November 17, 2012 This year the Boston Ballet unveiled their new production of the beloved classic The Nutcraker. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ G
Behind the scenes: About four months back I was given the assignment to document the making of this new production. However I too was assigned to do the 25 Most Stylish by myself and then I took a sabbatical for about a month. When I came back, I asked the Living Arts editors, "So who's doing the Nutcraker?" He replied, "You are." Silly me had assumed since I was gone for almost two months that someone else would've been assigned to take over the project. This put me in a quandary. I now needed to produce what should've taken three months in about three weeks or less. So I visited the studios where they made the sets and attended a couple of the rehearsals. I shot for about four days and then I got to go to the dress rehearsal. I wanted to go behind the scenes but Boston is a union town and you need a union rep to accompany you if you are going to go behind the scenes and that couldn't be arranged. Anyway these are some of the images I made. In the paper they only ran about six of these and I don't think they ever put them on line. So here are my picks. TECH STUFF: My always-kit of cameras: 2 camera bodies. One with a 24-70mm 2.8 and another with a 70-200mm 2.8. ISOs varied from 800 to 6400.
Boston, MA 110612 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave his concession speech to a crowd of supporters at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on election night on November 6, 2012. PresidentObama was re-elected to a second term. (Photo by Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)
BEHIND THE SCENE: On this night I was assigned to cover Romney's headquarters for the celebration or concession speech. One of our deputy photo directors is perhaps the most adroit person I've ever seen when it comes to planning logistics. He spent many hours securing spots for the Boston Globe including the coveted position of "protective pool" which I got right below the main podium. This area was the buffer zone between Romney and his supporters. This year was the strangest election I've ever covered as far as restrictions on the media. Besides charging media outlets exorbitant fees of thousands of dollars for the "privilege" of covering the event. The limitations put on members of the media as far as movement around the floor were by far the most draconian any of us had ever experienced. If you left your position to try to get a photo of people mingling about on the floor within 30 seconds you had someone tapping you on the shoulder asking you to go back to your assigned position. And because my position only had relevance at the very end of the night, I was told to stay on the raiser in the back, about 75' feet, away from the podium amidst the forest of TV cameras and stand up news presenters where the Globe had a couple of spots. This was not going to work since once they started transmitting you couldn't really move. So I was forced to be on the move on the fringes of the floor all night long until I got the call to come to the front where I finally got to make some images. But even now you wouldn't know I was ever there by looking at today's paper or in our boston.com website since there are no photos of mine. I was once more reminded that as a photojournalist I don't have control of decisions editors make and that I can always just try to do my best and make the best images I can and perhaps someone might one day get to see these.TECH STUFF: 2 Camera bodies: Canon Mark IV, Nikon D3s. Two lenses Canon 16-35mm 2.8 and Nikon 70- 200mm 2.8
Newington, MA 110312 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, here with his wife Ann Romney, held a "Victory Rally" in New Hampshire at the Pease International Airport on November 3, 2012. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)
BEHIND THE SCENES: If you never have had the opportunity to cover presidential candidates this will give you a good idea of how much goes involved with it. I was told late on Friday night I needed to be at the airport about 4AM in the morning because US Secret Service needed to sweep our gear. (Sweep: in this context means you are asked to place your photo/ video camera gear at a certain spot and then walk away from it while secret service, usually with specially-trained dogs, goes through it.) We all acquiesced and arrived around the requested ungodly time of 4AM. We waited or a couple of hours in the freezing November New Hamsphire weather and the sweep finally took place around 6AM. ( Once your gear is cleared, you are then allowed to go into the secured area. The funny thing is the "secured area" in which local media get corralled is usally anywhere between 75' to 100' feet away from the podium. However any citizen wishing to attend the rally gets to be close enough to shake the hands of the politician. I've always wondered about that... )
In this case, the candidate's team did a great visual-planning job as far as where the podium was located and what would be in the background. At first, I had positioned myself on the big riser with most of the local media. This position would've given me the airplane-in-the background shot. However I soon realized I didn't really have a lens long enough to get a good shot from that position. So I decided to switch to what is known as a cut-away riser. This one was located on the left side of the podium. By the time I took my position there, this one was about 50' feet from the podium, I was the only one on this spot. When the "traveling media" (these are the poor souls who follow the candidates as they criss cross the nation campaigning) arrived some of them positioned themselves alongside where I was.
At this stage in my career, I have covered enough of these events to know it behooves you to carry your own ladder so I took a 6' foot step ladder with me to the podium. This was a good thing since by the time he got, around 9Am, there there were so many members of the traveling and local media on the riser that they were blocking each other's line of sight to the candidate. I luckily was unaffected by this since I towered over everyone else with my step ladder.
This position turned out to be better than the official-straight-on-shot riser. I was able to photograph him as he approached the podium and then every once in a while he'd turn toward my direction to address the crowd. Then he made the rounds of shaking hands with his supporters, thus he ended up coming within 15' feet of where I was shooting.
What I thought to be a risky decision, the lonely one at the cut-away riser, turned out to be a lucky one after all.