When I photographed the Bangalow Music Festival last year, I desperately wanted to do a portrait series like this. As it was the first time covering the festival for me, I was unsure of the logistics - the venue already has limited space, sometimes the backstage has to cater for 30+ musicians at once and it's not big at all! I thought the last thing they would want would be another persistent artist demanding space for something not important right in that moment.
Fast forward 12 months and these images have been in my mind for some time, in some form or another. When I met with the team to discuss the 2014 festival images, I proposed this idea and they just told me to go for it. I was excited and also a little scared... this little thing I had thought of for so long was possible! How do I light it? How do I approach people? Are they going to be annoyed? It's amazing how all those years of practice and training go out the window when you get excited. So I was able to make the space usable for rehearsal, I limited myself to one light that I could move back against the wall when I wasn't shooting or when there was a large ensemble rehearsing and using the space. I wanted to give the images a really soft and painterly feeling, so I used a 30x120 soft box (powered by a single SB-900) for a nice limited falloff, and shot the whole series on a D3 with a 35mm/1,4. The images were shot over four days at any point I could appropriately grab my subjects for a photo... there was no requirement for instrument (what would the pianists do?!?) or attire.
Jack is pretty handy behind the camera too. I'm glad he asked me to swap, as my selfies just weren't cutting it.
The crazy thing is... that It's by no means an exhaustive roster! I guess the goal next year is to get everyone... the lineup changes year to year but there is always the Southern Cross Soloists and a few others who make the core group. I'll be posting some more images from the festival shortly.