Club photography, not the easiest of disciplines to get right, although an awful lot of young photographers would like to follow it.

I had a request to cover the New Year’s Eve party at Carlito’s Cocktail Bar in Clitheroe, which I happily accepted and quite looked forward to. I went along to meet the owner, Carlo, and took to him very quickly. A rather quietly spoken gentleman with quite a disarming manner. In fact a very pleasant chap.

The club, like any night life spot, seems quite soulless during the day, devoid of the colourful lights, conversation and gyrating bodies that fill these sort of places at night. I’ve seen many such places during the day, and it never ceases to amaze me how a venue can transform so much in a matter of hours. In fact there are a few places I have visited during daylight hours that I really wouldn’t like to return to before they magically transform into their nocturnal alter ego. Carlito’s on the other hand is nicely decorated and could fully function during the day, as it has nothing requiring nightfall to hide. The place is extremely well maintained and the staff are highly visible and gregarious. A really nice bunch of folk from the owner right through to the cleaner.

We put together a “photo booth” just off the corridor on the first floor, so as to “nab” anyone passing to the main dance floor or up to the second floor VIP lounge and second dance floor. The “booth” ran from 2200hrs through till midnight, and I then went on a roam around the floors. To be honest, it was this part that tends to worry me, as I know I stand out like a sore thumb at these sort of places. Why? because I’m of a different generation. The clients were all dressed in their party refinery, from short skirts and high heels, to long dresses or tight jeans. The guys all wore their branded shirts and jeans, or best Chinos. Whereas you may think I stood out as the oldest there, I was more visible due to the fact I was the only guy in a business suit. If I’m working, I dress for work.

Did it initiate any comments, funny looks or pointing of fingers? Not a bit of it. In fact, I think it helped the clients identify who the photographer was in a crowded room. Now, this may have been down to the clients that frequent Carlito’s, because I found them all to be just as chatty and as friendly as the staff themselves. In fact I would say Carlito’s has a culture all of its own.

I’ve photographed a number of similar events, and I think this one has been the most friendliest and therefore the most enjoyable. An excellent venue and a guaranteed good night out.

As a thank you to Carlo and his staff, I put together a little video of the event. Want to see it?

If you would rather see the images, you can find them here.