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Working with Al Simmons, Phase One Photographer

Garbolisham, Norfolk, shot while making Ensemble show BOOTH

Garbolisham, Norfolk, shot while making Ensemble show BOOTH

Why it’s awesome to work with Al Simmons…

Al is one of the only photographers working in a theatre/dance context to use Phase One , who’s technology takes image quality beyond imagination.

Al has been in the Ensemble collective of practitioners since 2015, and has been very much part of building what it is we do uniquely. Over our first 3 years we have found more and more clarity in what it is that we do; we build and bring experiences of intimacy into public space, we amplify it, journey with it, and open spaces that bring people close up to it, spaces of contemplation and togetherness, spaces that allow time to filter through thoughts and feelings on topics we don't always give time to - our shadow, trauma, solitude, opening to the learning we can do from young children instead of trying to teach them, for example. We also challenge ourselves more and more to provide experiences for people to orient themselves - to be part, not to sit in frontal passive receipt as audiences but to experience, dive, swim in artistry and the topics we unfold. This is our part in contributing to us all being active citizens, over sedentary victims.

The work Al shoots on Phase One, is so detailed and focused it really allows you to come up close in a way you don’t even do in reality, to explode into detail, and this builds a truly intimate relationship with what you’re seeing, and is how Al’s work feeds so well into our misson. If you get to know Al, he does this in life too - get’s up close, he’s great to work with and have as part of a close, open, honest, compassionate, incredibly skilled team.

Al ‘s most favourite thing, we have come to know, it to shoot large scale landscape photography, and this is coming into our new show BOOTH, which is premiering in 2019. More on that soon.

Other than shooting whenever he can and spending time with us at Ensemble Al also works for Teamwork , helping others use Phase One cameras and software. He is also building a collection of his work and will soon open some exhibitions, keep an eye on his website www.autonomous-production.co.uk/

Hayley Matthews