Photographing the artists of ACT – A Contemporary Theatre


I find myself on a perfect May evening  staring at the sun’s reflection setting on the buildings of downtown Seattle. Standing on this beautiful city rooftop, I watch, as the sun’s bright orange light bursts off the sky-rise windows and the cool blue florescent lights on each office floor turn on in sync.  The sun and structures have rehearsed this dual of visual power many times, I think.

My team and I are on the patio of Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails, the newest and hottest restaurant located on floor #5 of Red Lion on Fifth Avenue in downtown Seattle.  Mayor Mike McGinn is sitting RIGHT THERE (howdy, Sir!) with his private dinner party in the exact location I had scouted this set for, and it takes but a few moments to re-coordinate with Red Lion’s general manager and the restaurant’s management team (thank you Red Lion and Frolik!).

With a less than an hour before the actors arrive, our gear is still completely packed and sitting to the side of the patio, team split up in 3 groups so as not to block out too much of the restaurant.  (You know that feeling of wanting to put your head in the sand, hoping no one will notice, but you stick out in the crowd even more? Yah, I think that was me.) We can not set up our lights or gear until the talent arrives, and normally this would make me sweat, panic and want to throw myself off the fifth floor to the sidewalk below, but today I am blessed with an amazing team led by Ian Spires so I am filled with a sense of calm strength.  Other team members ready to bust a move for me include my apprentice, Cassandra Bell, behind-the-scenes/BTS photographer Amy Truong (you might remember her BTS work from Ramayana), Austin James, dear friend and fantastic Seattle photographer Todd Hobert and Shane Eubank (you remember his sweet Stingray and BTS photos from shooting Dan Savage’s Queens of Miracle!).

Time passes quickly, and I find myself greeting the cast of “Other Desert Cities” comprised of Seattle’s beloved Marya Sea Kaminski (featured here on for Intiman Theatre‘s comeback season in 2012), Aaron Blakely (For Patrick), Kevin Tighe (Lost), and THE fabulous Pamela Reed (Parks and Recreation).  They are ready for their “Wyeth” family portrait that will grace the windows of ACT Theatre on 7th Avenue and Union Street, American Theatre magazine’s Facebook page, the Seattle Times newspaper and countless other press.

And so we begin…

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013

May 3, 2013


Published in:

The Seattle Times – June 2nd, 2013

Seattle Times June 2, 2013


The Seattle Times – May 31st, 2013

Seattle Times May 31, 2013


American Theatre magazines Facebook Cover – June 6th, 2013

Other Desert Cities - American Theatre magazine cover photo on FB



Other Desert Cities poster

photo credit © LaRae Lobdell


Go see “Other Desert Cities”!

Go see Jon Robin Baitz‘s “Other Desert Cities” directed by Victor Pappas at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre in Seattle, May 31 – June 30, 2013.

The public and private mythology of an iconic Republican family is challenged when their “black sheep” liberal daughter announces that she’s planning the publication of a memoir dredging up a pivotal emotional crisis in their shared past. Playwright Jon Robin Baitz, author of The Substance of Fire and creator of the hit series Brothers and Sisters, compellingly examines the many faces of truth and the tangled ties that bind in this incendiary Tony Award-nominated drama. 


Photography details

Camera [used on set noted with *]:
Nikon D700

Lens [used on set noted with *]:
Nikon AF 50mm 1.4 – Aperture: f/8.0 – Shutter: 1/160 – ISO: 400
Nikon 18-70 3.5/4.5g Ed-if Af-s Dx – Aperture: f/8.0 – Shutter: 1/125 – ISO: 200

Lighting [used on set noted with *]:
Westcott Micro Apollo 2200
*Paul C. Buff White Lightning X1600
Paul C. Buff 86″ Silver PLM™ parabolic umbrella
Westcott 1895 72 x 72 Inch Large Scrim Jim Kit
Westcott 301 Photo Basics 40-Inch 5-in-1 Reflector

Bags [used on set noted with *]:
*Think Tank Photo Logistics Manager Rolling Camera Case
*Think Tank Photo Airport Security V 2.0 Rolling Camera Bag
*Think Tank Photo Airport 4-Slight
Think Tank Photo Airport AirStream Rolling Camera Bag
Think Tank Photo Retrospective 10 Shoulder Bag (Pinestone)
*Think Tank Photo Retrospective 7 Shoulder Bag (Blue Slate)
*Think Tank Photo Travel Pouch—Large
*Think Tank Photo AA Battery Holder

Camera Straps [used on set noted with *]:
*BlackRapid Floral Woman’s Strap (RS-W1F) (Black)
BlackRapid RS-W1 Plain Black Woman’s Strap (RS-W1B) (Black)
BlackRapid RS-W1 Women’s Limited Edition WHITE Ballistic Nylon Camera Strap
*Black Rapid RS-7 Camera Strap (Black)

3 Legged Thing “EDDIE” Carbon Fiber Tripod System with AirHed 2 Ballhead

Nice Industries Glow Blower

Nasty Clamp

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