The People You Meet Working As A Club Night Photographer
The night is dark and full of terrors.
It’s a thankless (and let’s face it, not overly lucrative) job. Standing around in nightclubs/bars on Friday and Saturday nights, trying to capture “the vibe” i.e. drunk people having the BEST TIME EVER. Sure you can get drunk while you do it, but that's a hard and fast path to liver cirrhosis. And while your job is to just document people socialising, you do meet plenty of people in the sense you talk to strangers who see you as nothing more than a conduit for documenting their super awesome social life. But as anyone who’s stood around a nightclub sober for any period of time, people at clubs are the worst. That’s why they’re all drunk. To put up with each other.
And photographers see you. They see ALL of you. And one of these people are probably you:
The ‘TAKE MY PHOTO NOW’ girl/guy
You’ve barely taken two steps inside the club and there they are. In your face, asking for a photo. The camera still has its damn lens cap on ffs. Which is lucky because maybe by the time you’ve gotten your shit together and are ready to actually take a photo, it will have been long enough for them to make sure their friends are in the exact right pose/duck face/lean/squat/whatever.
^ Look at this poser.
The ‘Let me see it first’ girl.
Often linked to ‘TAKE MY PHOTO NOW’ - not only have you had to take 17 shots in a row because they weren’t quite happy with the lighting, you now have to go through each one to pick which is the best.
^Pls delete this.
The ‘Yeah I shoot too but only on film’ bro.
It’s a known fact that amateurs who shoot on film are second only to vegans in not being able to wait more than a second to let you know about how they do.
The ‘Bro you have the sickest job’ bro.
“Bruh you must get so many chicks doing this job hey!” Try it yourself, and if you’re still enjoying it after two weekends of standing around sober in a nightclub for 4+ hours… well then you’re clearly insane.
The ‘I’m not gonna ask you to take my photo but I’m gonna circle around you the entire night and get a natural photo’ gal.
Classier than 'TAKE MY PHOTO NOW'. They don't come bounding up. No. They duck off to the bathroom first, making sure everything is #onpoint before re-emerging. They follow you around at a safe distance, maybe their head will pop up in the background of a couple of shots, in the hope that subconciously as a photographer it occurs to you that you must get a photo of them. Kinda like Inception. And then:
"Hey want a photo?"
"Yeah let me get a snap."
"Oh I'm not sure..."
The ‘Bro I’m so wasted take a photo of me doing crazy shit!’ bro.
“BRUH check this I’ve got a fucking ciggie up each fucking nostril.” Sure the photographer will document this moment. It encapsulates our youth culture So. Fucking. Perfectly. Same as when you tackle your mate. Or pull your pants down. Nothing is funnier then exposing your pinger-shrivelled penis to an entire club of strangers. Fuck man you are so wasted. These photos are gonna be CLASSIC on Monday.
The 'Yeah I used to do club photos but I've moved on' bro.
Yeah you’ve moved on to conning aspiring young Insta-models into letting you take "arty" photos of them to help increase the creep ratio in their follower numbers.
^ Check your DM's during the week as 'I used to do club photos' will be there with an offer.
The ‘I only shoot festivals now" bro.
Ah yep so you've got a camera for five minutes and stand shoulder to shoulder with 10 others who also got cameras for Christmas who realised media access is actually super easy to get. Everyone takes the same photos... BUT, #27 on last year’s Hottest 100 chucks YOU a re-gram. You! Nobody’s getting paid but when you're an adult still seeking that same feeling you got when mum stuck one of your drawings on the fridge, 1lyk=1 more day not hanging yourself.
The ‘Hey it's Monday and my terrible life choices have just hit me harder than a water melon to the face so I need you to delete that photo’ guy/gal.
Monday comes along and the 400-strong social album goes up and it looks like everyone had a real good time. It also looks like a certain couple had an even better time than most. At the time it was all fun and games but on Monday morning it’s all Facebook Messenger and “please delete that photo before my partner sees it”.
The ‘Oh yeah what lens you using?’ bro.
“Yeah nah I got a 50mm 1.8, so fuckin’ sick man.” We get it. You have a vague understanding of camera tech. Regardless, the photographer literally cannot hear a word you're saying becuase it's a nightclub, they're just smiling and nodding in the vague hope that maybe you'll buy them a drink and fuck off.
^Stole this photo from legit photographer/legend Jarrad Seng, who has probably never stepped foot inside a night club.
The ‘I’ll get naked for barcards’ bro.
Basically 'Bro I’m so wasted…' except this bro isn’t so wasted that he doesn’t think he can’t get some free drinks out of his kurrraazzyy shenanigans. Mate their not getting paid enough to gift you one of their three drinks cards they were given at the start of the night for some photo of your hairy arse.
The ‘I need some free content for my lifestyle blog/tumblr’ gal.
“Hey I’ve recently launched this new lifestyle brand that isn’t a pyramid scheme and seen as you’re shooting anyway reckon you could get a couple of me just looking easy breezy cover girl?”
The ‘I need some free content for my Soundcloud/FB page’ DJ.
“Hey I’ve recently launched my DJ career to include places that aren’t my bedroom and seen as you’re shooting anyway reckon you could get a couple of me while I’m playing the open set? Preferably from behind me facing out in the crowd, you know the type I’m talking about.”
^The ironing, is delicious.
The ‘I need some free content for my new streetwear brand’ bro.
“Hey I’ve recently launched my new streetwear brand which will be lit fam and seen as you’re shooting anyway reckon you could get a couple of me with the squad – one from front showing small logo on left breast pocket and one from back with the bigger logo on the back. Yeah sweet man we’ll sling you a t-shirt once things start kicking off. You’re basically getting in at the ground floor of a multi-million dollar empire.”
^haha wow Pilerats you're so meta BUY OUR SHIT.
The ‘I only smoke on the weekends’ guy/gal.
We know you don’t smoke normally, that’s why you’re so keen to make sure this photo of you does show you smoking to see how badarse you are. You bummed that dart from some poor sap too cooked to argue who was just looking for a friend to talk to about how we’re all the same but there are all these systems that keep us apart, n stuff.
The ‘I only kiss people of the same sex on the weekends’ guy/gal.
Progressive/10, until you look closer and realise there is like a 1mm gap between their lips 95% of the time.
The ‘Ay bruh I’m a dead fish quick get a pic,’ fish.
S/O to our club night photographer mates who helped us put this together with their jaded af outlook on life.