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Mats Bäcker
Mats Bäcker Photography


#3. How to shoot an opera choir


Lesson number three in Mats Bäckers school of opera photography.
How to shoot an opera choir:

This is an assignment that if you're employed or work by the hour would take you 3-5 days.
If you like me are payed a fixed sum of money it should take you 2-3 hours plus some little time in your darkroom.

Find a choir. In this case I had the beautiful both in looks and sound GöteborgsOperans Choir that I shoot last Tuesday.

Then find a got spot thats easy for all the models to get to. In this case a makeup mirror close to the opera stage. Get two or three very helpful persons to help you to herd the choir to were you are. Get those helpful persons get black t-shirts and shirts in all sizes that the singers can borrow. Most of them will have forgotten to wear black clothes all tough it is posted all over.
ping Sandra Nordström Camilla Simonson Lisa Iverstam

Make everyone think you know what you're doing. If you don't, act as if you do. Let the singers relax by telling him/her to take a deep breath and close there eyes. Tell him/her to open their eyes and look at your expensive lens through the mirror. Take a snap. You got it! Next!

Now you might ask yourself, why on earth didn't he just take group photo? It would have saved even more time.

Well there are two logical answers to that: First a mathematical formula. Photographing one person is one problem.

A group photo with two persons is 2 x 2 = 4 problems. (person X person = problems) With in this case makes a choir of 40 people 40 x 40 = 1600. If you then deduct 40 problems of individual portraits you get 1560. Compared to 40 problems for head shots. More over you wouldn't convince any producers that one group photo would take you a week to make although you say it had 1560 problems. Thats all for this lesson. Just go out and practice now.

Lars Rodvaldr