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The life of a London street photographer living in the UK. The city has so many locations for Urban and street photographs of London. It is one of the largest cities in Europe with over 8 million people in its urban area. London has a rich history. As everyone will know its home to the British Royal Family, who reside at Buckingham Palace. Other great tourist hotspots are Big Ben, The Tower of London, St Pauls Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament. With its famous landmarks and busy tourism comes many photo opportunities, it is a street photographers dream. You will find many UK street photographers in London, chasing black cabs and trying to frame people alongside red buses and post boxes, with their Leica and Fuji cameras.
Many photographers have graced the banks of the Thames and the underground, capturing urban and street photographs of London and UK cities. Some of the best UK street photographers include masters Martin Parr, Don McCullin, Tony Ray Jones, Shirley Baker, Paul Russell and David Hurn. All have had an impact on the way I photograph today. I have drawn inspiration from reading their photo books and studying how they would see light, compose their photographs and catch magic moments. Shot in a documentary, photojournalism, reportage and candid way on the streets of London, UK and abroad.
As I mentioned you really are spoilt for choice for London street photography locations. From the multicultural characters, diverse backdrops, amazing architecture and vibrant graffiti. You won’t be short on places to photograph. Some of my favourite urban locations include:
You can photograph in any public place within the UK. Obviously there is an unwritten rule to not embarrass anyone or upset people along the way. Being a London street photographer does also have its perks. It really is a great excuse to get out and about and meet new people, who perhaps you may not come across without the camera in hand. The UK street photography scene is ever growing and a great place to meet fellow street photographers is the London Street Photography Festival. I have attended and I highly recommend it as a great way to start urban and street photography. It is run each year during the August bank holiday near Hackney.
I am also a co-host on The Wedding Street Podcast. It is a podcast all about wedding, urban and street photography. We have guests from all over, who share some great snippets and how they work. So far we have chatted with people such as Forrest Walker, Eyeshot magazine and the LSPF. We have new episodes roughly every two to three weeks so please check it out. We share helpful tips, insights to how we work and stories about street photography from all over the world. The other half of the podcast is an Irish man living in Switzerland and a talented street photographer Rob Edgerley.
I became hooked on street photography after lots of travelling as a destination wedding photographer. In my work I look for serendipitous un-staged moments, which can often include candid, colourful and fun in the everyday walks of life, often finding juxtapositions and layered compositions, aiming to tell stories in my photographs. My equipment I keep very simple. I use one camera at a time, Either the Fuji X100V or the Ricoh GRiii. The 35mm full frame equivalent is my lens of choice. My work has been featured on Bored Panda, Eyeshot Magazine, Russian Ros Photo and the Street Photographers Foundation. You can also see some of my blog posts from my travels to India, Hong Kong, plus Urban and street photographs of London and UK cities.
My street photography style has evolved over time. Sometimes I look for layers in my photographs. Aiming to tell multiple stories in a single image. I want the foreground, middle ground and background to have its own personal story. Trying to avoid overlaps is another goal and isn’t always as easy as it sounds. A master of this technique is Magnum street photographer Alex Webb.
Made famous by Henri Cartier-Bresson, probably the most known street photographers. He was a co-founder of Magnum Photos. The decisive moment for me refers to capturing a spontaneous moment in time, mixed with an intended composition where the image represents a unique frame frozen in time and can never be replicated. The moment you decide to push your cameras shutter button to nail the shot. That perfect photograph is what all us street photographers strive for and will equally never achieve.
Using the light with pleasing compositions and patiently waiting is something that I always look for as a London street photographer. Using harsh, soft or back light for shadows or contrasting images. Finding that lovely natural light and the mixing that with the urban UK architecture, and holding out for the right person or persons to enter the frame. Then all you need is that little bit of luck on your side.