We like photographing the Secret Suppers held by our friends BlackTie BBQ. They’re always fun AND we get really, really great food. Not satisfied to hold their secret suppers in normal event spaces – they held their Valentines Day Secret Supper in the unfinished eighth floor of one of the high rises in Atlantic Station. That’s just cool. So when I found out that this time they were serving dinner ON STAGE at Theatrical Outfit – I knew it’d be awesome.

I also suspected that lighting the space for photos would be… like lighting the inside of a black box. Yup. Exactly. Below is a photo of what it looked like with just the available light – except of course in real life it was even more dim, and you know – moody. This shot was taken at f/4.0, ISO 3200 – and a shutter speed of 1/10th. If you don’t know what that means – trust me – you can’t photograph events that way. Everyone will be blurry.

There’s technically enough light in this picture – but like we always ask, ‘Is it the quality of light that you want?’ No. Absolutely not. If we only used the house lights we’d be stuck with far too many badly colored photos with generally flat lighting.

But hey – it’s okay – they hired LeahAndMark.com – and we always bring our own lights.

Now they’re not ‘floating in black space’ like they were before. And you know – now we can do some cool stuff with shadows and where the light hits – stuff you can’t do when you don’t have control and you’re dependent upon the theater tech for lighting. The trick though is to not BLOW OUT the guest with your high powered studio lights. It’s still supposed to be a candle lit dinner ya know? So fully lighting the space isn’t an option – at least if you don’t want to anger the guests. It’s not a wedding and everyone’s not drunk… for most of the dinner!… so you have to be aware of what your lights are doing to the scene and mood.

We had initial difficulties finding the right light setups – and then we were making adjustments all night.

I spent waaaay too much time trying to get this light to go across the curtains like that – and even then, I helped it in Photoshop.

Plus, if you’re having dinner on stage – you want it to look theatrical right? Of course!

What’s cool about BlackTie BBQ is that they’re absolutely great people. In case you haven’t noticed – Leah and I are all about working with great clients that like us, and ones that WE LOVE. Now – we’ve both worked in really rushed and hurried kitchens where when things get crazy, politeness goes out the window and people start snapping at each other. But even at the height of the rush and when attitudes could have easily gone south – all of the BlackTie BBQ staff weren’t just polite to each other – they were genuinely good to each other.

Mistakes happen, plates are dropped, and in other kitchens, we’ve seen attitudes change for the worse – but not with this team. Having worked with BlackTie BBQ several times now and seeing how all of the staff interact with each other, it’s beyond impressive. They’re not a ragtag crew of servers hired for the night. I see the same faces over and over again – and they all do a great job.

You can tell their food is made with the same consideration they give each other.  There’s just something special about it.  Love and goodness and amazing flavors.  We can’t get enough.

7 Replies to “Secret Supper | Theatrical Outfit

  1. Fabulous pictures from a Fabulous night. I don’t know how this keeps happening but I keep missing the opportunity to say “hi” in person SugaComa I and Secret Supper). So, hi online – and next time IRL!

  2. Do you know how they rented the unfinished space in Atlantic Station? I'd be very interested in holding a wedding in a space like that.

  3. Do you know how they rented the unfinished space in Atlantic Station? I'd be very interested in holding a wedding in a space like that.

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