What it’s really like to be the LCR photographer

‘You wouldn’t grab my arse sober, so don’t do it drunk’

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He’s the hero of the LCR. He’s the victim of your predatory drunken demands. And most importantly, he’s the only sober man on the dancefloor.

Jonathan Gillespie is the LCR photographer. The third year Film and History student chatted with us and offered a glimpse of what it’s like snapping drunk students twice a week.

Hi Jonathan. How did you become the LCR photographer?

I had a mate who works in the LCR who heard about it and passed my name on.  This was back at the end of last year and they gave me a trial shift.  It was really awkward because midway through my trial shift the old LCR photographer showed up when he wasn’t meant to, so there I was looking like a mug as if I was just some creep who’d shown up with a camera.


What are the best bits of the job?

The drunk people.  Drunk people are equally brilliant and putrid at the same time.  I had this girl just start following me around once, trying to be my assistant. Whenever somebody wanted a photo she’d like proper try to organise them and then give them all poses.  And whatever I did she wouldn’t leave.  It lasted about ten minutes before her housemates came and had to forcibly drag her away.  She was jokes.

And what are worst bits of the job?

Being the only sober man on the dancefloor.  It makes everything really creepy, and people are very touchy when they’re drunk.  Even though it’s them touching me it feels creepy on my part.  Like please, guys, don’t grab my arse.  You wouldn’t grab my arse sober, so don’t do it drunk.

Also, there’s the fact that working in the LCR has killed my love for it.  It’s really sad but true.

The worst thing was when Yik Yak turned on me after the Chuckle Brother’s photos didn’t go up the next day. I couldn’t put them up for personal reasons.


Are you allowed to drink at the LCR or have you had pre-drinks before going to work?

I’m not going to answer that, but I will say I haven’t been told I can’t drink. Make of that what you will.

What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever witnessed in the LCR?

There’s this one fresher flat who have had a lot of drama, which is really awkward that I know that because I don’t even know their names.  First week of term they were proper close.  They always went to the LCR in freshers week together, they’d all go around with each other in that freshman way where you think that if you your flatmates are out of your eyesight for more than a minute then you’ve lost them forever.  It was quite sweet.

But then at the end of freshers things got awkward.  You see this one flatmate, we’ll call him Shorty, he wanted a photo with his flatmate Blondie. Now Blondie, she didn’t want a photo.  But he persisted. And she finally gave in. But that was the beginning of the end for them.

The next week at Damn Good they were all there, but not as a group.  With different people.  And by the end of the night Blondie and Shorty had seen each other and were arguing – it was really sad to see.  They all still come to the LCR all the time, but with different people.  A couple of weeks ago Blondie walked past Shorty and when she passed him she tutted and stormed off.

Also once, after walking off the stage, there was a couple arguing and I had to stand on the other side of the curtain because it was too awkward to walk through. I struggled not to laugh through the whole ordeal.


I’ve heard that you take two photos of everyone – is there a reason why?

Two photos?  I think it’s usually because the first photo’s shit. Like either I’ve not changed the settings when moving about in the LCR,or because I know the people won’t like it because they look too drunk, or because the main stage uses a lot of strobe and it destroys my camera. If the strobe comes on midway through a photo it makes everything look really blurry, or it means people’s faces get plastered twice and they look really, really odd.

What’s better, Damn Good or A-List?

Damn Good. Tim’s a really good DJ and I prefer the music just generally – and I really get on with the people on stage on a Tuesday. Plus the lights are brighter on a Tuesday, so it looks a lot cooler on camera.