Art and nightclub photography controversy

(I started writing this post just over a month ago. Just spotted it in my drafts, hence it’s a little out-of-date).
Last night was wonderful! I did my first live-run as and it worked a dream. And I did plenty more too…

First up, I went to an open studios event at Persistence Works/Yorkshire Artspace. The event itself was a lot more fun than I’d expected, but even better I got paid to photograph proceedings (and I found out when I got there that after some internal negotiation, my initially rather small fee had been doubled!) I was worried that I wouldn’t get anything worthwhile, as I was a bit unprepared and very rushed, but in the event I got plenty of good photos.

After a whirlwind tour around Persistence Works, I headed back out of town to Jonny’s, where a Tajalli Vortex jam session was under way. Annabel, our new singer, joined us, and the resulting music was wonderful, she added a vital dimension, and at last our sound seems complete.

At 11pm, we packed up and Jonny and I headed over to Corporation. I’d told Mark, the owner of Corp, about my Dan Shot Me idea a couple of weeks ago, and he had seemed (if possible) even more enthusiastic about it than me. He rang me again the other day to ask when I was going to come down, so I thought it would be rude not to.

When we got there, Mark showed me around a bit and then let me loose to take some pictures. I was quite nervous at first, doing my usual: walking around and snapping surreptitiously while walking by, then scuttling off before someone has time to object. But then I started confronting people more directly, and at first some took offence but once I started handing out the badges and got

Had a funny ending to the night. I got into an argument with a bouncer because I’d taken a photo of a girl without asking her permission, and she got pissed off. We argued for about 10 minutes over whether or not I was allowed to take photos without asking permission, he asked whether I was a full-time professional photographer, I said no and he said he was so he knew what he was talking about and I didn’t. I told him most of the professional photographers I’ve come across aren’t worthy to kiss my arse, or words to that effect, which didn’t go down to well, but in the end he accepted that I was more-or-less, but very rude. I told him he was right and I didn’t give a shit. Then he went to have a long chat with the nightclub owner (the one who rang me when I was in London asking me to come and take photos). I had to wait outside the door, as if it was the headmaster’s office. Then the bouncer left and I went in to chat to the owner, who basically couldn’t give a toss that I was photographing people without their permission. Nice outcome!

I left then anyway, because my flash was on the blink and I knew I had more than enough good nightclub photos. It was 2am. I put my head up to the frosted windows of the Washington pub on the way back, just to try and discern whether any of the bar staff were still around. Somehow somebody spotted and recognised me through the glass (maybe it’s the beard), so they let me in, I got one last drink while they swept up, and a cab ride back home with the bar manager.

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