Life backstage is different. It’s a culture no one knows about. There is a lot that happens between the four walls of an arena. Some have asked me what my deal is with black and white backstage or behind the scenes photography. To be honest, I’m intrigued by the people and this unseen culture.
1. People Means Stories:
My main purpose in backstage photography is showing the reality of what is happening behind the scenes of live entertainment. This means people. When you photograph an event with Hillsong Church, be sure to know that your subject will be people from all spheres of life. And all of these people have a story to tell. My heart is to draw the very best out of them.
2. Raw and Vulnerable:
Majority of the time people don’t share their stories because they don’t want to be vulnerable. What I’ve noticed backstage is that, when some artists give it all, they are left in a raw state. Slightly dramatic, but it’s the truth. I’ve seen many events where people pour themselves out completely just to communicate what needs to be communicated. The 15 minutes before someone goes on platform will be your finest 15 minutes ever. As a photographer; you linger and you watch.
3. The Rush:
My favorite part is being pushed to the ends of the earth. I don’t want to miss a moment, which you do. But the rush of 25-minute runsheet meetings to a 15-minute team brief is what I live for. It’s the thrill and excitement of a tight-ass deadline. With corridors being quiet and you have a moment to sip some coffee and edit a few photos. There will be a rumble coming from one end of the hallway moving closer and then eventually past you to the back docks. That’s when you know; drop everything you’re busy with and move to where the people are moving to.
4. Crazy Call Times:
Listen, I love a good 5am call time. It’s that time of the morning when you don’t send voice notes because the “morning voice” is real. The person with the most high pitched voice ever will come across as Morgan Freeman. Just kidding. But 5am is early and I’ve noticed that no one actually ever knows what call time is. Is it a 5am for 5:15 start or is it 5am? These are the questions that keep me awake at night.
5. Friends Turn Into Family:
A week is a long time when you are left backstage with strangers. I’ve noticed that the people you don’t know will be the ones who carry you through the week. It’s not each man to himself mentality. Team members that you don’t know will offer you food, run to get a coffee or just help where help is needed. I can truly say that my family has been shaped over the past couple of years and I’m forever grateful for that.
6. Gifts & Talents On Display:
The beauty of live entertainment is not what you see on platform, it’s the synergy of many gifts and talents on display. My photography wouldn’t mean anything if the people are not there. I wouldn’t have anything to document if we all did the same thing. It’s a mixture of standing with an open hand giving your gift to an audience waiting in anticipation. This is where my heart skips a beat. I get to show the build-up of it. The hustle that goes into it.
7. An Untold Culture:
These creative cats are a crazy bunch of people that are caught up in a small room backstage. This is a place where all walks of life become a Kingdom Culture. We serve to build others and not ourselves. We are the armour bearers of creative display. I never knew I had a place until I found myself between people who will walk life with you.
I loved sharing these thoughts with you.
Until the next event,