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Evening Presentation: Scenic Painting - Magic of Theater.... What The Heck Does It Have To Do With Photography? With Kip Shawger M.Photog.

  • January 16, 2024
  • 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM
  • Woodward Camera: 33501 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, MI 48009


  • Join DPPA to attend this event for free.
  • Early registration discount.
  • Registration after January 8, 2024.

Registration is closed

Evening Presentation: Scenic Painting - Magic of Theater... What the Heck Does It Have To Do With Photography? with Kip Shawger M.Photog

Have you ever gone to the Theater and seen a play or a musical, looked at all of the beautiful scenery and wondered, “How did they do that?” Tonight, you will get a demonstration of how the Magic of Theater is made.

Did you know that what you see on stage isn’t real? It’s all an illusion… It’s all fake. This presentation will explain how scenery is made and embellished mostly with paint.

You’d be surprised at how much theater scenery technology can actually apply to the photography business. You will learn how backdrops are made…the simple way. You might want to save your hard-earned dollars and make your own studio backdrops.

Learn how a stonewall can be made out of simple Styrofoam. See how faux textures can enhance your photographic backgrounds. Learn how to find, or make, or repair “props” you can use for photo sessions in your studio. All you have to do is to use your imagination, grab some paint and have fun. Come ready to learn and explore your creativity.

Register early. Space is limited. Attendees must register and pay in advance. No refunds or onsite registration.


An award-winning theatre scene designer and photographer, Kip Shawger received a Bachelors degree in Drama from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Masters degree in Theatre Design from Bradley University. His discipline has been theatrical scenic design with over 400 design credits and 45+ years of experience in education, community, professional theatre and television. Kip's design work has taken him to Off Broadway, Carnival Cruise Lines, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, which, in 2001, awarded him the prestigious Kennedy Center Gold Medallion for distinguished work in theatre. He has also designed for many regional theatres and Public Television. Yet, he has always maintained that he is a teacher at heart; and he retired as Professor Emeritus from Ball State University in 2015.

Even though he's retired, he continues to work as an Adjunct Professor Emeritus and serves as Ball State's Theatre and Dance principal photographer. His theatrical photography has spread beyond Ball State. Kip has designed for, and photographed, many theatre and dance events for noted companies across the Mid-West including numerous professional regional Theatres. Plus, Kip has been able to work with some really talented professional models in the glamour photography business ... from runways to advertising to portraiture.

Today, Kip has a set up his own small (and when he says small, he means really small) business specializing in head shot and glamour portraits. He often goes back to his roots in theatrical design and creates backdrops, settings, props, etc., for many of his photo shoots. And, he loves to share his "how-to" techniques with fellow photographers. He is a member of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the American Society of Photographers (ASP), the Indianapolis Professional Photographers Guild (PPG), the Daguerre Club of Indiana, the Association of Theatre ln Higher Education (ATHE), the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) as well as the International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects and Technicians (OSTAT). He holds a Master of Photography degree from PPA.