I got a call a few weeks ago from Sarah, who was organising a charity fundraising ball and wanted some formal portraits and some natural, candid shots of the night. That's great - it's something I really enjoy as I get to feel like part of the celebrations, while capturing some great images and still waking up with a clear head the next day!
But what really grabbed me was that the ball was to support Sarah and her two friends, Pip and Tina, cycling from Lands End to John o'Groats as part of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain challenge, and I am a bit of a MAMIL. In fact, LEJoG, as it's known, is on my bucket list.
So after Sarah and I had spent half an hour talking bikes and cycling, we got on to photography. The girls - calling themselves Team Riding on Gin and Coffee - are aiming to raise more than £7,000 for the MS Society and MacMillan so I put together a package that allowed them to keep their costs low, while allowing their guests to buy copies of the images from my online store after the event.
Using my experience in press, PR and corporate communications, I also talked to Sarah about the imagery she would be using for publicity, and included an on-location shoot of the team with their bikes as part of my package.
The ball was held at the Royal Leamington Spa Tennis Court Club which, despite me living in or near Leamington for 18 years, I had never come across. Behind the discreet door with a subtle brass plaque is a lovely venue, full of character and history. And the centrepiece is the real tennis court, which is where the ball itself was to be held.
So, on the day, I set up my mobile studio lighting for the formal portraits, spent some time capturing detail shots of the venue and prepared for the guests to arrive.
And it was a brilliant night. I was amazed at how the girls and the team at the venue transformed the court into a beautiful space - though the very high ceiling and black walls meant I had to work hard with my flash to make sure I got some great pictures.
With a charity auction - including signed photographs of Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Chris Hoy - the new to me game of 'handlebars and saddles' and some floor-filling tunes from DJ Chris of Musique Entertainments, it was clear everyone had a fantastic time, and Team Riding on Gin and Coffee raised an impressive £5,190.
Now it's just the small matter for Team Riding on Gin and Coffee of cycling nearly 1,000 miles in just 9 days in September!
If you're looking for a photographer for your event, ball, party or celebration, get in touch with David Fawbert Photography. From formal portraits to candid shots that really capture the fun and atmosphere of your night, I can provide images that you and your guests will love.