I’ve been shooting photos for my new book and it’s starting to take over my life — which is as it should be because I want this book to be beautiful and inspiring and, well, good. So no pressure then! We’re having a heatwave here in the UK so the last few weeks of shooting have been pretty intense but thankfully the Circle line has air conditioning so I’m planning my travels accordingly. Pro tip: avoid the Central line at all costs. It’s like sitting in hell’s kitchen.
This book is going to be a portrait of the city and with a population of 8.3 million I’m inevitably photographing a lot of passers by. I’ve never felt comfortable taking photos of people in the street, but the more places I go the bolder I get. Like actors in your own private play, people bring life and character to the shots. I’ve been fantasising about creating a Humans of London blog in honour of the wonderful Humans of New York, but the truth is, I prefer wandering the streets unobtrusively. I like to observe rather than interact.
Of course, when you have a 40 year-old Polaroid camera hanging across your body, you tend to become a people magnet. Each day I speak to at least five or six souls who are curious about the camera. I’ve chatted with policemen outside the Houses of Parliament, the old boy in Camden Passage and Jesse, the Spanish dude I met on the Southbank who insisted I take his picture. There was the girl in Chipotle who said she had a Polaroid at home, the charity worker in Islington who wanted tips on shooting at night, and Darren in Chinatown who was so inspired by the Vivian Maier film he was out snapping strangers.
You are never stuck for conversation when you’re shooting with a Polaroid. This is turning into quite an adventure…
It’s that time of year again! Back in August 2010 I realised I needed a break from blogging so decided to only post photos on my blog that month. I don’t remember if I kept this up, but I invited my readers to join in and just like that, the yearly August Break was born.
This is a community project that has no real rules – the idea is to simply take a photograph every day for the whole of August. That’s it. Pause, look around you and shoot what you see. Live inside each moment. Pay attention to what’s there. If it’s the summer where you are it’s a lovely way to be present to the moments that will be gone before you know it. If it’s the winter, what better way to liven up your day than with a creative project to play with? :)
You can use any camera. You could shoot every day or every other day or just on weekends. You can share your photos or just enjoy taking them without sharing. You can start and not finish. You can join in at the end.
Anything goes, loves!
Last year, inspired by Chantelle, I created a list of photo prompts to shoot during August, and this year I’m taking it up a notch with the introduction of daily emails! Each day you’ll get a short ‘n’ sweet email in your inbox with a photo illustrating that day’s prompt and a few ideas on how to tackle it. Nothing too taxing — just a shot of inspiration each day.
The daily emails are completely free, of course — you just have to sign up to get them sent to you. PLUS I’ve invited some photo-loving pals to contribute to the emails, so expect to hear from me and Andrea Scher, Vivienne McMaster, Denise Andrade-Kroon, Ali Edwards, Karen Walrond, Tammy Strobel, Leonie Wise, Xanthe Berkeley, Tracey Clark, Amy Gretchen, Bella Cirovic and Susan Tuttle, too!
Pretty sweet, yes?
Read more and sign up to get the daily emails over on the August Break page — you can also add your blog to the blog roll and join our Flickr group, too.