Monday, March 2, 2015

‘Doubt’ Poster Artist Paints with Photography

Naomi Schmidt
Encouraged by her father, Naomi Schmidt began taking photos when she was about 10 or 11 years old. In college, she borrowed a friend's single-lens reflex camera and started taking pictures of her fellow classmates playing football and other activities.

Since then, she has upgraded her camera equipment, as well as her knowledge base. Her award-winning photography has been recognized by the St. Tammany Art Association, Louisiana Office of Tourism photo, and Slidell Art League. Her photography has been commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce in Slidell and the Bellsouth Real Yellow Pages for St. Tammany Parish, in addition to donations to organizations and events like Christmas Under the Stars, Slidell Heritage Festival, Tammany Trace, and Habitat for Humanity.

Naomi grew up in the New Orleans and attended Concordia Lutheran College in Michigan before graduating from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, followed by a Master's degree. She has been a resident of St. Tammany Parish and an Adapted Physical Education Teacher (P.E. for children with special needs) for the St. Tammany Parish School System since 1987.

Photography, she feels, cannot only be a work of art, but it can help to preserve the beauty of the past and the present for future generations.

Naomi explains the behind-the-lens look at her composition of the photo that became the poster for “Doubt: A Parable.”

Poster by Naomi Schmidt

“When researching for a poster, I gather as much information about the characters and story's plot from multiple resources.  This process can last for weeks prior to actually shooting the poster creation. The resources may be in a film version; a book;  or most probably the script itself.  I take each character (primary) and find something that may represent each to include in my poster creation. While I created this poster approximately one year ago, I remember that the priest in the story also coached basketball, hence the basketball trophy.  There are nuns in the story, hence the prayer beads or a rosary.  

"Wedding rings, because as this 'Lutheran Girl' understands it, the nuns are married to the Church to represent or symbolize 'marriage' or fidelity to the Church.  The Bible, of course, is the whole connection to the basis of the story. I chose the background cloth for a couple of reasons: wrinkled to represent the complicated storyline and the color purple can symbolize pain, suffering, and therefore mourning and penitence.

"The pen represents multiple uses of the pen, as in the priest and his sermons, the nun and her reports and the nuns as the Teachers.

"I shot the photo on the back of my flatbed truck tailgate as a still life set up, mainly because natural lighting seems to be the best."  

Slidell Little Theatre’s production of the powerful drama, “Doubt: A Parable” is onstage weekends through March 15, 2015.

A Catholic priest, Father Flynn, is suspected by Sister Aloysius of sexual molestation of the only African American boy in a Catholic school in New York City. She is determined to stop him. Sister James, a neophyte nun, wants to do the right thing, but is unsure who to believe. Mrs. Muller, the mother of the boy in question, doesn’t want to cause any trouble for reasons of her own. The audience is challenged in their own beliefs and criteria for accusation. Did he do it or is he being falsely accused?

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning “Doubt” is directed by Gary Mendoza and stars Larry Johnson, Jr. as Father Flynn, Anne Pourciau as Sister Aloysius, Maria Hefte as Sister James and Shelby Faciane as Mrs. Muller.

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