This was probably the most bipolar evening in Croydon (regarding the weather). The Charles Gordon Trust sponsored the Golden Lion Awards, an unforgettable event that took place at the Fairfield's Hall on the 23rd of September '23. As a photographer, I had the privilege of witnessing and capturing the glamour, the excitement and the talent that unfolded on the red carpet.

The Red Carpet Extravaganza:

The night began with the iconic red carpet, where celebrities from various fields graced the event with their presence. I had the chance to photograph some of the biggest stars in and around Croydon, as they walked the red carpet in style. Their sparkly outfits and charisma were magnetic, making each shot a piece of art.

Celebrities Under the Spotlight:

One of the highlights of the evening was the interviews with the celebrities. I witnessed a few celebrities that I grew up watching on TV answering questions and sharing their thoughts on the awards. It felt so surreal to be standing next to Richard Blackwood and Kelle Brian.

The Main Event:

After getting inside, grabbing a drink, eating some food and catching up with longtime friends and coworkers (not me, the guests), we were guided to an auditorium where a sensational dance performance took center stage, though I regretfully can't recall the name of the group. Their choreography and energy left me and the audience in awe, and I was fortunate to capture the dance's intensity. Beautiful young black girls with such talent and power, they started off with a stomp and stepped us in the night.

Honoring Emerging Artists and Others:

The Golden Lion Awards, hosted by Richard Blackwood and Kaz Crossley, celebrated both new and old artists within the community. Even the brave women and men of the Croydon Police force. With live performances from Poetic Jess, Slim, Omar and So Solid Crew, everyone was in high spirits, even me.

It was heartwarming to see talent recognised and the dedication of our law enforcement officers appreciated. And I must say the emotional performances and moments during these award presentations were a privilege to photograph.

Games and Fun

The event was not just about glamour and awards; it was also about fun and entertainment. The guests enjoyed games like oversized checkers, Connect 4 and a 360 degree photo machine. These activities added a playful touch to evening, allowing me to capture candid moments of laughter and competition.

Running the Show:

While they were probably more than 3 other photographers at the event, I found myself naturally taking the lead. My energy and passion for photography shone through and it didn't go unnoticed. I was requested to stay longer, a testament to the impact I had on the atmosphere.

An Amazing Experience:

One of the most unexpected and delightful outcomes of the evening was gaining recognition on socials days after the event. Several celebrities (including Richard Blackwood) I had photographed began liking and commenting on my work, following and even reposting me on Instagram. It was crazy, I felt like I was dreaming. I'm still awaiting someone to pinch me. But that kept the magic of the night going for me.

The Golden Lion Awards 2023 was an unforgettable experience. It was an honour to be a part of an event that celebrated talent, recognised the police force and brought together celebrities from various fields. The energy, the elegance and the excitement of the night left an indelible mark on my memory.

A Desire to Relive the Moment:

As I reflect on that evening, I can't help but hope for another chance to be a part of such a spectacular event. The Golden Lion Awards 2023 was a testament to the power of photography to capture moments of brilliance and to connect with the world.

In conclusion, my night at the Golden Lion Awards was a dream come true. It reaffirmed my passion for photography and I look forward to the possibility of reliving such a magical experience in the future. It was a night where stars shone both in the sky and on the red carpet. I am grateful to have been there to capture it all.

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