Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's currently 4:13 am in the morning here, and I've only just returned home from work. After downing a cup of instant coffee and a red bull in the space of a mere three hours, I'm far from feeling even remotely drowsy.

Although my flat is dead quiet at this time of the night, I can still hear music. I can hear taxis tooting, and bouncers yelling at dancing ravellers who salmon across the sidewalk in a laughing drunken heap. The yells and hoots of Wellington youth, all trussed up in the finest dress shirts and crop tops a student allowance can buy, pounds through my skull like a new language. When I close my eyes the strobes are still flashing. I'm far from feeling drowsy. Infact, I'm pinging, still shaking. I feel alive.

This is the life of a club photographer.

On a Saturday night, most of my friends are heading out, ready for a night of drunken tomfoolery. They strut down Courtenay Place in tiny dresses and six inch heels with brains buzzing, hollering at cute boys and generally being disorderly, drunk on vodka and high on the night. The entertainment scene in Wellington is pretty darn mint. Weekends often consist of a few beers on a sunny Friday afternoon, followed by a wild Saturday night with shots and the nae nae, to be complimented with a yarn over brunch or leftover maccas from the night before, on a lazy Sunday morning. We're living the dream.

Meanwhile I'm donning flat shoes and a little eyeliner, there to document the whole shebang. I've been working as a club photographer for almost a year now. You'll see me every Saturday night, from round about midnight till three in the morning, running through town with my camera in hand, hugging strangers and blowing kisses to my favourite security guards. Sometimes cute boys even ask for my digits *winky face*.

As a self confessed hermit who often lacks the motivation to head out, scoring a job as a club photographer was kinda ideal for me. I've met so many people, from the bartenders and security guards, to the clientele who (surprisingly) often remember me, despite having downed three or more $5 gin and tonics by the time I run into them. I hear all the latest music, I see all the latest clothes. When I head to uni on Monday, I know whose hooked up with who. I know who got too lippy with the security guard and got his ass kicked. I know who "baconed" on Blair Street and as a result was escorted home in the paddy wagon. In just 10 months I've become the eyes and ears of the Wellington social scene. So for someone who used to rarely leave her room, who shops at second hand clothing stores and listens to The Smiths, I'm relatively up to date with all that is trendy.

I'll admit at times I get frustrated. There is the occasional bonehead who takes things a step too far. But in my experience by simply turning around and saying "not cool mate" or "bro chill out" in that casual and frank tone New Zealanders are famous for, I'll often get an apology and a cuddle. People often say to me that I must tire of doing the same old thing every week, but to be honest I love it. It's like getting paid to go out with friends every weekend. Most of my fellow classmates at uni are stressing out about finding photography jobs when the campus bubble finally bursts. I'm one of the few who was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to get experience in the field, and before graduation as well.

I love it. I love to take photos, I love meeting people and dancing through the CBD every Saturday night without a care in the world. To be honest, I think being a club photographer is more of a lifestyle than a job. After all if you get paid to do what you love, can you really call it working?

See you next Saturday babes xx

Always have time for a selfie!

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