As 2013 flows in and 2012 ebbs out, we welcome the beginning of a brand new year while observing a solemn faretheewell to the last. The final months of 2012 were very exciting times for both myself and my company, Leighton Photography & Imaging. We finished a bunch of big projects including the sale of 115 large fine art prints for the remodeling of a Florida hospital, followed by having the enormous honor to be chosen for the job of portrait photographer at the Nutcracker Suites, at one of Seattle’s favorite yearly events – “The Nutcracker”, performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet in the Seattle Center at McCaw Hall. We shot for 29 performances, and it was the first time I’ve had to hire enough photo assistants to actually write out a staff schedule.

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Most of the shows were sold out, and the rest were close to being sold out. This means at least 2500-2900 people on average were on hand for every show – and I had the only portrait studio in the building, where we not only did the photography - but we also did full-studio editing and printing onsite. I bought a beautiful Epson R2880 printer specifically for this event to handle the volume and quality that I expect every time, and it worked far above and beyond even my own high expectations. The best part was being able to watch people open their photo envelope to see and handle their prints when they came to pick them up after the performance. Usually my clients and customers receive their prints from one of my custom color labs I have associations with through the mail, so I always miss this part – the smiles and delight.

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These images were shot between shows. I wanted to sort of get a series of images that represented the atmosphere and mood of the place. The Nutcracker Suites were an extra feature for those who wanted special access to champagne, horsd’oeuvres, and Seattle’s best cupcakes by Trophy Cupcakes. (trust me… they are absolutely the best I’ve ever had!)

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Overall, I was very happy with the way we ran our system, set and operation during the entire event. The couple technical hiccups were quickly overcome and adapted to quickly without much notice if any outside of those of us working, and at the time of writing this orders for more prints are still coming in. I’d like to give BIG THANKS to my support staff, for without you none of this would be possible. My wife, Galina for helping me with all the paperwork and website work. My enthusiastic and able photo assistants for the job – Stella, Brandi, David, Alana, and especially Mary who was with me for most of the shows and had to endure hours of me stabbing her with a toy sword from the set props and for sending her on repeated trips to the photography supply store for more ink, paper, cables, etc…

The biggest thank you goes to Cory Franklin and Chung Leung for getting me on board and involved. Thank you!

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 Rich Leighton
January 4, 2013