Mary Poppins Has Arrived in Grand Rapids

One of my favorite movies of all time is Mary Poppins. Proof being that when I visited New York City a few years back it was on the top of my list of shows to see on Broadway. I went, I saw, I loved. So, now that we've been working with the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre for almost 4 years (has it really been that long?!?) I've been waiting for Phantom, Wicked, or Mary to make their way to the stage and this year I got my wish.

When you see Mary Poppins at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, you'll notice there are some differences between the stage show and the movie. But, this performance is a show stopper. You will especially love the song and dance involving Bert's rooftop crew as they "Step in Time." The local talent that we have here in G Rap is phenomenal and this show was a prime example.
These photos are a little different than some of the stuff we've done for Civic in the past. You see, we've been wanting to do a personal portrait project with the theatre for some time now. I knew from the moment the season was announced that with Mary, we would finally make this happen. 
Unbeknownst to anyone else (at least I hope no one else heard us cursing under our breath) we had some major technical difficulties when setting up for this shoot. We actually shot these in a room full of mirrors that were partially hidden by a curtain. Our emergency backdrop wasn't cutting it and we had issues with the lights. Additionally, we had ever-changing scenarios of cast members coming in and out (we shot this during a performance and cast members stopped by in between their scenes). So there were times when we (finally) had the perfect lighting scenario for one person and in popped a group of 15. They had two minutes until they had to be back on stage so there was no time to rig up a new lighting scenario for all of them. We made do, we had so much fun, and I couldn't be happier with the results.
The costumes, wigs, cast, and crew were nothing short of amazing.
Who doesn't love some supercalifragilist fun?
Feed the birds... who doesn't remember that song? And, no one in the audience would even believe this was the same gal that played the evil nanny, Miss Andrew. She had to have been my favorite character. Unfortunately, due the the time restraints between her scenes, we didn't get much time with her as the crazed nanny, so we had some fun with Bird Woman instead.
Now all I have to do is convince Civic to add Phantom or Wicked to next year's lineup. Can you even imagine the fun we could have?!? Fingers crossed....

Working 9 to 5

What a way to make a livin'....

Only in our case it was more like photographing 9 to 5, which is the latest selection at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

Just like each of their other shows this season, we got to photograph the promotional piece, which is the photograph that gets put on their posters, advertisements, on social media, and anywhere else they want to promote the show. The promotional shots are some of our favorite work that we do for the theatre because we can really have some fun with things. You may remember Sherlock Holmes and Les Miserables were some great pieces that we got to photograph this season.

The theatre had some fun with our photograph on their Facebook page.

The show runs from May 30 through June 15. If you're thinking about getting tickets, you'll want to act fast. I just went online to get ours and seats are going quickly. This is going to be such a fun show!

Photographing a Theatre Classic :: Les Miserables at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

We recently talked about how we had the opportunity to photograph the promotional shots for the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre's upcoming show, Les Miserables. Now the initial dress rehearsal has come and gone and the show is in full swing.

 When we stopped by to shoot the rehearsal we were blown away by the amount of great shots up for grabs.

Not only did we get to see the show from behind the lens, but we also got to see it as an audience member, off the clock. Both experiences offered a completely different point of view, and I must admit, we were not disappointed. In fact, we've been shooting for the Civic Theatre for 3 years now and Matt said this was the best show he's seen there. The costumes, sets, and musical numbers were just superb! We truly have some incredible talent in the west Michigan area.

My Experience Grand Rapids used one of our shots when they featured the show on their Spring Arts Preview post.

eightWest did a recent interview with a few of the cast members and they used some of our images to accompany the story. They did a fantastic job showcasing all the work that goes on behind the scenes of a production this large. The show runs through March 30, but it is selling out quickly. Get your tickets today at

Photographing Les Miserables at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

In the depths of the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre lie many rooms that are not frequently visited and accessible only via dark stairways and long hallways. Rooms where random props from shows of the theatre's past live on, rooms with a history that none of us may ever know. This is where we shot the promotional piece for this season's most anticipated show, Les Miserables.

Many people may not know the history of this grand old structure, but the "building" that houses the Civic Theatre is actually comprised of four historic buildings: the Wenham Building (1878), the Hull Building (1890), the Botsford Building (1892), and the Meijer Majestic Theatre (1903). We've worked with the theatre for 3 years now and we still get lost when making our way through the back hallways and lesser known rooms. A tour of the facility will leave one in awe.

In the spirit of working with what you've got, we came upon this dark, rarely used corner of the building and we immediately knew we had the perfect spot for our shot. Looking back on it, I wish we had taken a "behind the scenes" shot so you could see how cool this space was. I guess you'll have to take my word for it.
It was about 30 degrees in the room where took these. We never even took our coats off and we were still cold, but the little girl that was used in the shot did a fantastic job. We couldn't have asked for a better model.
Tickets are on sale now for the show, which runs February 28 through March 30. There are sure to be sell out nights, so you'll want to reserve your tickets well in advance. We're looking forward to shooting the dress rehearsal so we can get a sneak peek!

Sherlock Holmes Theatre Photos

The Grand Rapids Civic Theatre has an amazing lineup for their 2013 season and they've once again asked us to be the official photographers. This means we get to photograph the dress rehearsals and take part in the promotional shots. We recently got to work with the cast of the season opener, Sherlock Holmes. 
In this rendition Sherlock Holmes is solving a crime, falling for the famous opera singer Irene Adler, and tangling with criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, all with the help of his faithful companion, Doctor Watson.
Spencer Tomlin plays the part of Sherlock Holmes

Patrick Hendren plays the part of Doctor Watson
The show opens September 6, 2013. Get your tickets now, as shows do tend to sell out quickly. We won't be disappointed.