Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Mary Ellen Matthews: It's Saturday Night!
SNL staff photographer Mary Ellen Matthews does the photography equivalent of herding cats every week as she makes cool, quirky and creative images of the show’s guests
“I try to do as much other work as possible,” she says. “It’s always good for all of us here to kind of stretch into something else and then bring it back to [Saturday Night Live]. There are so many amazing people who work here—all our set designers and costumers and hair and makeup people. We all do other things.”
Having those other talented people on site also affords Matthews enviable resources for sets and costuming. More often than not, though, she works with a simple seamless background, but on occasion, she does venture into bigger production concepts.
Actor Bradley Cooper
That amount of creative freedom may feel out of reach to many commercial photographers. And considering that Matthews has that freedom with such a high-profile client is especially surprising. Then again, she’s quick to point out that it’s really a part of the fast pace and exuberantly creative culture of the show.
Says Matthews, “The way [Saturday Night Live] works, it’s all under Lorne Michaels, of course, but mostly we just try to take care of everything on our own and just get it done. And so far, so good. I haven’t had many problems with any of the pictures. If somebody does have an issue with it, of course, we’ll change it, but it really hasn’t happened too often. We just get it done and get it up on the air, and everyone has been very pleased.”
|Cameras And Lighting
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Dynalite strobes (keylight, Octabank fill, strip edge lights, box hair light)
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