Rialto Square Theatre / Joliet, IL
I received a call one day from my client at the Rialto Square Theatre, a spectacular, world-class performing arts center that was built in 1926. My client wanted me to photograph the theatre, to document refurbishments that had been made to the theatre as part of their capital campaign. They liked my graphic approach to photography that I had done on a previous project for them. Their idea was for me to shoot details throughout the theatre to be displayed in the theatre as part of their Donor Recognition wall. I was given carte blanche access to the theatre and over the course of several days, my objective was to photograph as many architectural details, interesting angles, graphic patterns, textures, and unique perspectives as possible. I wanted to capture just some of the artistry that is woven into every square foot of the theatre; artistry that is ever present, but with details that are often overlooked.
Thankful the theatre was never torn down, as it was once threatened, I was elated and also humbled to have the task of documenting such a magnificent work of art. As with any project I accept, I have to like the client and believe in the project. This assignment suited me to a T. As I moved through the theatre, I was continually filled with awe at its beauty, and inspired to not only capture the images I saw, but make independent works of art out of each photograph.
At times, I strove for perfect symmetry in my shots, other times I was intent on finding a fresh point of view of the subject. I did whatever it took to achieve the shot I wanted, including laying on my back, right under the Duchess, the Rialto's stunning, 20-foot tall chandelier. I began shooting in the Rotunda/Esplanade and then moved into the theatre, taking hundreds of pictures, and not limiting myself to only detail shots. In the end, I proposed the design of a large photo panel comprised of several key photos, with four smaller photos around it for the display area. I retouched the selected photos for the display and had one of my large format fine art printers produce all the necessary prints. The final prints were then sandwiched in between plexiglas panels and I oversaw the installation of all the panels. In addition to the display panels, I presented the Rialto with a wide variety of detail and full images of the theatre as a final documentation of the theatre's refurbishments.
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