These photos were taken on my first paid job as a photographer, photographing in the student union at University. ‘Planet of Sound’ or ‘Hound’ as the students call it is the dance night in the student union every friday. I’ve not put these photos in because they are meant to highlight Britain’s ‘binge drinking culture’, but instead because they make me laugh. The scene made me laugh at the time, and make me laugh a couple of years later, captured in a photograph. Having said that they sum up my memories of Hound quite nicely… a fair illustration of students at their local club on a Friday night I think.
I rarely use flash in my photography, in fact never in my personal work. Perhaps that’s why I didn’t look through these photos for two years. However the photographer Martin Parr uses a ring flash for (practically) everything and he’s used it most famously to highlight the naffness of the British people. I used it in this case because it’s what the company I worked for wanted; flash shots of people smiling with their friends in clubs. I’d hand them a card afterwards and they would supposedly (I’m not sure it worked) sign up to a website the next morning to view the photos. It was pretty boring, and slightly surreal being in these clubs full of students that have spent the past 3 hours drinking in college bars. However coming across scenes like these and recording them made it worthwhile in hindsight.
On another note, one thing I’ve learned when you take a lot of photos of something: always go back to it 6 months, a year, several years later and go over them again. You’ll pick up on photographs you missed – and probably value them more than the ones you picked in the first place.