Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#68 Windswept Blonde

Last Sunday the weather was just perfect for some street portraits with lovely sunshine. I noticed her standing by the wall with two of her friends chatting. The wind in her hair. 

She was kind enough to pose for me but this time having read a little about Richard Avedon's technique I chose not to speak to my subject. I usually talk to my subjects to help them relax in front of the camera and I am quite chatty by nature so it was interesting to watch how different the reactions were from different people with the subject often prompting me with questions to say a little more about the project.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#67 Red Head

While enjoying Notting Hill Carnival, I spotted this beautiful red head. She was enjoying the festives with a group of her friends. I loved how great her red hair matched her green cardigan.

Monday, August 29, 2011

#66 Fashion student

This lovely chap was sitting on the shop window sill with a couple of friends chatting and laughing. I loved his bright colours and asked him for a photo. It turned out he was a fashion photography student so we exchanged a few tips. He had the most wonderful smile.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

#65 Betty

I hit the street of London yesterday with a few friends. Lovely Sophie acted as my assistant and an excellent one too.  I saw this elegant elderly lady and asked her if I could snap her portrait. With a bit of encouragement from her family she agreed. I loved her smile and said so at which point she called her son over and said 'I have a lovely smile. Did you hear that?!' She was most adorable lady ever. 

The son joined in asking questions about our gear and telling us about his daughter who is also a photographer. He was very proud of her and rightly so. You can check out her photos here. Thank you for stopping to pose for us!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

#64 Banana Tree Man

I saw him carrying a red banana tree through the crowd last Sunday flower market and loved his bobby hat. His geeky school kid look really appealed for me. He was in a harry but was kind enough to stop for one shot. Thank you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

#63 Adrian Wood

Meet Adrian Wood. He is a photography tutor and was out with his students on a street photography session when I spotted him and since his students were doing street photography, he simply could not refuse my street portrait request so I dragged him to the wonderful pink wall my flickr contact told me about to take his photo. Thank you for your patience.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#62 London Correspondent

Last night we wandered around South Bank as the sun was setting. The sky was this beautiful red and orange colour and was just screaming for a portrait. All we needed was a suitable subject so we stopped this beautiful girl. She is a London correspondent for a German website interviewing artist and reporting on fashion and art events from London.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#61 Jenny

I noticed Jenny sitting on the kerb not far from the flower market enjoying a cup of coffee. I loved her hair so I asked for a photo and she kindly agreed. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

#60 Cycling chic

One of my many passions is cycling and I like nothing better than a sight of stylish and yet casual looking cyclist, maybe because I can never quite pull that look off. I saw this lovely lady cycling down Columbia Road and stopped her on her cute little fold-up bike. I really enjoyed photographing her. I really liked the fact that she took initiative and thought about poses and chose not to look directly into the camera.

Monday, August 22, 2011

#59 Barnardo's child

I seriously think this is the most interesting person I have  stopped to date. I certainly was not expecting that when I headed to Columbia Road Flower Market yesterday afternoon for my weekly dose of triple chocolate brownie from Lily Vanilli

I noticed him taking the bread crates away walking back to and fro. I wondered on how to best approach him so he doesn't get to refuse my request. There was no need for that as it turned out. He was the friendliest person ever, a cheeky chap. He started telling me all about  how he's been coming to the flower market since 1950s and about his old Olympus camera he does street photography with, how he doesn't use or trust a computer, how he pays all his bills at the post office except for his water bill, which still comes in the name of the previous landlord even though he has lived in the flat for 35 years. And then he said that he got the place from the widow of the previous landlord who 'got him from Barnardo's'. 'You're Barnardo's child?', I asked. He smiled and nodded as he continued with the story about his flat.

Now for many of you out there, this might mean nothing. I only learnt what it means a few months back when reading 'At Home' by Bill Bryson. Until then I wasn't aware that Barnardo's was the very first charity in the UK looking after children from deprived backgrounds, offering shelter to the homeless youth in London and its creation was sadly preceded by that of RSPCA as in Victorian times animals carried higher esteem than impoverished children. To be Barnardo's child means to have been cared for by Barnardo's charity at some point. Their care homes had a reputation for being very strict back then.

We continued chatting about his life until it was time to go. He helps out his friend every Sunday put her stall away so after all the laughs and words we said 'See you next Sunday!' and I am already looking forward to that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

#58 Museum of Broken Relationships

While people hunting on the streets of Covent Garden, we walked past the Museum of Broken Relationships. I was so fascinated by the name that I just had to go in. I had a quick peak around the exhibition and was really fascinated by the concept of possessions that reminds us of our past relationships. Maybe it's the soppy old me but I am most certainly going back for a second look. You can read more about the idea behind the museum here.

While there, I asked one of the volunteers working in the museum to pose for me. He is a student of psychology from France, who came to London for a couple of weeks to improve his English. He was the most patient guys ever happily chatting to us while I sought Emil's advice on the lighting. Thank you.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

#57 Cyclist

I saw this beautiful girl walk her bike down Brick Lane while munching on her popsicle, which was matching the colour of her bike. She kindly agreed to block the road with her bike for a moment for me. I had to help her with setting up her bike since manoeuvring it with one hand was a little difficult. 

Despite being initially attracted to the matching colours, I decided to process the shot in B&W. It simply worked better for me. Fewer distractions.

Friday, August 19, 2011

#56 University Graduate

Emil and I walked for a long time that morning before I stopped this chap on Drury Lane on his way to work. He's a lovely MA graduate looking for work in charity sector. Sadly, due to recession charities are struggling and not hiring so for now he is working in the retail sector. Thank you for stopping.

