Sue Adler

Sue Adler - photographing celebrities and theatre productions

“We would like you to photograph Nicole Kidman in Sydney, Luciano Pavarotti in Chicago, Yvonne Kenny in Russia, Terence Davies in London and Baz Luhrmann in New York”.

For 25 years I have been privileged to be asked to photograph many of the world’s artistic and creative elite. The commissions took me to 25 countries on four continents. But for me, the real privilege was that although I was told who to photograph, I was never told how to photograph them. The freedom to interpret each subject in my own way was so liberating. I also applied that same freedom to my performance work where, once again, the images were of the most visually dramatic moments of performance rather than the dramatic musical peaks which, when stripped of sound and movement, do not necessarily make visually exciting imagery.

Likewise my many other commissions, which include ‘La Boheme’ for Baz Luhrmann, 'Star Wars' for George Lucas and the Australian Ballet 40th anniversary calendar, to name but three, were almost always ‘interference free’ and that in itself, in a world full of Producers, Publicity Advisers, Marketing Managers, Media Advisers and Stylists was, and continues to be, immensely liberating and rewarding.

Awards (Arts Photographer of the Year, twice), exhibitions and books are wonderful and vindicating but, capturing that elusive ‘moment’, whether it be during a portrait session, buried in a dress rehearsal or during a pause in filming, is, for me, what makes my continuing pursuit of ‘the image’ so unendingly exciting.

View all images by Sue Adler