At the end of January 2014 I was booked to photograph a 1920s themed party at the spectacular Park Lane Hotel Ballroom – and what a perfect venue for an event like this! From the moment you step through the heavy revolving door with its glimmering polished chrome you’re transported to an era of decadence complete with marble columns, floor-to-ceiling mirrors, elaborate dual staircases and public balconies overlooking the ballroom itself.

A pair of 1920s styled dancers gave performances accompanied by a 5-piece band, and with all the guests decked out in some wonderful dresses and suits I was spoilt for choice finding images and angles all evening. Hard not to make a venue like this filled with a happy crowd look good, and I hope I did it justice. I certainly had a great time myself, making some new friends and sticking around a little longer than planned to capture some of the ‘messier’ fun after dinner had been cleared…

You can find out more about my event photography here.

london event photographer park lane ballroom graduation ball - Event Photography: London Park Lane Ballroom 1920s party

Technical notes

The lighting was atmospheric – which means pretty dark! So, I ran my flash with one and a quarter CTO bounced up off the ceiling to give nice downlighting on my subjects, shooting around 3200-6400 ISO which meant my flash could reach further and/or recycle faster in the big ballroom on less power, and adjusting EV level on the flash depending on the shot.

Bouncing up creates a nice light on the subjects but usually means sacrificing the dark atmosphere of the room, as the bounced light coming back down makes the area around the subject look evenly and relatively-brightly lit. However, thanks to the high ISO I was still capturing ambient and atmosphere in the background at a good level, and thanks to the gel all the colours looked natural. Happy Owen, and happy clients! :)

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