One of the most valuable marketing tools for a nightlife event — the one thing that can be more successful than any other efforts to pack a venue full of party people — is a great set of photos from the prior event. That’s why, in this day and age, most big gay parties have a roaming photographer snapping pics of everyone drinking, dancing and having a great time. But the gay Aussie party Poof Doof has found itself in hot water over its “photo policy” that dictated what type of people should be included in those party pics.
For those unfamiliar with Poof Doof, it’s a long-running gay party that originated in Melbourne and also makes its way to other cities in Australia, including Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
A former nightlife photographer for the gay Aussie party posted to social media a screenshot of a “brief for photographers” that dictates the type of person to be photographed at Poof Doof events (and types of people who are not to be photographed).
Among the types of people not to be photographed: women, “skinny boys in burgundy t-shirts and chinos,” guys with bad skin, “messy boys” and “indi boys” (unless they are “breathtakingly good looking or epically stylish”).
Preferred guys include “Boys with muscles. Big ones. The kind of muscles that come about from spending at least 5 sessions a week at the gym.” Also, “hot boys” and drag queens (“but only the best”).
The photographer brief has since sparked backlash against Poof Doof, and has resulted in the gay Aussie party apologizing on social media and attempting to make right what it admits was “a mistake.”
Poof Doof general manager Susie Robinson has said the brief is seven years old and no longer reflects the brand of the gay Aussie party, though the photographer who posted the image claims it was given to him in 2014. (And another photographer claims he was handed the brief as late as 2016.)
“We’re not shying away from the fact we did write [the photographer brief], but it has been taken out of context,” Robinson tells Gay Star News. “It was written so long ago, it’s not something we circulate now.”
Following this hubbub, Poof Doof has written a lengthy statement on its Facebook page, indicating it plans to write a new set of photo guidelines. The party has also crafted a survey encouraging people to share personal stories, offer feedback and help write those guidelines.
What do you think of the photo guidelines that were in place at this gay Aussie party? Have you ever been to Poof Doof?
Photos taken from the Poof Doof Facebook page