Photography in Theatre | Theresa Haworth

Local Photographer Theresa Haworth writes about her work photographing shows across the county.

I began this journey as a dancer, a dance trainee; having trained for three years at a ballet school abroad I was “topping up” my certification to a degree at the University of Northampton. The time came for work placements, I decided I didn’t want to dance or teach, but instead learn something new and explore dance photography. Between documenting the dance company at Uni, shadowing a dance photographer as far away as Luton, and a few weekend bus trips up to Corby to experience photographing in a theatre (The Core at Corby Cube) I suddenly found something I really enjoyed and, coping at the time with stress injuries, an industry I could potentially branch into post-Uni.

And I did – I started freelancing as a photographer for theatre groups and dance companies, on the side of my “day job” as a school photographer.

The theatre industry grew on me rapidly – I met many great people, lots of talented artists, and most of all many great opportunities to develop my photography into what it is now.

Photography in Theatre

I prefer to shoot “up close and personal” – while I do enjoy wider angle shots as well (great for dancers in their jumps, large cast groups or stages with fantastic design), there is something about catching only a snippet of the full view. Dancers, in particular, create wonderful shapes with their bodies; expressions come more to light with both dancers and actors and you can really focus on a singular moment. This offers something a bit more than what the audience might see as well! I also particularly enjoy the challenge of trying to catch rapidly moving dancers in such a tight frame, with sometimes quite difficult lighting.. actors tend to be a bit easier in that aspect!
I’m very much the “fly on the wall” – non-intrusive, I work with the set-up you have. Should I need to cover a show instead of a rehearsal, I will be at the back, not disturbing your audience.

With a change of circumstances and a different full-time job, I have decided to offer my photography on a voluntary basis – dialling back down to a “keen hobbyist”, if you will. I’m hoping it will benefit in particular smaller groups, am-dram, dance schools or community groups who may not yet be able to budget for a full-time photographer but would like an upgrade from mobile phone snaps – there is no doubt that good visuals can help promote your production or generate interest in your school or group on social media. For cast members, the photos can be a great ‘souvenir’ of the production.

And for me – I just enjoy photographing – a break from the “9-5” – being in a theatre environment and I love seeing all the productions too!

If you’re interested in getting in touch with Theresa about her photography services for your theatre group, please contact her via her website, or you can find her on Facebook, and Instagram