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Banquet photography

Banquet photography is the photography of large groups of people, typically in a banquet setting such as a hotel or club banquet room, with the objective of commemorating an event.

The photograph is usually taken from a high angle to ensure that each person is in focus while seated at their table.[1] Large cameras such as a 12×20 view camera or a panoramic camera were once used. Banquet photography was most popular in the 1880s, and had mostly waned by the 1960s.[2] In part its decline is owed to the difficult technical aspects of producing quality banquet photos, the difficulty of printing such large negatives, and the expense and size of the equipment needed.[2]


Some noted banquet photographers were Edward Kelty who was an early banquet camera user who photographed circuses predominantly with traditional banquet cameras. Robert B. MacKay used Cirkut cameras which worked outside and spun, whereas the traditional banquet camera with flashbulbs worked just as well inside.[3]


  1. ^ Morgan, Willard Detering (1974-01-01). The Encyclopedia of Photography: The Complete Photographer: the Comprehensive Guide and Reference for All Photographers. Greystone Press. 
  2. ^ a b Mallozzi, Vincent M. (2011-10-21). "Banquet Photos Put Everyone in the Picture - Field Notes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  3. ^ MacKay, Robert B. (2006-01-01). America by the Yard: Cirkut Camera Images from the Early Twentieth Century. W. W. Norton. ISBN 9780393051605.