Photoset: The 2013 Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball

palacy | 5-23-13


A few months ago I got the opportunity to cover the 11th annual Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball. Held in St. Louis City Hall, the event featured a VIP reception parade, live music, Cajun food, and one big party. It was an honor to cover the event for Saint Louis Magazine. Attending functions like this definitely counts as a perk of shooting event photography.

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For Saint Louis Magazine, I shoot “party pics” which usually amounts to me posing good looking people in good looking poses in front of good looking backdrops for the sake of making good looking events look good looking. City Hall’s architecture is rather dapper well before dressing up for a party. It’s even better with dynamic light and shadows to play with.

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In addition to the required magazine shots, I was determined to spend some quality time shooting the night’s entertainment El Monstero.


For those of you not in the know, El Monstero is a Pink Floyd cover band, a particularly good one too. I’m not well educated in the ways of Pink Floyd myself; but, I have to say that El Monstero’s performance was impressive to say the least. Mayor Francis Slay is a big fan of theirs, and it seems no party would be complete without a giving the band a personal invitation. Can’t say I blame him.

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Also with them was their new visual sensation, Mega Legs. Mega Legs, or Meg Wilson, is a practicing aerial silk performer, and she also instructs in said air defying art at Bumbershoot Aerial Arts in St. Louis. Her entrance during Pink Floyd’s classic, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” was, …well, here you can view a similar performance and judge for yourself. I’ll wait. …Done? Good. I assume that you forgot there was a band for a moment. She has that effect on people.

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I look forward to next year’s ball. If I can’t go again shooting freelance, I’d gladly purchase tickets. We’ll see if I can sneak my camera inside. Oh, and speaking of which, I’ll close with equipment specs for the shoot.

Everything was captured via my trusty Sony A200. For the majority of the evening, I relied on my 16-50mm 2.8. It is a fast, sharp, and stunningly accurate zoom handy for shooting low light without flash. An external flash was still mounted on a bracket for the party pics style shots however. For distance shots, I used my Minolta 70-210mm. (Yes, that would be the fabled “Beercan.”) While it is not the fastest focusing lens in my collection, one would be hard pressed to find a constant f.4 lens under $1200 that provides the same performance.

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