by Christopher Duggan
I’m a photographer who has his marketing hat on at all times. At every rehearsal and studio session I photograph for dancers, I’m always thinking about how we can attract more attention to their art – how can we gain new audience members or cultivate more financial support?
I was commissioned in October by Ella Rosewood to photograph the final dress rehearsal for her solo show, Second Skin. I was trying to think about what else I could create for her besides the normal performance images. She told me that she was having a full 15 minute intermission even though there was only 65 minutes worth of material. “Why?” I asked her. Because she needed a full 15 minutes for an intricate costume change. THAT sparked an idea.
If this costume change was so intricate, what if we set up a time-lapse camera and made a short video out of it. She could blast it out on YouTube, Facebook and a newsletter to promote her show (it was opening the next night) and hopefully spark additional interest.
The marketer in me hadn’t seen anything like this and I thought the idea was brilliant!
She was open to it and excited. I set up the camera and captured the costume change. But when I put it together, it just didn’t feel THAT interesting. Take a look…
What do you think? What could we have done differently? I always look for the backstage moments that could reveal more personality and provide more accessibility to the artists I work with. Was this simply not the right behind-the-scenes material to spark interest?
Find more photos from Ella Rosewood’s show on my blog
Contributor Christopher Duggan is the founder and principal photographer of Christopher Duggan Photography, a New York City-based wedding and dance photography studio. Duggan has been the Festival Photographer for Jacob’s Pillow Dance since 2006. In this capacity, and as a respected New York-based dance photographer, he has worked with renowned choreographers and performers of international acclaim as well as upstarts in the city’s diverse performance scene.
He has created studio shots of Gallim Dance, Skybetter + Associates and Zvidance, among others, and in 2011 alone, he has photographed WestFest at Cunningham Studios, Dance From the Heart for Dancers Responding to Aids, The Gotham Dance Festival at The Joyce Theater, and assisted Nel Shelby Productions in filming Vail International Dance Festival.
Duggan often teams up with his talented wife and Pillow videographer Nel Shelby (http://nelshelby.com). A New York City-based husband and wife dance documentation team, they are equipped to document performances, create and edit marketing videos and choreography reels, and much more.
Christopher Duggan Photography also covers Manhattan’s finest wedding venues, the Metropolitan and Tri-State areas, and frequently travels to destination weddings. The company’s mission is straightforward and heartfelt – create timeless, memorable images of brides, grooms, their families and friends, and capture special moments of shared love, laughter and joy.
His photographs appear in The New York Times, Destination I Do, Photo District News, Boston Globe, Financial Times, Dance Magazine, Munaluchi Bridal, and Bride & Bloom, among other esteemed publications and popular wedding blogs. One of his images of Bruce Springsteen was added to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s celebrated photography collection in 2010. His company has been selected for inclusion in “The Listings” in New York Weddings magazine.