Week #18: Behind the Scenes

To be shot and submitted between Sunday, Apr 26 and Sunday, May 3 (noon, Eastern)

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…” The Wizard of Oz

Well, this week, we’re going to pull back the curtain! (We’ve all got a bit of Toto in us…)

Your challenge this week is to reveal what’s going on “behind the scenes.” Let’s put on our backstage passes, and see some of the magic we don’t usually get to witness.

It can be in the back kitchen of a restaurant, or an intimate board meeting of a major corporation. It can be a marketplace when it’s closed (see Andre’s photo, above), a clown on a cigarette break, a magician packing his rabbit for the show, or even just a bartender pouring a beer from behind the bar (think of a vantage point the viewer would generally not be familiar with)/

How about backstage at a concert, or inside a taxi dispatch office, maybe an employee break room, teacher’s lounge, or a makeup artist at work…? It can be the inside of a refrigerator, or the underside of a car. Stretch your brain! Anything “behind the scenes”!

Think of it this way: we live in a prim and proper world, where things are presented to us all clean and polished – we see what we’re supposed to see. This week, take a look at other side of these things we normally see. The other side of the scene. Behind the facade. Let’s tear it down.

Tips and Tuts for this week:


  • A tutorial on shooting behind the scenes on a set. Some helpful tips can be gleaned, even if you’re not on set.
  • Have you ever put together a photo essay? This could be a great opportunity for your own personal project. Tell a story of all the things happening behind the scenes, over the course of a series of photos. Remember, you can still only submit one to the album, but feel free to share a link to your others in your caption!

Looking for more inspiration? We have some right in our very own archives – like this, this, this, this,this, this, or this. The great range of subjects should demonstrate how wide open this challenge is for you to interpret!

Ooh, also: We don’t expect you to get on a movie set, but we thought you’d enjoy these behind-the-scenes shots of some iconic films.

Extra Credit: An “Off Limits” Area


For “extra credit,” don your brave cap, and go venture to a place considered off-limits to you or the general public. Get permission to access an abandoned building, or a room with a “do not enter” sign. As always, remember to stay safe and legal (we can’t bail you out)!

Be inspired by this photographer who documented New York’s forgotten island.
Again, it is not necessary to work in this Extra Credit piece. It’s extra credit!