5 Questions with Marco Sanchez, Official Photographer, The Edwardian Ball

Photo by Eric Gillet

Now, it can be hard to improve the look of something, ahem, that’s already visually fantastic, but Marco Sanchez, the official Edwardian Ball photographer, does just that. When his photos come back from our event weekends, we are dazzled all over again how spectacular everything was, from the venue and stages right down to the smallest details on a participant’s outfit.

When he’s not photographing the Edwardian world, Sanchez is a full-time photographer for UCSF. “A couple of days after shooting the Edwardian Ball in SF I was shooting brain surgery in an operating room,” he reveals. “I am very lucky to be able to practice my passion, thanks to mom and dad. My parents are immigrants from Guatemala and even though they were financially limited at the time, they bought me my first camera at 16. I’ve been shooting ever since.” (Lucky for us!)

Sanchez will be capturing the Los Angeles Edwardian Ball on February 9th and 10th, 2018, so if you see him be sure to give him a good ol’ flutter when he points his camera your gorgeous Gorey way.

1. You make the Ball weekend explode with color and life. What are some of the elements that you look for in a great picture at the event?

Expression and composition are the most important elements for me. I also try to include the surroundings so there is a feel for the event and it tells a story. Occasionally, I will anticipate a special moment, when expression, lighting and composition converge. It takes patience to wait for it, and doesn’t always pay off but when it does it’s very rewarding.

2. Do you use any filters or special techniques?

No special filters. But I do use cameras that handle the low light situations, although getting low light and action is extremely hard. I shoot raw so I do put in a lot of time in post-production. Lightroom is my weapon of choice.

3. What are some photography tips you can share with mere mortals who may be using their phones to capture the events?

I would suggest more panos: they give you more to work with. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Pano left to right, but also zigzag and see what kind of funky result you get. Also, a good camera app will let you adjust exposure for your subject and pick the focus point.

4. What’s your all time fave photo you’ve taken at the Ball and why?

That’s a hard one. People who attend the Edwardian Ball are some of the most photogenic subjects a photographer can hope for. The performers are also wonderful to photograph and its really hard for me not put the camera down and just watch in amazement. I especially have a photo crush on Vau De Vire. I have been shooting them since 2006.

Vau de Vire. Photo by Marco Sanchez

So all I can do is really pick two that illustrate successful photos for me. Both taken at the Globe theater in L.A. One is of Vau de Vire performing among the crowd. This one exemplifies the energy VDV brings and includes the audience, not just the stage so it tells a more complete story. The other is of Beth and Carrie from Rosin Coven looking beautiful, and again this photo telling a more complete story by including the classy venue.

Photo by Marco Sanchez
Photo by Marco Sanchez

5. What’s the hardest to capture and why?

Taking a photo that truly does justice to some of the attendees outfits is tough because of the limitations of lighting and setting. So I feel bad sometimes when I can’t fully capture a beautiful outfit. That’s why its a great thing to have Misha Kutuzov doing his magic in the photo booth where you can appreciate them in their full glory.

See more of Sanchez’s Edwardian Ball galleries right here.

~Interview by

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The Edwardian Ball

The #EdwardianBall is an elegant, whimsical celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, fashion, oddities, vending, and of course, Edward Gorey.