On another note it turns out that Monday morning is the perfect time to snap all those quirky shopkeepers. Things are quiet then and they are happy and relaxed.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

#55 Ash

Ash was heading down Southbank with his girlfriend for dinner and a bit of a wander when we stopped him by London Eye. He's a designer who just got himself his first SLR so we exchanged a few photographers tips. Thank you for taking the time to pose for us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

#54 Martha

I met up with a fellow photographer and a friend of mine, Jim last night. We were walking around Southbank when I noticed this girl sitting on the wall reading. She was happy to pose for us. I took one test shot and one with strobes. Absolutely loved what I saw and after trying another shot, I decided to leave it at that. I like the first shot so much I knew there was no point trying to make it even better.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#53 One teacher to another

Yesterday I got asked if it's difficult to get people to pose. To be honest, how difficult it is depends very much on the subject photographed. 

As with everything in life, there are some people who are excellent at it, most are average and few beyond help. Since the whole joy of the exercise is to stop random people that catch our eye in the middle of the street, there is no way of telling what they are going to be like therefore it's best to cherish the moments when you stop someone amazing at posing, enjoy and direct the ones who are average and wrap up the shoot quickly and thank the subjects for their patience politely, if they are not very good at it or freeze in front of the camera. At the end of the day it is all  about fun and games.

Most people I stop ask me how I want them to stand and I will often direct them to a particular spot and suggest a pose. Some will take initiative or adopt a natural stance that works. In the end all we mostly manage to take is two or three photos so we need to make them count and if they don't work, then they don't. There will be another person to stop down the street.

This lovely lady who happens to be a special needs teacher was the most wonderful lady. She also had amazing camera earrings. She was one of those people, who asked for directions and followed them very well, so natural in front of the camera. A true joy to photograph. Thank you.

#52 Cigarette break

Another wonderful day on the streets of London. This young man was standing in the doorway rolling up his cigarette when I spotted him. He was keen to pose and was overall a super friendly gent from Covent Garden Ben Sherman store. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

#51 Hampshire Girl

Yes, another Sunday afternoon wander around Brick Lane with Pola. These Sundays are becoming quite a habit just like triple chocolate brownies from Lily Vanilli

We were walking down the street chatting and people watching when I turned around to Pola and caught a glimpse of red hair and a straw hat then freckles! Right beside me was a beautiful red head with straw hat and freckles! I could not NOT ask. She was simply adorable girl from Hampshire visiting London with her parents. I loved how shy she looked in front of the camera posing in the middle of Brick Lane.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

#50 Soho Barber

This gentleman was sitting outside a hairdressing saloon in Soho having a few beers with his friend. I watched them people watching and making comments about the passers-by. I could not resist approaching and interrupting them.

He wasn't keen to pose excusing himself as unphotogenic but agreed in the end. As it turns out they both work at the hairdressers and since their working day was over, they were enjoying a few on the bench outside their workplace. The shop itself was fascinating as it's an old fishmonger's with tiling and an antique till. Loved their decor.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

#49 Pearly Queen

I was more than chuffed when I bumped into three beautiful Pearly Queens raising money for charity on Columbia Road the other Sunday. Do you know the history of Pearly Kings and Queens? If not, read about their founder Henry Croft here. This lady was super friendly and happy to pose for a photo for a small donation.

You can meet Pearly Queen and Kings around London when they are out raising money. Upcoming dates are here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

#48 Pizza Place Owner

As we were drinking super delicious ginger beer from WAGfree , I noticed the gentleman munching on his lunch. There was something about his look, about his manner or maybe he simply reminded me of Jean Reno's Leon The Professional look. He was the most charming man ever and turned out to be an owner of a pizza place nearby.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

#47 Gluten-Free

Meet the owner of gluten free cafe.  He's had his cafe there for 35 years. It was lovely to meet someone so proud of having had their business run successfully for so long. I was relieved to find from their page that they haven't been affected by the Sunday disturbance.

Monday, August 8, 2011

#46 This is my stand

I was so chuffed that so many people I'd expect to say 'no' to my photo request happily agreed to it. I want to be able to photograph London community across its diverse range that I truly love and I certainly had the opportunity to do that yesterday. 

This gentleman was a little reluctant initially but in the end he agreed to pose in exchange for a photo with his friends. He was very proud of his stand within the butcher shop and it really shows in his stance. Thank you for taking the time to pose for me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

#45 Brixton Duo

I enjoyed a fabulous day out in Brixton with the one and only Mark Paulda, well-known travel photographer from Texas and his lovely friend Paola. The Brixton Splash was on and the streets were filled with people keen to enjoy themselves. This lovely duo of a father with duaghter were cycling around on their fancy bike chatting to locals. I loved the special bond that they enjoyed and that red jacket really stood out in the crowd. The little one was so photogenic ready to strike a pose and work the light. Fantastic!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

#44 Grandad and his third wife

I love small towns, probably because I grew up in one. I wish I could once again live in the town when bumping into your friends on a Sunday walk was almost taken for granted. I guess it's one of the reasons I love Weymouth. As soon as we set off down the beach, we bumped into Disco Stu's grandad and his third wife. They were so lovely catching up with Stu. I asked them to pose for me and they kindly agreed. Lovely people.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

#43 Reading girl

She was engrossed in her book. I asked her if it was ok to shoot her and she nodded and went back to reading ignoring us completely. 'Kafka on the Shore' is a good book even though not Murakami's finest. Although what do I know?! I am not a great fan of Japanese fiction.