After struggling to get street portraits in Letchworth on Tuesday, I jumped on a train and headed into London, to see if being somewhere busier and noisier would make it any easier. And, yes, it does. I’m not going to jump up and down with delight with the results, but at least I was pleased enough with some shots to put them up here.
The thing about somewhere like London is that there are characters everywhere. Of course, that’s the case everywhere if you keep your eyes open, but somehow in the big cities they’re easier to spot and there’s so many people wandering around with cameras that you feel less self-concious than, say, in Hitchin. But I’m still not the most naturally confident person, and sometimes the people that catch my eye are the very people who I feel I’d need to be brave or confident to take their photo, so many great opportunities slipped by.
Perhaps next time I go on a people-hunting trip I should go to an event rather than just a place. A fair, a street party, a market, perhaps. For now, this has been a great experiment and a few people have said they’ve liked some of the results, so I’ll persevere when the opportunities arise.
Of course, the other question about this kind of work is an economic one. It’s all very well being able to capture these sort of shots, but what’s the market for them? Don’t forget I’m not just doing this degree to improve a hobby; I’m looking to carve out a vocation somehow or an other.
If you want to see more of my London shots, you know where to go.
While I was in London, I took the chance to visit a few exhibitions. My first visit to The Photographer’s Gallery in Soho was a pleasure. They currently have an exhibition called Fresh Faced and Wild Eyed, showcasing the work of recent graduates. There’s some great work on show, covering a wide range of styles. Those that caught my eye the most were probably Iris Brember, Kristin Hoell, and Harry Mitchell; and if you click on each name you’ll see that those three in themselves are very varied, so it’s not always just one style that attracts me. Needless to say the fact that these photographers are all recent graduates was encouraging – but also daunting.
(There was also an exhibition of studio works by Claire Aho. This wasn’t as interesting.)
Apart from the Photographer’s Gallery, I also made point of visiting the The Press Photographer’s Year 2013 at the National Theatre. Well worth a visit. If you’re in town, make sure you don’t miss it. It’s on until the end of August, and is free to enter.