Saturday, December 10, 2011

#121 Something Fishy

 One from last week's visit to the Borough Market. Meet your local fishmonger.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

#120 Movember Man

Hello! It's been a while since I hit the streets and to be honest, even when I have been out and about I was struggling to find characters of any interest to me. Maybe it was just the winter's blues or something like that!

Anyhoo, meet this lovely chap who managed to raise over one thousand pounds for charity with his super neat mustache! I saw him while wandering around the Borough Market. He is visiting London to show off his tashe to his friends in London before he gets a shave. Excellent look, sir!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

#119 Coach

I was walking through Alexandra Palace when I spotted this coach timing two girls. I loved his focus as he was taking times down and pushing them to do better. I asked him if I could snap his portrait and he said yes. He reminded me of my athletics coach from the old days. Serious and strict.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

#118 Olivia The Gallery Girl

Meet Olivia, who works at a gallery at Columbia Road. She was doing the paperwork when I noticed her. 'Just keep on doing what you're doing', I said to her. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

#117 Smoking Hot

Another one from a few of weeks back. A lovely lady who was sitting outside a shot smoking a cigarette.

Monday, November 7, 2011

#116 Hitchin Girl

One from a few weeks' back when I went to visit Sosij in Hitchin. We spotted this lovely girl sitting on the bench in the market square smoking. She was friendly and kindly agreed to pose for us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

#115 Diego

One from a couple of weeks ago when Jim and I walked around Southbank looking for some interesting souls. Meet Diego, a Brazilian living in London. He was there with a group of Brazilian friends attending a monthly meet of Brazilians living in London.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

#114 Viktor Breki Óskarsson

Meet Viktor Breki Óskarsson. He is another super friendly Icelander. He was the first Icelander I stopped as I liked his style. It turned out he was walking to meet a friend to discuss his visit to London. Talk about coincidence!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#113 The Laundromat Girl

The Laundromat Bar in Reykjavik is quite an awesome place that serves decent breakfasts and lunches for a sensible price. The service is impeccable as anywhere else in Iceland as Icelanders are the coolest and friendliest people in the world. The place has an awesome design including a proper laundromat in the basement. My favourite bit about the cafe was a sign 'Borrow a laptop for free.' We took them up on the offer.

Meet our waitress. A fabulous girl. She got all embarrassed and couldn't quite believe it that I wanted HER photo.

Monday, October 31, 2011

#112 Ari Sigvaldason

Iceland was simply amazing. When exploring the streets of Reykjavik, I came across a photo gallery. I stood there mesmerised as the photographer's style was stunning. I couldn't get enough! I walked past the gallery every day and yet it was never open. Sometimes there was a sign telling you to call him if you wanted to have a look but no one was ever there until my last day. I felt like a kid in a candy store. 

Meet Ari Sigvaldason. Ari laughed that he was a rather relaxed gallery owner and while his gallery was officially open from noon till six he was usually somewhere else taking photos and exploring. He was as friendly as the rest of Icelanders happy to help and chat. I couldn't resist taking his portrait.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

#111 Album Boy

We were already heading for drinks at Brick Lane's Vibe Bar (routine ending to Columbia Road street session), when I spotted this young man shopping for LPs. I stuck my lens through the fence and smiled. He looked at me puzzled. 'Just do what you're doing!' I said. I waited for him to pull out LP that had a colourful background and snapped the portrait. Ta da!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

#110 Visiting Laura

Jim and I enjoyed another fabulous Wednesday night wandering around Southbank. It was a quiet evening and we struggled to find people that would interest us. I spotted Laura and she agreed to pose for us. She is in London visiting her boyfriend who is now at university here. She seemed to be enjoying London. Thanks for stopping!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#109 The Londoners On Tour in Hitchin 2

Another one from yesterday. We walked past a barber shop and I spotted this bloke getting ready to leave. He looked me directly in the eye and seemed quite friendly but we walked on. Something made me do a u-turn and go back to ask him for a portrait. He was very kind and obliging even though he was just about to finish a whole day's work and go home. Thank you!

Need a barber, anyone?

Monday, October 24, 2011

#108 The Londoners On Tour in Hitchin 1

Thank you goes out to my dear friend, Sosij for having me over in Hitchin for a day. I love this town so it was a pleasure taking my street project to the streets of Hitchin. 

