In A New Light
I have run 12 of these sessions over the past year and half. In that time I have worked with over a hundred artists from all manners of disciplines, backgrounds and ability level. The feedback has been unanimously positive. Working with Xenia, the tech manager at the Unity Theatre, we create different scenes to show off the performers, in a collaborative, one hour session.
There are many reasons why people have taken part. Some have wanted to try out new routines on a proper stage and see what it looks like, others want promotional stills for up coming shows, others want a high quality record of their work (especially if they have only performed on smaller, fringe stages without access to good tech or a professional photographer). Some have come because they always wanted the opportunity to dance on a stage. A lot of creatives get typecast, and without visual evidence may never be seen as anything else. This project provides an excellent way for filling out their portfolio and showing off their range. Image is a big deal when promoting yourself as an artist, and so being able to use high quality images of yourself, changes people's perceptions of what you are capable of.
One performer, a storyteller, messaged me after a session to tell me that he always performed in libraries and community spaces, however since the shoot and seeing the photos of him on stage, he now feels that his style of performance does belong on a theatre stage, he is in fact a 'real performer'. "I see myself in a new light," he told me, which wonderfully led me to the name of the project. He has since gone on to performer at number of larger venues in the North West.
The Unity Theatre, Liverpool, has been incredibly supportive throughout the project, and moving forward we will continue working closely. The Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the theatre, Gordon Millar, has written a letter of support for the project, below. I am extra excited to be able to work with Shakespeare North Playhouse and the Carlton Little Theatre with the support of ACE funding.
Moving forward I would like to expand the project to reach more people who will benefit from it, as well engage more people who currently don't see themselves as creatives. This model is perfect for this as it allows people to explore their creativity either under guidance from myself or a facilitator, or in their own way, in a fun way with absolutely no stress or pressure.
I will be working with a number of charities, arts organisations and schools, to bring in people who would normally not have this type of opportunity, to run more facilitated sessions that will help people feel more connected with the Arts and their own creativity, giving them actual proof in the way of photos so they can see themselves as the creative people they are, as well as give them a feeling of ownership of the theatre spaces the sessions will be in.
The funding will provide the opportunity have a special multi use set to be built. This set will be modular, designed to be set up in a multitude of different ways with different textures and styles, allowing each artist to create a look that suits their performance, and make sure the project keeps a sense of uniqueness
In order to expand I need funding in order to make sure it remains affordable, whilst being sustainable to myself and the theatres who support me, and give me the opportunity to work with a number of different charities and orgs to make sure the project is as accessible as possible.
Gallery of Photos
A number of my favourite images taken from the past 12 sessions
About the Photographer
I am a Theatre Photographer based in Liverpool, but work across the country with theatres such as Theatr Clwyd, LIPA, Royal Court, Leicester Square Theatre and companies including Spitlip, Les Enfants Terribles and Shit Faced Shakespeare. I also offer much lower rates for grassroots productions and charity productions to support new artists and valuable community work.
Before becoming a photographer I worked at University of Liverpool as an outreach officer, working with schools across Merseyside to increase engagement with education, creating fun and interactive sessions on various themes. This project is a wonderful opportunity to merge my two skill sets.