Chris Crisman Photography

Philadelphia Magazine: Martha Graham Cracker

1409_Martha-1Leave it to our friends over at Philadelphia Magazine to always call with a unique assignment. In the past while working with Philly Mag, we’ve shot anyone and everyone in our fine city – from mayors to titans of business, classic chefs, to the city’s movers and shakers. When the call came in last month to shoot Philadelphia’s most famous performers, Dito van Reigersberg, how could we turn it down? Just last month we spent the day with Dito’s character, Martha Graham Cracker making portraits – keep reading to see how it all turned out…

chris crisman studio portrait editorial philadelphia magazineWhen any performer who’s larger than life steps in front of our lens, we know it’s important to try and compliment their showmanship with an equally over-the-top location or scenario. In this particular instance, what could be better than placing our subject in a wall of flowers?

chris crisman studio portrait editorial philadelphia magazine

chris crisman studio portrait editorial philadelphia magazineOnce we had nailed the opener image, we shot a handful more options with Martha and Dito, switching out the multicolored floral backdrop for a darker and more somber take – as well as a deeper look behind the scenes and behind the persona of Martha.

chris crisman studio portrait editorial philadelphia magazineIt should go without saying that one of the most important people on set that day was the talented hair and makeup artist, Dawn Episcopo, helping to bring Dito’s persona of Martha Graham Cracker to life for the shoot.

chris crisman studio portrait editorial philadelphia magazineWhether the backdrop was light, bright and playful or darker and moodier, our crew had an amazing day on set. We owe a big thank you to the fine folks at Philadelphia Magazine as well as everyone at the Pig Iron Theatre Company who generously let us shoot in their space. And we can’t forget hair and makeup stylist Dawn Episcopo, and last but not least, set builder and prop stylist extraordinaire, Matthew Englebert. Thanks everyone!

chris crisman studio portrait editorial philadelphia magazineAnd of course this wouldn’t be a complete day on set without yours truly taking his place as a stand in for our main talent. Maybe I’m biased, but I think Dito commands the portrait a bit better than I do.

Questions? Comments? Let us know below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!