Benjamin Hav’s BIG tour show 2023 was unique – I am not sure I have the words to describe this cross between a concert and a theatrical performance but I can tell you it was an absolutely awesome show and both a challenge and a joy to photograph! The stage design was very creative and featured several big front curtains, one of them semi-transparent and one had big holes in it, this meant the stage could have completely different looks with different layers revealed during the show. All the podiums on stage were also mobile, so the layout of everything changed between every song and the light design was incredible and always changing radically. All of it of course, would not be much without the incredible Benjamin Hav and awesome ‘Familien’ live band performing the songs in entirely new fantastic live versions, while also doing ‘Las Vegas’ variety show style choreography and dancing for every song. A proper live experience that really can only be seen and experienced live, if you missed this, you really missed out – go see them live in 2024!
This photo essay is a mix of my favourites from the 3 shows I documented, Helsingør, Århus and Royal Arena in Copenhagen. The 3 shows were very different in terms of stage size and height and that is one of the reasons I love shooting multiple shows on a tour, every venue will present new opportunities. I have photographed Benjamin Hav & Familien a lot for the past 2 years but this is the first time I truly feel that I actually documented the show well and captured the ‘feeling’ of the show. More about the photographs after the show, let’s get ready to go on stage and dive into the main photo essay:
Behind the scenes and photographing the BIG show
A few moments from behind the scenes, including a hilarious silhouette of me on stage, captured by Morten Rygaard. It is not a show where it is really possible to be on stage because of the huge lit-up backdrop, but for the very last song I could ‘sneak’ in an captured the whole band dancing around the drum podium. Morten captured me brilliantly, that is the most hilarious silhouette where I am crouching thinking I am invisible 😂
This show was great fun and a big challenge to shoot. The fantastic light design by Jannik Jensen was a theatrical style with zero haze and hard spot-lights and a backdrop that constantly changed colours and the whole scene went from frontlit to backlit and back again in just a few beats – awesome fun to try and keep up with! This is probably one of the shows in my entire career that I have prepared the most for. I had a video of the entire show from their first night on tour, and I watched that over and over. As you can see in the photo essay the light and visual expression changes wildly during the show and often there are only 2 seconds in between each picture. To actually know all the songs, the light, the choreography in advance for a show this advanced is a huge advantage. And you better believe I am going to go in prepared as best as I can, if I can improve my work by being insanely prepared I owe it to the band and myself to do that. Gotta keep pushing the limits, just like this show!
I photographed the shows with 2 x FUJIFILM X-T5 cameras, and FUJINON XF16-55mm, XF10-24, XF50-140mm lenses. Read more about my FUJIFILM gear here.