For 20 years, Morris was a Naval Aircrewman stationed at Brunswick Naval Air Station. Although his father was a professional, photography for Morris at that time was a hobby. He shot 35mm film primarily using large- and medium-format cameras. It wasn’t until he took classes at Southern N.H. University, that he encountered Richard Bancroft, the second owner of Pierce’s.
Morris waited for a photography class to fulfill his art requirement since he thought that would be “easy.” Bancroft was the instructor, liked Morris’s work, and took him on as an employee. Eventually, Morris bought the business.
Morris now shoots digitally and says his Nikon D3X “replaced 11 film cameras.” He favors the use of two handheld light meters: one digital, and one analog spot meter. He will demonstrate their use at his talk.
Photographing for Maine State Music Theatre was one account Morris acquired from Bancroft. Although he attends a performance about a week ahead of the shoot, and often makes notes about good lighting cues, the actual photo shoot takes place around 10 or 11 p.m. after a performance.
Actors often have to change costumes, strike and hold poses (and sometimes lifts!), and appear fresh while the scene is documented. Apart from a cast that can contain 30-40 actors, the photographer works with an artistic director and a lighting crew and must work very fast. Morris typically uses wide angle zoom lenses and shoots at ISO 800 for 1/15th of a second or longer. That means actors must smile and stay still for a long time.
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