Gala Night Photographer at the TLH Carlton Hotel in Torquay, Devon

I love the wide range of events I get asked to cover. Gala nights are a favourite of mine because, just like weddings, there are lots of smiles and candid shots to capture. Let’s have a look at what an evening at the function room at the Carlton Hotel is like…

TLH operate a few hotels in Torquay and this was the first time I had photographed an event at the Carlton Hotel. For a Gala Photographer, this was a nice venue for photography.

What struck me straight away was how light, bright and airy the room was. This is a very clean and well-maintained function room. It has its own bar which is nicely stocked. As it got darker the lighting inside the room kept it nicely lit.

The one thing that was a slight issue for me was the lack of any ‘full fat’ drinks like Coke, Pepsi or energy drinks like RedBull. They only had diet drinks and no energy drinks. Next time I’ll have to bring my own.

The event I was covering was the Ton Class Association Gala Dinner. The TCA’s aim is to provide information about those little wooden ships that were Britain’s main line of defence against the sea mine throughout the 1950s–90s.

Let’s have a look at the photos…

The people were absolutely lovely and they made me feel very welcome. I arrived nice and early so I could get the detail shots before the guests started to arrive. A few were already in the main bar across the hall. Having two bar areas makes this a great place for weddings and events. If a room has to be changed from, say, a wedding ceremony to the evening reception, there is a place for everyone to go while the room is being prepared.

A number of venues have no separate area, other than outside. Because the British weather is hard to predict, having different areas inside a venue is a big plus in my book!

Photography Talk

This event was actually pretty easy. I’ve become used to venues having issues I need to workaround. The only slight issue here was their own lighting, but because I had on-camera flashes even that wasn’t an issue.

The main bar is quite dark so I ramped up the ISO to keep some ambient light and used flash more as a fill light. The function room was well lit so I could keep the ISO down. I had my bigger AD200’s with me but didn’t need to use them. It isn’t often they stay in the bag!

Camera equipment used:

  • 2 x Sony A9’s
  • Sony 85mm F1.4 GM
  • Sony 24mm F1.4 GM
  • Sony 70-200mm F2.8 GM
  • 2 x Godox V1’s

Simon Day

If you have a wedding, portrait, event or festival coming up please contact me. Likewise for portraits. Check out my social media channels: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter