A civilised afternoon tea, shaving the boss’s widely criticised moustache, heartfelt speeches and plenty of fizz?
It was great to be asked back again for a third year running to photograph the annual ”Kick Off” event for corporate workspace designers Peldon Rose (I also photograph their head shots for their website). It’s an annual celebration of what’s great at Peldon Rose - both the staff and their achievements throughout the year. They really are like a supportive family to each other, and they know how to have fun too!
The Photographic Brief
There was a fair amount to photograph in this event - four locations, a few different speakers, awards and some shots of the rooms when they were empty, for internal use, so they have a record of how they planned the event. Images were to be mostly horizontal (landscape) format, and in my usual unobtrusive, candid style.
My point of contact Tom gives me clear guidelines on what he needs, but keeps it open enough for me to go around photographing what I think Peldon Rose will need for their social media, newsletter and internal distribution. I have photographed plenty of their corporate events in the past, so we have a good working relationship and a clear understanding. The technical challenges were the most common for events in hotels and theatre type environments - very low light, and the light that does exist tends to be pointing directly into the frame, which requires special attention. I switch to prime lenses with optimal lens hoods and minimal glass, keep angles relevant to the lighting in the room, and pay extra special attention to any dust on the surface of the lens. This helps to reduce flare as much as possible. I’ll then work on any images that exhibit the ”wrong kind” of flare in post processing - sometimes flare can be a really beautiful thing, so it’s a creative process when dealing with this kind of lighting. Other tricks involve waiting for someone to open the door in the theatre (there’s always one!) which helps to light up the back of the audience so they can be seen better during photos of speeches. But the most important thing of all is to capture the special moments - so it’s a constantly stimulating balance between the technical side of things and capturing the joy of the event.
Ham Yard Hotel - What’s It Like?
WOW is what it’s like! The artwork on the walls is quite stunning, a personal highlight being an Alexander Calder textile, and the wallpaper in the bar which is made up of monumental scale pieces of hand painted linen which felt more like abstract expressionism than anything decorative. The service seemed impeccable. The atmosphere in each room was sophisticated, relaxed and comfortable. I live about 15 minutes from Ham Yard Hotel (it’s in Soho) so booking a room seems a little extravagant, but I’m seriously considering going back for the afternoon tea.