Brian has been the Official Photographer of the London Samba Group for around fifteen years. Starting with the most basic of compact camera, he quickly developed the skills necessary to be successful in this line of work. Over time he gradually upgraded his photographic equipment so that he now uses only professional standard event equipment.
Brian’s talk took us on his development journey, showing both the equipment he used and the images obtained at various stages. He discussed the importance of preparatory work, including the need to attend rehearsals in order to identify the dance moves that would produce the best images, pre-walking the route of the procession to determine the best vantage point and background, and also the need to fully understand the photography equipment used in order to make best use of its functionality.
He explained that the skills require were a combination of the interpersonal skills of a wedding, photographer, the speed and decision-making ability of sports photographer along with the awareness of a theatre photographer to capture the colour and drama of the moment. Despite all the preplanning, decisions during the event still have to be made quickly in order to gain the best images.
Working closely with the Samba group, Brian has also taken superb ‘off duty’ images, not just of the dancers, but also of the support team. Brian showed us his images taken of the group at some of the biggest carnivals in the UK, including Notting Hill, and also of many taken on the groups overseas trips. Brian finished his talk by showing his more recent work at the Brighton Pride Festival. Spectacularly colourful images of amazing people having lots of fun. Brian’s work fully captures the atmosphere and razzmatazz of these events.
By Alan Barker