Persson reflects on some of his favorite theatre photos including Follies, Macbeth, and more.
By nature, theatre is ephemeral. But with production photography, a show can last long after it has closed and reach audiences far beyond the auditorium. Especially with so many moments to capture, in a just a few images, theatre photography not only immortalizes the artistry behind a show, but also helps to solidify the identity for an entire production for years to come. Playbill caught up with London-based theatre photographer Johan Persson about why he loves creating production photography, his favorite memories behind his shots, and what he looks for in creating a great image.
"Having grown up in theatres and the performing arts, it’s here I feel most at home. I began training to be a ballet dancer from the age of five, and by 10 years old, I was performing in ballets and musicals at Malmö Stadsteater in Sweden. My eventual ballet career took me all over the world and ended in London, where I was a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet. Since discovering photography in my teenage years, it has been a great passion alongside dance, and so a career as a production photographer seemed destined.
"My favorite images start in the same place as my best experiences do in watching theatre. In this artificial environment of a stage and auditorium, we can reach to the depths of human emotion and experience, and if I manage capture that in my images I am very happy."
Check out Persson’s favorite photos as he reflects on his experience creating them.
Check Out London-Based Theatre Photographer Johan Persson's 16 Favorite Production Shots
Follow along on Persson's photography journey on Instagram.