On Monday I met the inimitable Mr Brind for coffee with the beautiful backdrop of Somerset House in London. Mostly we discussed Nordic LRP and such things, but we also discussed the idea of crewing an event and never making it to ‘the other side of the hedge’ and into the playing space.
I’ve been thinking for a while how interesting it would be as an exercise to only ever shoot the backstage area and the crew of an event. Indeed many of my favourite shots are taken on the days during setup where I’m amongst my friends and everyone is working together (more or less) with a common goal.
I really enjoy capturing the little spontaneous moments that occour in the crew. Like the shot above of Simon the day before Odyssey. I’ve been working on a whole series of shots taken on my Grandfathers old Yashica TLR camera that just feature the crew. They don’t often come out very well because I’m not an experienced film photographer (and I don’t do it enough to become experienced) but I enjoy that whole zen-like experience of using a camera that requires so much effort to work.
And that’s part of what I enjoy about shooting the crew really. There’s no expectation of pictures being produced for them. I rarely get asked if they can see them afterwards, even when I’m shooting on digital. People wait sometimes months for me to get my films developed and then it’s like a little surprise if I’ve captured them in the four or five shots that I put online. Always just on my Facebook – it’s very rare for me to post them publicly.
But there’s also the little personal moments that I enjoy too. Like documenting the fun that I had with some friends playing with fire at the last Empire on the Thursday night.
Or just shooting people putting tents up.
So are there any organisers there who would like me to shoot their event from backstage? Perhaps you don’t have the best venue or costume standards in the world, but you do have a bustling and exciting monster room and plot desk. Or you’re a huge organisation who already have photographers out there on the field.
I’ve already been really inspired by the images of fashion models backstage at big shows and of theatre production shots. I’d love to try and apply this style of shooting to LRP. Here’s some images (not by me) to whet your appetite…