‘We get a lot of nudity’: What it’s really like to be the photographer for Asylum
He’s the all-seeing eye of your night out
The ever-present figure on a night out, the club photographer will document your snakebite-covered outfit, your cross-eyed pose with your mates and you can bet he snapped the moment you’d rather forget.
Aslyum’s lead photographer has the luxury of seeing the clubber’s world through a sober lens. By day, Rupert Langford is a fourth year Computer Science student, but by night he’s the phantom figure whose face is hidden behind that unforgiving lens.
“I’ve been photographing for Asylum for three years,” said Rupert, who first picked up the camera at the end of his first year. “I’ve worked in all clubs in Hull, aside from Fuel, at one time or another. The atmosphere is different for each club and definitely depends on the people. It’s the people that make the night.”
He added: “At The Sugar Mill you get the locals and they always track down the photographer. You get the posers who hunt you down, they know exactly what they want. Asylum is a lot more relaxed. I’ve ended up doing the rugby boys’ Naked Chef night for the past two years – it’s always an experience.”
But for Rupert, it’s the photo-bombers who are his favourite when he’s working:
“I suppose the best characters would have to be the photo-bombers because you get some really entertaining photos from them. You get these groups just accepting a photo-bomber and they’re best friends for that split second. The worst are the people that look at the photo afterwards and just ‘tut’. I mean, I don’t mind taking it again but you get people who want four or five of the same photo. Come on, I’ve got a job to do.
“There are some pictures that just can’t go out. Obviously, I can’t let any nudity get out, which has happened a few times in Asylum. There was one girl who completely lifted up her top as the photo was taken and it was only found while we were going through the edit.”
Freshers’ Week – which is usually one of the biggest weeks of the year – was pretty quiet this year. Rupert said: “Freshers’ Week is always busy. We have three photographers working every night running around getting as many photos as possible, getting maybe 300 pictures per photographer which is more than double on a standard night. Although, I’d say this year’s Freshers’ Week was much quieter than other years.
“We start around 11 or 12ish and only stick around for a couple of hours. I normally have a couple of drinks before I go in, just to take the edge off and it helps you to relax. Depending on the night, you’ll get pushed around quite a bit. Also, it makes it easier to approach people if you’ve had a couple, you’re on a similar level. Though you can still watch from a distance. It’s a different experience and I would recommend people try it.
“My favourite venues are either Welly or Asylum. Welly because I like the music and my mates always go there. But at Asylum I know everyone, I have so many friends there it makes the night easier. I can go and have a laugh with the bar staff and the bouncers, so that’s good.”
“The only thing is that I don’t really feel like going out to Asylum anymore because I feel naked without my camera. I feel like a part of me is missing. I’ll actively keep my camera on me throughout the night because I know I can capture funny moments with it. It gives me some entertainment. For me, there’s no real off-duty.”