What It’s Like to Photograph the Oscars

USA Today photographers, Dan Macmedan and Robert Hanashiro, spill the beans on how they make those stunning photos of the Oscars. In this video they share insights from what’s possibly the best job for a showbiz photographer:

Oscar night is a big night in the show business world, and it’s a privilege to photograph the biggest names in the industry, standing 20 feet from them.

photographers at the Oscars

behind the scenes at the Oscars

Macmedan is one of about 80 photographers who have the privilege of photographing the stars as they walk the red carpet. Competition is stiff and photographers try everything in their book to get a straight-in-the-eye look from the stars.

photographers at the Oscars

“Because if they are not looking at you, it’s not a picture. You do anything. First name, last name, middle name, maybe their maiden name. You can also find a vague character that they once played. Sometimes that will get their attention.”

For some photographers, like Hanashiro, it’s an exclusive privilege because he is one of just six photographers who are allowed backstage at the Dolby Theatre.

“Shooting backstage at the Academy Awards is one of the most exclusive photo positions you’re going to have in the entertainment business.”

It’s a privilege, no doubt. Photographers shooting backstage get to see and capture moments that are never shown on the telecast.

“What I want to see is when they come back behind the curtain and have started to walk through the backstage area. The excitement begins to wash over them. You get a wide range of emotions.”

shooting backstage at the Oscars

Backstage at the Oscars

But it comes with a serious amount of responsibility. They have to remain inconspicuous. They have to dodge a lot of set pieces. Above all, they cannot be seen on the telecast.

“In the end, the Academy Awards is a culmination of two long months of award shows. We take a deep breadth. We celebrate a little bit. We look at the photographs; and then we start thinking about next year.”

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