Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The end is nigh!

Dear faithful followers and random readers,

It has been a fantastic year and a half shooting strangers. I enjoyed my photographic journey here. It's now time to move on so after thorough consideration, I decided to finish this project and start a new one rather than change the format of this blog.

Please check out my new project here:

Thank you to everyone who posed for me and for all your support throughout the running of the project!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

#173 Gudrun Sjödén's Aubrun Girl

While I am trying to figure out what to do next and there are ideas popping into and out of my head, please enjoy the portrait of this beautiful auburn girl. She was sitting with her friend outside Tatty Devine having coffee. It turns out she is working at the new store across the road 'Gudrun Sjödén'. It is the first British store from a very popular Swedish designer. Beautifully colourful stuff.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#172 Where to next?

For the last few weeks I've been asking myself this question... 'Where to next?' I love street portraits. Wandering the streets and talking to strangers gives me a buzz I cannot begin to describe and yet I have been finding myself in a rut lately. Simply because every time I want to stop someone I think 'Oh, I've got someone like that already...'

Yesterday I spend the afternoon shooting strangers with Emil. We haven't been out on the street together for ages. And I mean ages. It must have been close to a year. It was good to sound off the frustrations. I know that this project as it is now needs to come to an end. I need to find a new spin on it. There was a fab exhibition at London Festival of Photography showcasing a series on elderly ladies with their shopping trollies. Loved the idea but it's been done. Time out to think, I think.

Here is a stranger from yesterday enjoying his drink in the sunny streets of Soho.

Friday, June 22, 2012

#171 A man with a cigar

Have I ever walked by a man with a cigar? I don't think so! Not sure how I am going to cope in Cuba though! 

Smokers always make for perfect portrait subjects. This gent was no different. He put on his shades and enjoyed the quick photoshoot. Thank you for posing!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

#170 Beauty

This beautiful girl was the first stranger we stopped last Sunday. I loved her style and how timid she was about her beauty.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#169 Father's Day Special

Rarely do you come across a man dressed so sharp and yet pleasantly casual. 

This gent definitely stood out in the crowd. He was out celebrating Father's Day with his family. Fantastic look and very sunny disposition. Thank you for posing for me!

Monday, June 18, 2012

#168 Jac

While wandering the streets of Marylebone Summer Fayre yesterday, Pola and I spotted Jac. We both loved her very relaxed and yet elegant style. She oozed class! Sadly we weren't quick enough to catch her as she entered the crowded bit of the fair. I felt I missed a great opportunity.

Well, sometimes life throws you another chance. We bumped into her later in another area. Pola later admitted that as she was watching me approach with the photo request, she was convinced I was going to get a 'no'. It turns out though that Jac is the loveliest person ever. What a great smile!

Jac is a therapist and Tai Chi instructor. She definitely has the disposition for that.

Thank you for stopping!


Sunday, June 17, 2012

#167 At Marylebone Summer Fayre

I must admit that I have been struggling lately with my Londoners blog. All this photography has felt rather forced lately, trying to find interesting people but struggling to do so. Even when I do succeed, I find they still fall into one category of certain type of characters. Characters I like, I must add. It's just when you photograph similar characters you fall into a trap of predictability. Today ended up being a fantastic reminder of what it is all about.

We headed out to Marylebone Summer Fayre. I must admit I have not heard of it before yesterday even though it's been an annual event for 8 years. I am definitely going back next year though. The whole thing was fantastic. Brilliantly organised. Not to mention the crowds of fascinating characters. It was photographer's dream playground.

Among many I spotted this gent. He really stood out with the honey orange colours and a pint of London Pride. He reminded me of my favourite writer, Bill Bryson. This charming gent was chilling at the fayre with a group ladies. He seemed rather timid but was more than happy to oblige when asked to be photographed. You must admit he has the friendliest smile ever. Thank you!

Slightly more serious take:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#166 Ayesha The Assistant

The last one from London Nocturne. 

Meet Ayesha. She was a lovely assistant at Rachel's Michaux Club stand. They offer beautiful handbags for cyclist. Looks like one cool solution.

Thank you for posing.

Monday, June 11, 2012

#165 Hannes Baumgarten

Yet another stranger I spotted during London Nocturne event. He definitely stood out in the crowd with his bright colours. 

And as I later learnt via email, this is Hannes Baumgarten, pro rider of the Rudy Project Racing Team.

Thank you for posing!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

#164 Tandem Man

Another one from yesterday's London Nocturne event. 

Nothing draws your attention like an old tandem bike with handsome men on it. Or maybe it's just me. Anyways, I asked the front rider to pose for me and he happily obliged. He also asked me if I wanted to see a wheelie but then he got distracted, chatting with two beautiful girls so sadly I missed out on the tandem bike wheelie trick.

Thanks for posing.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

#163 Brompton Gent

Had so much fun this evening wandering around Smithfield Market watching London Nocturne bike races. I spotted this gent with his Brompton and his family watching the Penny Farthing Race. I loved his very British attire. Thank you for posing for me.

