I was asked to photograph a fine dining event. This was a dinner held by  Telegraph Events hosted by their restaurant critic William Sitwell and prepared by Aldo Zilli, the celebrity chef.

The brief from my client was to take some group images of people relaxing before the event in the garden, of a small amount of very informal speeches, of the food and of the dinner in progress. I was booked for three hours and had agreed my approach with my client.

Food people are creative and inevitably could be tense on and evening like this. I was aware that this event would be smart if informal in style. I decide that it was only appropriate in these circumstances to dress appropriately. The first person I met was Mr Stilwell and he complimented me on wearing a suit saying that so many photographers don’t make an effort. To me it was a matter of professionalism and I do sometimes despair of colleagues who give our industry a bad name.

The brief from my client was to take some group images of people relaxing before the event in the garden, of a small amount of very informal speeches, of the food and of the dinner in progress. I was booked for three hours and had agreed my approach with my client.

Food people are creative and inevitably could be tense on and evening like this. I was aware that this event would be smart if informal in style. I decide that it was only appropriate in these circumstances to dress appropriately. The first person I met was Mr Stilwell and he complimented me on wearing a suit saying that so many photographers don’t make an effort. To me it was a matter of professionalism and I do sometimes despair of colleagues who give our industry a bad name.

Mr Zilli very kindly posed for a few pictures in the kitchen and with Mr Sitwell and then the guests began to arrive. I purposely got a range of photographs of guests both with Mr Sitwell and with a board supplied by the Telegraph advertising the event. 

Mr Zilli very kindly posed for a few pictures in the kitchen and with Mr Sitwell and then the guests began to arrive. I purposely got a range of photographs of guests both with Mr Sitwell and with a board supplied by the Telegraph advertising the event. 

Guests at the event were very accommodating and willing to be photographed in groups. They asked about copies of the images and I told them to ask the Telegraph afterwards. Sadly it was a little chilly and therefore a number of guests were in need of coats.

Speeches made in the garden were light-hearted and it was possible to capture the mannerisms of the speakers as well as reaction from the assembled guests.

Dining Group

As service got underway, about a dozen people with jobs to do crammed into a remarkably small kitchen. This is the kind of situation where a photographer does not have freedom to move and interfere in the tableau in front of them. As any true fly on the wall photographer, I kept as far out of the way as possible whilst capturing the action as it evolved. 

The dinner was held in quite tight and cosy but splendid rooms, with little light. The aim was to get shots of conversations, elegant eating and drinking, and some of the table detail as well as one or two wider perspectives.

Telegraph Events were very positive in their feedback.

If you have a special event such as a social dinner or social party that you would like photographed, please drop me a line to see how I can help you.