I was out last night at G-A-Y with some friends (after going out for 'one drink') and was annoyed at not being able to take my camera into the club because it 'looked professional'. I asked Jeremy Joseph, the guy who runs the club, about the policy whilst I was leaving and he told me to email him about it. So when I got home at gone 4am this morning, I did. What follows is the ever so slightly drunken result.
I was the guy tonight who was asking you about photography within G-A-Y. I own a camera which is a consumer camera but which is larger than those that your security staff allow into the club. I was told tonight that it had to be 'checked in' as it was a 'proffessional camera' which wasn't allowed into the club.
I can understand why you you need to check bags and why you are conscious of people taking photos for the wrong reason within the club (the Christian Right springs to mind) but why do you distinguish between small cameras and big ones, the abilities of which are often quite similar? I can understand why you might wish to deny people who want to downgrade or write off the people who go to G-A-Y because we are gay (though these are people who presumably wouldn't be allowed entry as it was) but to deny people from the gay community to take photos seems ludicrous.
Just because my camera is larger than other peoples' cameras doesn't mean I will take any photos that others won't. In fact I am only really interested in crowd photography and in the fantastic lighting and effects which you have in G-A-Y. If you are confident with people who take photos, you can market your club so much more, without spending your own money. A loving visitor-base is something that G-A-Y enjoys but allowing people to share their visual experiences is something that will easily help G-A-Y to promote itself - without doing that, it seems you're losing a great opportunity.
I would love to discuss this with you Jeremy, whether by phone (***** ******) or email (*********). Even if you don't want to discuss it further, would I be able to take my camera in to the club in the future?
It's funny reading it now, and large parts of it don't even make sense. This was the second attempt as well (amazingly without typos) because my webmail thingie made me retype it when it decided to not send the first one.
Why are 'professional looking' cameras not allowed in G-A-Y? And why did I give this guy my phone number?