Monday, June 4, 2012

#162 Butcher from Portobello Road

While I wait for my voice to return following last week's adventures before I stalk some more strangers, let me introduce you to the butcher from Portobello Road. He is a lovely chap who deal in pork. What can I get you? Belly pork, pork scratchings, thighs or will chops do? As always, thank you for posing.

Monday, May 28, 2012

#161 Danilo Di Giulio Cesare

Meet Danilo Di Giulio Cesare, a man who brings you music events with a difference. Check out his webpage, meltmusic.co.uk. I spotted him sitting on the bench with his friend. Guess what I noticed first. 

Go on! Guess! 

His tashe! So classy indeed.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

#160 Explicit lyrics boy

My apologies for the blog going a little quiet lately but as much as I love street photography sometimes other things take priority. I finally found some time to stalk some strangers yesterday so I headed out with 'We shoot people' street photography group for a bit of a wander around Portobello. Fab times!

Meet Sky i, a grime artist, handing out his single in Portobello. He was a lovely chap who was happy to pose as he seeks fame in the music industry. I'd add a link to his mixed tape on hoodtapes.co.uk but I am afraid some might find a little offensive. I think I am getting old.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

#159 Bow tie man

A rather fruitless day around Brick Lane. It's been a while since I got so many rejections but hey, I guess I've had a good run for a while with no rejections at all for months.

All I managed today was this lovely gent. He looked so handsome with his bow tie. Picture perfect!

To make up for it though, I played with candids a little. Enjoy the shot of the day below.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

#158 Adde Adesokan

It has been the weekend of photographic encounters. The second stranger of the weekend, again not in the strict meaning of the word is Adde.
He is most well-known among the photography community for his triptychs of strangers so I couldn't resist turning his-lovely-self into a triptych too. 

In awe of his style, I asked him ages ago if he fancied a bit of a photowalk when he was in London and he said yes. It has taken us a few months or so, quite a few chats but we finally met today. I got to hang out with him and his mates for a bit of the day, albeit slightly hungover. It was great to banter, learn a few German words I will probably never have to use in my entire life (unless I lose a coaster while in Germany), earn myself a street name and take them to a couple of my favourite places even though it seemed the boys were mainly interested in eating.

Things you need to know about Adde? He is the loveliest and friendliest guy ever, loves travelling, eats ALL the time and has a TV quote for every situation. It has been a pleasure and am already looking forward to our next meet.

Proudly displaying his new gear (it's a pretend-sulk really). 
 Food tart!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

#157 Dracorubio

Roderique is not a stranger in a strict sense of the word. I have known him on flickr for over three years now. I have always been amazed by his photo manipulations. Just check out his edit of my photo from a couple of years back!

Last night I finally had a chance to meet him in person as he is visiting London once again to teach others about what he does. Ask him on flickr about his PS workshops!

I cannot explain how lovely R is. We talked for a couple of hours about food (munching on delicious langoustines and making lobster plans), our love of photography and the importance of stopping to appreciate life. Both R and I, it seems, are strong believers in mindfulness. For those less familiar with the concept, mindfulness is a way of life really. It encourages you to stop and experience the present, to observe and take your environment in but in a non-judgmental manner. I completed a course in mindfulness a couple of years back and haven't looked back ever since. It has allowed me to be a much happier person than I ever was and it gives me the perfect excuse to play with my food.

Meet R.

In B&W

In colour

Being mindful, right?

Monday, April 23, 2012

#156 Andy Balcon

While wandering around Columbia Road, we heard his amazing voice. I shot his portrait and asked for permission later. Adorable young man, whom I would be happy to shoot in a separate photoshoot. In the meantime, enjoy his music.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

#155 Yet another smoker

A lovely day out in Columbia Road. My favourite Sunday location. I don't like smoking but I do like to shoot smokers. I cannot wait for my Cuba trip this summer. There will be plenty of cigar photo action.

Guess what I noticed first about this gent! He stood there watching the street so why not? He seemed to enjoy the attention too. Thanks for posing!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

#154 Meal Deal

I liked his features. I liked how poised he was. Loved how chilled Golborne Street is with all the people sitting outside, sipping coffee and chatting. He was one of them.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#153 Smirk Man

It was a photo encounter of unspoken permission exchanged through the eye contact. 

I simply smiled and pointed my camera at him while he kept swiveling on his chair. Every time I tried to shoot him, people came into the shot and blocked my view. Portobello Market is a busy place after all. You can't give up easily. His smirk, however, just kept on getting bigger. Then he started humming 'People don't want you to make my photo.' I got the shot and responded 'Oh but they do!' and walked away grinning.

Monday, April 16, 2012

#152 The lady says 'no'

One from last Saturday and my visit to Golborne Market. This elderly lady and I misunderstood each other. I asked her for her portrait and she thought I asked if I could take photos of her stall so when I started shooting her this is what I got.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

#151 Golborne Man

While wandering around Portobello Road, I decided to visit Golborne Market that I heard about from fellow photographers. I was astonished that around a corner from Portobello, there was a completely different life going on. So many fascinating characters and shops. The street had a real community feel with lots of people drinking and dining by the local stalls.

