Interview: Theatre photographer Simon Annand on what he's learned about actors and whether he gets star struck
Photographer Simon Annand has spent decades capturing actors backstage at the theatre in the half-hour before curtain up.
His collection of photos, published in a book THE HALF, are now on display at an exhibition at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and include early career Tom Hardy and David Tennant, as well as acting legends Dame Judi Dench and Anthony Hopkins.
I asked him about his approach, what he's learned about actors over the years and whether he ever gets star struck.
How do you ensure an authentic photograph of a ‘private’ moment and have you ever felt like you were intruding?
The Half is not an attempt to be “fly on the wall”. Authenticity is therefore not based on pretending the camera is absent, but rather acknowledging that the actor is alone in their responsibility to perform the role.
All the sessions have been arranged prior to the meeting so there has never been a question of intrusion.
Has your process changed over the years?
The process has deepened over time in line with a more informed knowledge of the decisions that the actors are making.
The photos themselves have hopefully gained in resonance as this journey has taken place.