From Kirk R. Tuck's blog "Visual Science Lab," September 18:
I recently had reason to pause and reflect on my relationship with a non-profit theater that I do a lot of work with. A fair amount of the work is done as a donation. . . .[Sometimes] I calculate the benefits and detractions of donating the work I do.
In the plus column are many things:
1. The actors don't make a lot of money and put a tremendous amount of time, talent and heart into each performance of each play.
2. I generally work without impediment or undue direction when I'm shooting a dress rehearsal or similar project. When we work on a bigger project, like a season brochure, the collaboration is generally friendly and intelligent.
3. The sets and stage lighting are very competent which gives all of my reportage style photos a big head start.
4. We've won numerous ad industry awards and have been published in many theater publications.
5. Everything I produce has a big credit line adjacent.
6. In theory, I get all the comp tickets I would ever want for every show.
7. Every year I have the option of getting the entire house for a private show. I've generally chosen their superb holiday production of David Sedaris's, Santaland Diaries, and it's been fun to ring in the holidays with 150 of your best clients and dear friends with a first class, classic comedy.
8. I get to try out the latest gear in highly complex situations without the fear that momentary failure will end my career. That means I get to take more risks and really come to understand the capabilities of the equipment I'll be pressing into service for national advertising clients.
[9.] There is, of course, the benefit of hundreds of thousands of advertising impressions of some of my best work. Delivered to the best household demographics in the best market in the entire southwestern United States, with my credit adjacent to every image.. And,
10. I really, really enjoy the live theater ethos.
[. . . .]
Is it all worth it? Is it worth my time? It's hard to say. [. . . ] [I]t's a big and complicated calculus. An intertwined and conflicting matrix. But in the end the fact that I've been doing this work for nearly 18 years provides the real answer. I love it and I'd be sad to abandon it. I do it for the images and for the actors. And the actors do it because they love their craft. Nobody is getting rich here but in many ways the impact in the community is both contagious and worthwhile. And isn't that what art is all about? Doesn't real art explain what it is to be human?
What sweet power to be the visual translator of a rich, rich creative community......
Read full posting at Kirk R. Tuck's Visual Science Lab. . . .