I saw this elderly gentleman watching the street from his shop. He quickly turned away when he saw my camera.

 I decided to step into the shop for a chat. He was a lovely elderly gentleman who responded to my portrait request with 'Will my face be all over bus shelters?'. He was disappointed to hear no in response but I promised to make him famous on the internet and find him a date on match.com. If you are in the neighbourhood, definitely pop into his shop and say hello.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

#150 Record Girl

I spent a fabulous day out with a friend wandering around Portobello Road and took this opportunity to stop some strangers. This young lady was record shopping. I quite liked how colourful she looked. Thank you for posing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#149 The Londoners On Tour in Scotland

Hope everyone had a fantastic Easter break. I spent mine visiting Inner Hebrides in Scotland. Beautiful countryside, friendly characters and plenty of delicious seafood.

Meet one of the guys who took me and my family out to Staffa Island on the boat. He was a pleasant character. He was slightly taken aback by the request and the big camera but he was kind enough to pose for me. Thank you. 

It takes so much character to live in the Southern Hebrides. The weather is tough on both the landscape and the people with most living off fishing, sheep or tourism, limited ferry access to the mainland and single traffic system throughout the island, not to mention the fact that you are very much isolated from the world with no mobile phone reception on the island other than one spot where you can get just about enough signal from Vodafone to have a quick chat and it involves you standing on the top of a very windy hill (and no or very limited internet I guess - ouchie!). There are only about 2000 people living on the island but on the plus side they have a very good pub to population ratio or so I have been told by the local guide.

If you get a chance to visit Scotland, I recommend going on the Staffa Tour to see the amazing rock formations there. You can see some of them here.

Monday, April 2, 2012

#148 Sammy

Sammy was one of the people involved in the organisation of The Burger Queen competition. Fabulous and bubbly character, I could not resist the temptation of asking for a portrait.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

#147 Barbican Explorer

Another stranger from the series of ideas for the weekend.

Meet one of The Barbican Explorers. He was our guide on Architecture Tour of Barbican. Fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Now I thought I knew Barbican and its walkways but turns out there is so much more to this fantastic complex. I could tell you all about it but you'll be much better off booking the tour and exploring the complex yourself. 

Some facts get you thinking:
1. It took them 20 years to build the complex.
2. There is something special about the texture of the concrete walls in Barbican.
3. Barbican has the second biggest Conservatory in London. It's open to the public on Sundays.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

#146 Paul The Projector Man

Looking for a fab way to spend a Sunday afternoon in north London? Why don't you book a heritage tour of Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley? It was such an informative and interesting tour. 

Phoenix Cinema, previously also known as Rex Cinema, has been around for a hundred years. It has started off with silent shorts and moved to Blue-Ray DVD technology in recent years. One of the first films shown there on the opening night in May 1912 was a film about the tragic Titanic ocean liner which had recently sunk.

Meet Paul, the man behind the projector. He had plenty of stories to tell and he is a great story teller. The man loves his projector machines and I now know how the cinema works.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#145 PopUp Barbados

I saw him sitting on the kerb waiting. Quick request and he was happy to pose. Turns out he was waiting for his girlfriend who was getting some pots for the plants they just bought. 

He was an interesting character and I walked away with his business card as he runs monthly PopUp Barbados restaurant. Food? Did someone mention food?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#144 Nikon Man

There he was sitting on a box watching the world or Brick Lane to be exact and smoking. Friendly smile and I got the shot. He was happy to oblige smoking as required. Only just as I was leaving him, I noticed he was carrying a camera. Nikon to be exact. Am I allowed to shoot boys of a different brand? 

Monday, March 12, 2012

#143 One man band

We had such a giggle yesterday wandering around Columbia Road. We convinced this gentleman that we were on a day out from a very special institution, which only allowed us out for one day a week. He usually performs with his band outside the Spanish restaurant in Columbia Road. A lovely chap.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

#142 Second Prize

Once in a while you see someone and you know you just found a real gem. This wonderful gent was walking down Brick Lane when I stopped him. Turns out the last time someone asked him for a photo, his face ended up being displayed in Barbican. The photographer won the second prize. I am not surprised.

#141 Lycra Chic

I have been missing the strangers project but I am hoping as the weather warms up, we will be back out on the streets with strobes stopping interesting peeps again. In recent weeks, every time I had time to head out to stalk some strangers, the heavens would open up and rain would start pouring. It's difficult to ask for a shot when everyone is running off indoors.

Yesterday I got lucky with the weather for a change and while out and about with a bunch of photographers, I stopped this lycra-cladded gent. Super friendly smile. Thank you for letting me take your photo!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

#140 Full of smiles

I spotted their smiles from miles away. Two people colourfully dressed with super happy smiles. What else a photographer could wish for on a sunny Sunday afternoon? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

#138 Red Head

One from a week ago. She was chatting to her friends discussing something so passionately her fringe was swaying from side to side. Fascinating so I asked for a quick portrait.