Promotional photo for the ArtsWest production of DOGFIGHT
There are several types of theater photography you might encounter in print and online. The photo here is an example of a promotional photo. Promotional photos are used for advertising and editorial purposes. Sometimes they’re used for poster and program artwork. They’re often provided to press and can run with reviews of the show. These types of photos are generally posed and shot early in the life of a production, sometimes at the beginning of a season before the specific show is even in rehearsals.
Another common type of theater photo you will see — and the type I shoot more often than not — are production photos. These are photos of a dress rehearsal or performance with stage lighting, making them sometimes a little trickier to capture. Production photos will also be offered to press for review purposes, making the turn-around time for post-processing the photos short in order to make deadlines. This type of photo is generally preferred because they tend to contain more visual life and energy as they are shot while the actors are moving and speaking.
The final type I’m occasionally asked to shoot are rehearsal or behind-the-scenes photos. These are generally shot while a production is still rehearsing. This type of photo is generally is shot in a rehearsal space without costumes or lighting. They can still be interesting because they give a glimpse of some of the work that goes into bringing a production to life on the stage.