As the Pennsylvania Ballet pirouetted into a new season, it turned to Eastern Standard, a Philadelphia-based agency, for assistance promoting its different ballets.
When Chris Crisman—the photographer selected to shoot the assignment—became involved with the concept and pitch, everyone quickly got on board. Chris remained a key leader on the team, working directly with the Pennsylvania Ballet throughout the project.
Crisman’s vision for utilizing the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) as the backdrop for the dancer images solidified the concept. Chris’s connections were key in gaining agreement from the PMA and permission to photograph its interior spaces for the project.
But that was just the beginning to the masterful work required to make these images happen.
Working With Dark Spaces
Upon approval of the project, Crisman partnered with PXL.HOUSE. Proactive planning and collaboration quickly ensued.
The biggest challenge in photographing at the art museum is the inability to light the interior spaces or move any works of art. Exposure bracketing and gaining plenty of assets from which to work in post-production were key to a successful outcome.
And Chris delivered on both.
A few of the image concepts were up in the air, and PXL.HOUSE’s involvement resolved the connections required to make the images happen. For example, Crisman was out of town while the post-production work occurred on the Nutcracker image. The client wasn’t in love with the image. PXL.HOUSE stepped up with an idea of how to resolve the image that was spot on and gained client approval immediately.
The project was truly a group effort.
“The relationship with PXL.HOUSE has been valuable,” explained Crisman. “When they help bring an impossible concept to reality, I instantly get a broader toolkit from which to work.”
Compositing Assets Together
The eclectic wardrobe for this shoot included actual costumes used in the various live ballet performances coming this season.
The ballerinas and performers were properly lit and photographed at an entirely different location. As a result, substantial editing took place, such as removing objects and backgrounds, as well as post-production compositing.
Eastern Standard and Pennsylvania Ballet were both delightful and productive collaborators throughout the entire process.
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