It’s been about a month and a half now since I started photographing at a local bar and occasional a night club as well and I gotta say; it’s a riveting experience. Not only do I get paid to do what I love, but I network with many people, meet new people, blow off steam from the week and socialize all night! As the saying goes ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.
Here is how the nights usually go;
9:30: Show up, drop my coat off and get my equipment all ready and settings set
9:45: Get a light beverage, maybe a quick snack to keep me going for the next few hours
10:00: People start arriving and I start taking their photos with the first incomers. I usually tell the first people that they are the first people tonight and that they are going to be my test shot! It’s a good way to generate conversation and start the night off. These photos usually happen in front of a photo wall or behind a promo sign!
10:00-12:00: Take photos of customers behind a big Instagram sign, walk at least 6 laps of the bar to get some sitting group shots, partner standing shots, some pics of the dance floor, some at the bar etc!
The types of people you may encounter;
I find that all locations I work at, I meet a variety of different people! All walks of life show up and I find it wonderful. This is the only place that I am able to meet so many different and interesting people and learn what works and what doesn’t in an on-going fashion. Here’s a few of the general characters I meet;
The Camera-Loving-Groups; Every week I have a group of guys or girls that take about ten different photos with different poses. I Stand there for 5 or 6 minutes and the flash just keeps going! It’s like those scenes from a movie where the best friends are in the photo booths and you see a flash and the photo pops up on the screen over and over again!
The Flirty Type; I frequently get asked after I take a photo “How do I look [insert adjective like hot, gorgeous, awesome] right?”. I’ve learned that the best way to respond is to agree because I honestly think every photo turns out quite well (people are happy and it shows). I’ve also learned that you will once in a while get someone who takes the fact that you’ve agreed with them as an invite to flirt and takes the “yeah you look great’ as me saying ‘You’re wicked attractive, let’s get together”, in which case politely laughing it off works wonders.
“I Look Awful – Re-take” customers; It’s totally normal to have to do at least one re-take when taking group or partner photos. Don’t feel as though you’ve done something wrong in taking the photo – it honestly might just be that they don’t like the angle or the position of their hair or their hand on their hip! I’ve taken up to 9 retakes of one group of three before and I never take it personally because I’ve taken selfies – I know you have to have the right position and the right angle!
The Tipsy Photo Wanter that Keeps Coming Back!; If you are taking photos at an event with alcohol you will have that one person who keeps coming back for photos by themselves even though they’ve already taken 5. Humour them – if anything you’ll both get a good laugh out of it! If you have a long line that would be different and I’d suggest maybe taking a quick one, no retakes, and politely asking them to let someone else come up and try or if you are walking around just give them a thumbs up, a smile and then walk away!
Overall, if you are an aspiring photographer and enjoy event photography I honestly think trying to get into a club or bar is something you should try out. It’s fun, it’s a good atmosphere and you get to enjoy good music, good company and do what you love! Any photographers reading this that might have some interesting stories to share?