I’ve shot a few famous faces in my time, but it’s still intimidating getting one-on-one photo time with one of the world’s most revered actresses. I’d photographed her before, but that was among an anonymous barking press pack.
In the lead up there’s no chance to actually speak with Cate or Andrew, all communication is via the publicist. It’s hard to get too conceptual or lock in shots when you can’t discuss ideas directly with the photo subjects.
I visit the theatre beforehand to map out some potential locations for pictures, but it’s hard to set anything in stone. It’s up to Cate and Andrew what they want to do. And i won’t know that till we meet and i have to start shooting.
True to form, when we meet, Cate suggests a spot underneath the stage that i wasn’t planning on using. But i’m flexible, so we head over and decide it’s worth a shot. If Cate’s keen, then so am I.
I quickly set up a single light, ask for some costumes to hang behind them, grab a nearby bloodied box as a prop and start taking pictures a few minutes from the moment we meet.
There’s no stylist, no hair and make-up. Just straight into it with my trusty 5D and 50mm combination.
I glance at the back of the camera to see how the shots look. I relax a little. Cate looks amazing in every frame. They have great chemistry and Andrew’s nice and playful.
After a dozen or so photos i figure i’ve got what i need from this spot and move on to a new location in a large backstage area where all the sets are built.
The interview is being done at the same time as the photos, so our editor-in-chief keeps them chatting while i set up.
I experiment using flash, but the natural light looks much nicer and i stick with that.
I’m aware of my time running out and try my luck at a few more shots in the props department. I shoot a few, but the momentum is gone and time is up.
I’m relieved. I didn’t reinvent the wheel, or get anything particularly outstanding, but I didn’t fuck it up. That’s the dread that always lurks in the back of my mind.