The Yard Theatre

Origin story

Club photography

I'd been snapping pics of friends on nights out since 2008 and after moving to east London I started club photography for a few of my favourite haunts like Shake Yer Dix, Douchebag and Push the Button, I loved capturing moments of unguarded joy and showing people the fun they'd forgotten!

Nights like halloween weekend were a favourite,with so many of the crowd celebrating their creativity (and themselves). Something I still try to encourage!

Push The Button
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Debbie
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Push The Button
Shake Yer Dix
Sink The Pink
Cybils House
Cybils House
Debbie
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Push The Button
Push The Button
Shake Yer Dix
Shake Yer Dix
Sink The Pink
Sink The Pink
Sink The Pink
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Push The Button
Shake Yer Dix
Cybils House
Push The Button
Sink The Pink
Sink The Pink
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Push The Button
Shake Yer Dix
Debbie
Shake Yer Dix
Knickerbocker
Douche Bag
Douche Bag
Douche Bag - Mar 2016
Douche Bag

Performers performing

As I and my then-partner made more friends in the queer club scene I started shooting drag and cabaret, shows and performers. I started (and stayed!) in the crowd for many of them but I became in-house photographer for the ShayShay Show, shot Harry Clayton-Wright across many of their projects, worked with Miss Behave performing In Edinburgh and on the South Bank, and even got to shoot a few acts at the Edinburgh Fringe.

I was in love with the charisma of performance and the drama of stage lighting. Still am, really.

performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
queer nightlife
queer nightlife
performance photography
queer nightlife
queer nightlife
queer nightlife
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography
performance photography - Jun 2015
performance photography

Fly on the wall

I love the documentary style of behind the scenes candids and felt really privileged to be able to even be in these spaces, especially with a mandate to document them. Back stage chaos, pre show set up, after show parties! I'm an anx nerd, I can't even blag myself into the places I'm supposed to be in, so these were a real thrill. I worked my ass off editing photos most evenings as my way of feeling less like an out-of-place tourist.

Cybils House
Push The Button
Briefs
Miss Behaves Game Show
Myra Dubois @ Push the_Button
Savage Disco
Miss Behaves Game Show
Nightbus
Reginas
The ShayShay Show
The ShayShay Show
The ShayShay Show
The ShayShay Show
Hungry @ Sunday Funday
Ministry of Sound
Shangri La
The ShayShay Show
Yo Sissy
Briefs
Maceos
Sunday Funday
The ShayShay Show
The ShayShay Show
KnickerBocker
Miss Behaves Game Show
Miss Behaves Game Show
Miss Behaves Game Show
Savage Disco
Affordable Pride
Maxi More @ Sunday Funday
Miss Behaves Game Show
Savage Disco
Savage Disco
Bourgeoisie @ Sunday Funday
Queen Adelaide
Cybils House - Sep 2017
Cybils House

A light in the crowd

I started carrying a foldable modifier on my off-camera flash that gave nice portrait style pics, even in the middle of a club. My first taste of really controlling light!

Cybils House
Cybils House
Me The Queen
Cybils House
Cybils House
Lasana
Push The Button
The ShayShay Show
Detox
Hurrr
Maybe Baby
Sink The Pink
Xanthony
Cybils House
Just May
Snapdragon & Tete Bang
Harry
Hungry
Sink The Pink
The ShayShay Show
The ShayShay Show
Cybils House
Cybils House
Sink The Pink
knickerbocker
Latrice+Bendela
Sunday Funday
Bimini Bon Boulash
May 2017

Queer nightlife inspo

I tried to take photos as vibrant as the atmosphere of queer basements, but they were rare, so inspired by places like the NYC Downlow at Glastonbury festival I tried to lean into the feeling being there, editing the visuals back to something paradoxically more genuine.

Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like. - David Alan Harvey

Hot Brown Honey
NYC Downlow
NYC Downlow
Sweat Shop
The ShayShay Show
Dollar Baby
Sink The Pink
NYC Downlow
NYC Downlow
NYC Downlow
Soddom&Begorrah
Sweat Shop
Briefs
Dalston Superstore
Miss Behaves Game Show
NYC Downlow
Maxi More
Savage Disco
NYC Downlow - Jun 2017
NYC Downlow

Living vivid

After using modifiers in the field I started experimenting with studio lighting, away from the bustle of nightlife but emulating it. It was a great opportunity to connect with people, and while I loved my documentary style of photography, it meant culling down thousands of photos per week and was exhausting!

When the first few shoots went well I started a collaborative crusade to learn from, signal-boost and celebrate some of the local icons I knew from queer creative nights like Sink the Pink, The ShayShay Show, Sunday Funday, Cybil's House, Savage and Knickerbocker.

Katy
Rodent
Shaka Cant
Envy
Hurrr
JayJay
Just May
PetiteLame
Ray
Shakona
Sue Givesafuck
Crystal
Delerium
Dolly
Don One
Mynxie
Saffron
ShayShay
Baby Lame
Cybil War
Frieda Slaves
Georgia Tasda
Mahatma Khandi
Nightbus
Taylor
Tete Bang
Jacqui
Bourgeoisie
Rodent - Jan 2018
Rodent

An actual Exhibition!

In 2018 I had an opportunity to exhibit at Dalston Superstore; forty portraits of kings and queens, club kids and performers, displayed for two months in the same scene that most of them came up in. It felt right: the circle complete.

Though the truth is I'd been lining up a ton of shoots just to keep busy; the bottom had fallen out of my career, my mental health, and my relationship. Around the same time as this exhibition I was gradually harassed out of those queer spaces I'd found so much safety and sense of belonging.

exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
exhibition at dalston superstore
Living Vivid Poster
exhibition at dalston superstore - Sep 2018
exhibition at dalston superstore

Mandated isolation

By 2020 I'd retrained as a javascript developer, was daring to be sociable again, found the courage to cut contact with my abuser, and even made the long-overdue upgrade to a full-frame camera!

But then covid!! Another year of isolation and joblessness, though this time it was happening to everyone. With no new shoots I focused on editing; experimenting in photoshop, learning how to retouch and add those neon swooshes I love.

By the time everyone was vaccinated it felt like a lifetime had passed, but I asked on socials if people were still interested in shooting, and was grateful to find that they were.

Shak
Dan
Jason
Luca
Ollie
Sam
Vicky
Charlie
Iro
TomR
Dan
John
Zia
Javi
Xander
Mufseen
Dan - May 2021
Dan

Present day

As of Christmas 2022, I've been in full time work for nearly 2 years. I've taken up meditation, gratitude practice, and the gym. I've gotten a diagnosis and been medicated for ADHD. Life is good rn, and I feel very lucky.

I'm only able to shoot a couple times a month, but I'm still driven to push my practice forward, and love making these creative connections with people, even 5 years in. In learning more about others I learn more about myself, and it will always be a thrill to show people themselves in a different light <3

Dan
ElliotR
Luke
P
Phil
Clay Taurus
Sam
Sandy
Eddy
Ethan
Joseph
Linus
Peter
Dion
Liam
ElliotR - Jun 2021
ElliotR

Thanks for reading, here's some more!

  • Book a shoot today

    Commissions
  • A brief history of my photography

    Retrospective
  • Almost every shoot I've ever shot

    Portrait Gallery
  • Choose your own adventure!

    Shoot Polls
  • Throwing light not shade

    Collaborations
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Mastodon