Behind the Scenes: Photographing every seat in the ROH main auditorium
How our team took 4,520 photos over four nights for the relaunched website.
Earlier this year myself and three others decamped to the Royal Opera House auditorium for a unique photo shoot. Unlike most of our photography sessions, this was not about capturing a perfect pirouette or dramatic moment courtesy of our artists. For this shoot, the stage and the auditorium itself were to be the stars of the show.
Our task was to photograph the view of the stage from each of the 2,260 seats in the auditorium for the website – which as you may have noticed, has recently had an extensive makeover. A major part of this design is the completely updated booking system, which now allows those purchasing tickets to see the view from – and of – the seat prior to booking. This meant that a total of 4,520 photos had to be taken.
All this had to be done throughout the night as this is the only time auditorium is empty: the rest of the time being busy with performances, rehearsals, tours and technical business. The task required a lot of stamina – and seemingly endless coffee – with the group working a total of four long and exhausting nights. Each evening we started immediately after the performance concluded and packed up to go home at 10am the following morning.
You might think this task would be tedious due to the repetitive nature of capturing the images, but strangely enough this was never an issue. In fact, I felt hypnotized by the process, and my actions became automatic and almost unconscious. Perhaps some of this was down to sleep deprivation.
You can see a short film we made about the process here: