Board meetings don’t have to be boring as these pictures of Northumberland theatre trustees go to show.
Walking over the cobbles along the tranquil Tweed to the Quayside is my treasured morning ritual. It allows me to clear those thoughts of missing PE kits, noisy playground chatter, children scowling at my scrambled eggs, and plan the day ahead. I had the board of the Maltings Theatre coming in for a photoshoot that evening and I felt in need of a flash of inspiration to help decide what exactly I was going to do when they arrived.
I couldn’t help it but the word ‘board’ was not filling me with enthusiasm or creativity. I also had the feeling that the people coming in may not be too keen on getting their pictures taken.
The Maltings is a creative and theatrical place, so I wanted to take some photos that captured the essence of how it both inspires and entertains.
Ros Lamont, (Maltings Head of External Affairs) booked the headshot sessions and loved the idea of an alternative shoot but had concerns about not all of the board members being up for such radical photographs. I assured her that I would do my best to enthuse them and start the session with a traditional portrait of each member to put the subjects’ minds at rest.
I decided to put the theatre board’s acting skills to the test. They had all come prepared for a traditional corporate studio headshot with lovely ironed shirts and combed hair, but that is not what I had in mind.
It took a bit of time to explain what my ideas were but surprisingly nobody was too phased.. maybe slightly bemused! We had a complete riot and there were blood curdling screams and roars coming from my little studio - I wonder what the neighbours thought? Some of the subjects needed a little help or coaxing with getting the expressions out so I was asking questions and telling them stories and scenarios. This technique can be very helpful in photography. You have to show some emotions to evoke them from your subject at times.
So that was my Thursday evening of turning a potentially dull photo shoot into a really fun and impactful art project. I’d love to know your thoughts, feel free to comment below!
Sarah Jamieson is a specialist headshot and family portrait photographer at Pictorial Photography based on Berwick’s Quayside, Sarah works with/from creative and introvert to ambitious and dynamic individuals who are looking for a profile picture to get them and their work noticed online, fast.