Charlie's 10 favourite photos from 50 shoots

24 Jan 2018

Photographer Charlie Kinross recently completed his 50th photo shoot for Victorian Opera. In honour of the occasion we asked Charlie to choose his favourite photos and he managed to narrow it down to 10 special backstage moments captured on camera.

Tom Dalton backstage before Lucia di Lammermoor (2016). Photo: Charle Kinross

1. One of the fun-filled shoots I remember doing with Victorian Opera is when I was asked to do an hour of documentary-style backstage photography before the performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at Her Majesty’s Theatre. I was led through the rabbit warren of backstage corridors and snapped away. This shot was a real highlight – a performer waiting to go onstage in full costume in complete contrast with his surroundings.

Joe Blanc with one of his puppets for The Sleeping Beauty (2017). Photo: Charlie Kinross

2. Another great highlight with Victoria Opera was the publicity shoot we did for The Sleeping Beauty which involved some of the most interesting and beautiful puppets I’d seen, created by Melbourne’s own A Blanc Canvas. In this shot we see Joe Blanc presenting one of his most haunting creations.

Michael Petruccelli, Jeremy Kleeman, Carlos E. Bàrcenas and Nathan Lay. Photo: Charlie Kinross

3. When photographing Seven Deadly Sins I was caught by surprise by this presentation at the back of the stage – this family portrait looks like it's from a haunted house. The light, colour and tones combined with the expressions of the characters make this stand out for me.

Dimity Shepherd in rehearsals for Sweeney Todd (2015). Photo: Charlie Kinross

4. During rehearsals of Sweeney Todd I captured this image of Dimity Shepherd. The emotion in her eyes as she embodies her character gets me every time.

Carlos E. Bàrcenas getting ready for Lucia di Lammermoor (2016). Photo: Charlie Kinross

5. Another shot from the backstage, pre-performance shoot of Lucia di Lammermoor at Her Majesty’s theatre. I was privileged enough to be able to spend a moment with the great Carlos E. Bàrcenas in his dressing room as he prepared for the show. 

Christine Heald in Rush Hour (2013). Photo: Charlie Kinross

6. Back in 2013 one of my early shoots for Victorian Opera was to cover the production of Rush Hour. I loved the minimal stage presence of character and light surrounded by darkness, a real treat for a photographer. Here we see Christine Heald.

Timothy Reynolds in Rush Hour (2013). Photo: Charlie Kinross

7. Again from Rush Hour, it’s hard to choose just one shot of Timothy Reynolds – he really stands out in so many photos I’ve taken over the years with his strong and expressive face. This one would be among the best. 

Chorus member Nicole Wallace backstage before Lucia di Lammermoor (2016). Photo: Charlie Kinross

8. Another shot from the backstage shoot before Lucia di Lammermoor (I told you it was a favourite!). A shot of cast members getting ready for the show – I love the good mood and anticipation this image captures which feels true to the room at the time.

Kate Amos as Cinderella. Photo: Charlie Kinross

9. A publicity shoot we did for Cinderella in an enormous old mansion in Kew was a lot of fun. I was especially impressed with how long Kate Amos could remain still in a mid-run pose while we fine-tuned the lighting to achieve a nighttime look in the middle of a sunny day.

Performers backstage before Lucia di Lammermoor (2016). Photo: Charlie Kinross

10. And finally yet another shot from the backstage shoot before Lucia di Lammermoor at Her Majesty’s Theatre. I love this shot of the cast in full costume making small talk in position not long before the curtain was set to rise. It sums up the little feeling of excitement I get working with Victorian Opera and being able to see this world behind the curtain.

Charlie Kinross is a photographer based in Melbourne who has been working with Victorian Opera since White Night in February 2013. Victorian Opera was one of Charlie's first clients after making the transition from graphic designer to photographer. As well as theatre, Charlie enjoys and specialises in photographing people, architecture and landscapes for a variety of clients from government to magazines and advertising. He treasures Victoria Opera as one of his oldest and dearest clients.

For more production and behind-the-scene photos, follow us on Instagram @victorianopera.