I’ve worked as a photographer for many years (portraits, headshots, entertainment) but I still learn stuff; unfortunately sometimes I learn stuff ‘The Hard Way’, and this is a lesson I learned not so long ago.
I was commissioned to be the unit stills photographer for the filming of Miley Cyrus performing as Hannah Montana at a theatre in London. I had arrived early on the train from Brighton, searched out the best locations and positions to photograph from, and got some general photos of the set, the film crews working, the stage and lighting etc, before the performance started.
I then nipped outside to photograph the front of the theatre with the giant neon ‘Hannah Montana Live’ sign. Unfortunately there were some tourists stood in front of the theatre and kinda spoiling my shot – two teenage girls and their mother. They were mucking around doing funny poses and larking about while the mother took some photos with her phone. I just stood and waiting till they left and then took a photo of the theatre and sign with no people on it.
Back inside they were setting up for the sound and light check and who came on stage but one of the teenage girls who’d been larking about outside – Miley Cyrus. Of course I had never seen here before and had no idea what she looked like. Stupid me!
The lesson – do your research beforehand. No matter what the job is you must research it, so you can at the VERY LEAST recognise the person who you will be photographing – and especially if they are a celebrity, a musician, a singer, an actor – someone who as an entertainment photographer, you or I should be aware of!
Afterwards the company who had commissioned me asked if I had any good ‘candid’ shots of Miley, perhaps goofing around………Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
David Myers is a professional people photographer from Brighton photographing headshots for actors, actresses, singers, musicians and the entertainment business and working throughout Sussex, Kent, Hove, Worthing, Eastbourne, Burgess Hill, Surrey, Haywards Heath, Guildford. He works with theatre and drama students and provides photography that casting directors and agents want. He works on location or in the studio.