Caesar it has been one of the best shows I have worked on all year. There are too many great performances to single out, as all the cast are so good. It has received excellent reviews and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please click on the thumbnails to see larger images.
Update: The cast have released a single featuring Sharon Rooney, performing a cover of Daddy’s Gone to raise money for Clean Break, Justice for Women and the Donmar’s outreach work. Buy the single on iTunes and Amazon.
September 28th, 2014 by Helen
During the summer I was asked to take promotional photographs for the Shrek the Musical Tour. These images were needed for use in advertising and marketing for the show across the UK and Ireland. Taking high quality images for a show like Shrek is a real team effort, and it was a privilege to work with such talented actors, costume makers, make up artists and all the other creatives that combine to work on a top musical.
When I shoot production and rehearsal photography I use digital SLRs as they offer the best combination of quality and speed. However for advertising studio work I like to use medium format cameras which give both the largest and the best quality images. These were shot with a Phase One IQ180 which gives 80 megapixels. As an example, here are Princess Fiona and Donkey zoomed in, and you can see the quality.
When shooting in the studio I work with a team of assistants to get the best results. Ben Peter Catchpole was first assistant and in charge of the excellent lighting, Oliver Rudkin was second assistant, Alex Cornes was in charge of digital workflow, and I can highly recommend the three of them. Thea at White Dwarf Retouch did an excellent job of post production. Shrek created a ‘behind the scenes’ video of the shoot, so please take a look to get a better idea:
September 19th, 2014 by Helen
Last weekend I photographed the wedding of Jack and Chris.
The couple were married at Islington Town Hall in London.
The couple had their beautiful engraved wedding rings made at The Ring Workshop in Oswestry.
After the ceremony everyone got in London taxis to get to the reception venue, the BMA House on Tavistock Square. Both Chris and Jack looked extremely stylish in their dapper jackets.
The couple are originally from Malaysia but have lived and travelled all over the world. Friends flew in from across the globe to celebrate their special day.
The lunch was held in The Prince’s Room. They had clearly put a lot of thought into the decorations and the room had lots of lovely personal touches like Chinese lanterns and sunflowers on the table.
Chris gave a lovely welcome speech to his guests.
After lunch there was an excellent singer, the talented Vilija Leitanaite, who sung a range of songs including a beautiful version of Pasti, originally by Ning Baizura.
The cakes were made by Rachelle’s Beautiful Bespoke Cakes in South London.
September 9th, 2014 by Helen
Recently I photographed the wedding of Paul and Craig at The Conservatory at The Barbican.
Craig’s mum Judy and Paul’s mother Bernadette walked their sons down the aisle.
Craig places the wedding ring on Paul’s finger.
The signing of the register.
Paul is originally from the US and his mother from Belgium so family and friends had flown in from around the world to celebrate the couple’s wedding.
The Conservatory at the Barbican is London’s second largest Conservatory and home to 2000 species of tropical plants and trees. It was a great setting for some portraits of the couple who looked very stylish in their charcoal suits, Craigs was from Hackett and Paul’s was Charles Tyrwhitt. The cake was made by Victoria Bakery and the florist was Flower Fantasies.
There were some lovely speeches including a funny and touching one by best man Rohit.
August 8th, 2014 by Helen
I recently had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Sarah and Dominic at the OBE Chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral.
I started at the Grange St.Pauls Hotel where Sarah and her bridesmaids were getting ready. Dominic’s sister Katharyn did a fantastic job with Sarah’s make-up.
The couple were married in the OBE Chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral. There is no photography allowed during the ceremony but I was allowed to capture the entrance, exit and the signing of the register.
We were allowed to take some photographs with the magnificent dome behind the couple. We then took some portraits of the couple around St Pauls and on the Millennium Bridge. Sarah looked beautiful in her dress by Kathleen McKee and Dominic couldn’t keep his eyes off his bride.
After the wedding everyone went to the reception at City of London School where the couple had arranged for giant Connect Four, chess and table tennis for their guests. The superb cake was made by Carol Mintz.
There were some lovely speeches, including a very funny one by Dominic’s best man Matt.
After the speeches it was time for the first dance with a superb jazz band, The Jazz Bopsters.
July 15th, 2014 by Helen
In April I travelled up to The Lowry in Salford Quays to take production photographs of Matthew Bourne’s Lord of the Flies. The show is based on the dystopian William Golding novel but rather than being set on a desert island takes place in an empty theatre. The show has received rave reviews and rightly so – it is a beautiful production, hauntingly tense with moments of great fun and even greater violence. The show combines eight professional dancers with 24 new recruits in each city it visits, giving young dancers the opportunity to dance to a professional standard. Upcoming cities include Aberdeen, Cardiff, Liverpool and London and if you happen to be nearby I would thoroughly recommend it.
June 12th, 2014 by Helen
I was asked to take a promotional photograph of the actors from the Lyric Hammersmith’s Secret Theatre. The company is touring their shows around the UK and needed an image to give a glimpse of the five different shows they will be performing. It has been used on the promotional flyer (above) and general web and marketing use. The photograph was taken in one sitting with the ten actors dressed as one of their characters from Shows 1-4. It was lit using Elinchrom lighting and I was ably assisted by Sheila Udeagu. For those of you who haven’t heard of Secret Theatre I would definitely recommend it, it will be touring Newcastle, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds and Oxford.
Here is the original image:
May 23rd, 2014 by Helen
Recently I took the production photographs for The Believers. I travelled down to Plymouth where Frantic Assembly‘s production was opening. The show is one of the darkest I have photographed (literally, if not metaphorically) but the results are suitably atmospheric for such an eerie and haunting play.
All the performances were excellent, including Eileen Walsh as Marianne.
Richard Mylan played Ollie.
Christopher Colquhoun was Joff and Maud was played by Penny Layden
The Believers is currently in London at the Tricycle Theatre, it has had some great reviews and I would thoroughly recommend it – the themes stayed with me long after I left the auditorium. The set design is fantastic with the sort of inventive, dynamic staging you would expect from director Scott Graham. I also took the promotional photograph for the posters, currently on display around the theatre.