We were walking past Four Leaf Clover Restaurant when I spotted the elderly chap. He was quite the character. When I asked him for a photo, he laughed and said, 'Where do you want me? Or my place or yours should I say?' It turns out he found his way to Hitchin when he arrived in Britain at the back of a truck after a few years of working in Romania. Such a colourful character!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

#107 Cheeky Chap

Considering that it is the end of autumn, I was quite surprised to see a bloke hanging around on a street with no t-shirt on. 

He agreed to be photographed and struck a pose, then got all hyper and told me that he had tattoos on the back too and turned around. His mate laughed 'He's got tatts on his bum too!' 'I'll pass,' I replied. I was slightly bemused that he thought I asked him because of his tattoos. Meet the cheeky chap from Brick Lane.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

#106 Winkworth Arboretum

I ventured out of London to shoot the autumn views in Winkworth Arboretum but couldn't resist stopping a person or two. And what a wonderful day it was! We couldn't find our way to the place so a kind elderly gentleman offered us a ride after his wife told him about American tourists being lost. He felt a little cheated I think when he found out we weren't American at all.

This lovely gentleman sat down to rest and started texting someone. I liked how he fitted in the scene so asked him for a portrait. He couldn't quite believe I wanted HIS portrait. Lovely gentleman!

Friday, October 21, 2011

#105 A Bunch of Flowers

He was people watching and waiting for someone when I noticed him. He was kind enough to pose for me. Thank you!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

#104 A Cup Of Tea

What's better than enjoying a bit of music and sipping a cup of tea on Sunday morning? This jovial lady was sitting on the kerb listening to the band playing when I approached her. She checked with her friend that it was HER I wanted to take a photo of. She just couldn't quite believe it. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

#103 Purple Hat

I saw the hat as soon as I got to the flower market but didn't get a chance to approach her till later. She agreed to pose for me while waiting for a cup of tea. Thank you for stopping!

Monday, October 17, 2011

#102 Diana Girl

Two beautiful girls were wandering around Columbia Road with their fancy cameras. One with Diana and the other one with Fujipix Instant. Now how could a tog resist photographing another tog?! I couldn't obviously!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

#101 Oyster Man

Thank you to everyone who has supported, looked at and commented on the blog over the last 100 entries. Thank you to Londonist for featuring my blog on their website. I am truly honoured.

Now, back to business. A new oyster place opened up in Columbia Road so what else could I do but to photograph one of the guys working there. He was happy to pose for me and I appreciate his patience as I battled the crowds to get the shot I was happy with.

Monday, October 10, 2011

#100 Bow Tie

I saw her bow tie and thought 'Hell yeah!' One of her companions complained that it was a second time someone asked her for a photo and yet no one wanted to take his portrait. We had a giggle about it.

And yes, we got a hundred. It's been a journey. It's not ending here but I thought I'd stop and celebrate. Thank you to everyone who follows the blog whether regularly or ad hoc. Say hello, please. Tell me which stranger was your favourite. Ask me a question. And thank you once again for following!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

#99 You made my London!

At the end of summer holidays, I stopped this lovely Chinese teenager in Southbank. I liked her hooded look as she looked at The Thames admiring the views. She later emailed me to say thank you for taking the photo and making her feel welcome in London.

Friday, October 7, 2011

#98 Hat Man

Have you noticed the theme for last Sunday outing? We didn't talk. I saw him and smiled. He was munching on his wrap and nodded. I raised my camera and he struck a pose. Click! I nodded to say thank you and walked away.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

#97 Hat Lady 2

Another lovely lady from Columbia Road sporting a hat. She was wandering around the shops with her friend. Just like the other hat lady, she walked off after one snap. I guess shopping was just too tempting.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

#96 Hat Girl

I saw her talking to her friend in a shop doorway and asked her for a photo. She said 'yes', posed for one shot and then walked off smiling. 'Tis all.

Monday, October 3, 2011

#95 Cake Sale Girl

This lovely young girl reminded me of Sosij's daughter Velvet with her entrepreneur spirit. I think it is a very admirable of her that already at such a young age, she is using the outside of her house to add to her pocket money through cake sale. I loved how thoughtful and creative she was when designing 'her stall'.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

#94 Marco

Meet Marco. Yet another salesman from Columbia Road. He's a lovely young chap who works for a pottery shop. Always kind although sometimes thoughtfully looking into the distance when not busy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

#93 Stranger

This lovely lady was the first one we stopped by that wall. This place ended up as our street studio. Can't wait to go back there tomorrow!

Friday, September 30, 2011

#92 Scarface

'Hello Bruce Lee,' I said. He laughed and said it wasn't Bruce Lee but Scarface. 'I bought it thinking it was Bruce Lee though,' he laughed. Meet another flower man from Columbia Road. He wasn't too keen on posing but after a bit of encouragement he agreed to give up two minutes of his time. Thank you!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

#91 The Travelling Man

First I saw the little guitar so I asked what it was called. I thought it was a ukulele but he called it something else. 

He was a joyful character making plenty of jokes. We seemed to invade the space of local trader who kept moaning at us for taking his space even though all we were doing was standing on a pavement next to his stand. We laughed it off. 'See you in the wind', he said as he walked off.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#90 Irene

Meet Irene. She is a friend of the gentleman featured in Barnardo's Child post. She has a stall in a little antique market round the corner from Columbia Road. I took her photo before but didn't quite like it so when I saw her walk past I asked her to pose for me. She still didn't like the photo I took but she was happy for me to post it if I liked it. And I do.

Irene is quite the celebrity around Columbia Road. All the other shopkeepers look after Irene checking up on her and offering her food and drink. She is quite a lady!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#89 Isaac the biblical man who thought it was still Friday night

I loved his tank hat. He was standing on the kerb smoking when I approached him. His mates shouted at me not to pick him. 'He is an ugly b***ard! Why would you pick him?' He posed for me smoking and pouting. It was a laugh! 'Well, it's an awesome Friday night. It's still Friday night, right?' I haven't giggled like that in ages.

Monday, September 26, 2011

#88 The Flower Man

He is one of those colourful characters at Columbia Road Flower Market. He always put a smile on my face with his comments. The other guys make fun of him because of his style. It's so much fun listening to them bickering. 

I tried to snap him a few times before but it never worked he is so busy. I was shooting Irene (you'll meet her later) when I saw him approach. I grabbed him and said 'Come on! I need you here against the wall!' He started laughing and shouting 'Oh no! Two girls want me against the wall! Lucky man!' Gosh! We had a giggle shooting him even if he did not stand still for one single second!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

#87 Jean Louis

The usual Sunday afternoon at Columbia Road followed by a walk down Brick Lane led us to a beautiful shop with old fashioned stock called Le Grenier

The owner, Jean Louis, was busy fixing a lamp and didn't even notice me watching him. I found his focus captivating. It has been a while since I saw anyone fix something. We are so used to throwing things away and buying new ones. Anyway, he agreed kindly to pose for me and we chatted about today's world, recession and how people don't visit their local stores anymore. Truly enjoyed this encounter.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

#86 Strawberry Blonde

Strawberry blonde I spotted while on my way back from Columbia Road. She kindly dropped her flowers and posed for me. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

#85 Thoughtful

As soon as the girl in yellow hat walked off, I spotted the gentleman in shades. Another hat! Yes, suddenly there was a theme to the day. He was lovely. He insisted on wiping his glasses. 'My boyfriend is always telling me off for mucky shades', he said and smiled. They are sparkly clean here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

#84 Yellow Hat

I was waiting around for the elderly gentleman from Barnardo's post to give him the print of his photograph when I spotted the lady with a yellow hat. There was something captivating about her face... and THE HAT! I loved the wonky and careless look of it. I couldn't resist photographing her.

Monday, September 19, 2011

#83 A Man With A Beard

I spotted his beard and cap from afar and was thrilled when he agreed to pose for me. His friend was a little upset that I did not want to shoot both of them but sometimes you need to upset others to get the shot you want. I detected a slight French accent but that's me being rubbish with accents. It turns out he is German. My apologies! That's all folks.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

#82 Lydia The Writer

Lydia was in Columbia Road this afternoon promoting her book. I loved her delicate look and asked her for a portrait. She was an amazing model, a little shy and yet tilting her head in such adorable, a bit innocent and a bit flirtatious manner. After second snap, she giggled and asked me to stop. "I thought you wanted to take a photo of the stall, not me.' I thanked her for her time and walked away knowing I got the shot of the day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

#81 Friday Night on Brick Lane

One taken a few weeks back while wandering around Brick Lane on Friday night. Loved her hair and her attitude. She was on her way to a party but was kind enough to stop. Thank you!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

#80 Sausage Roll Man

One from the beginning of my street portrait adventure. I spotted this gentleman and approached him for a photo. When asked what he was up to, he smiled and said 'I am waiting for my sausage roll.' 

He was still waiting when we left him.