Street Portrait of a Stranger in Carnaby Street

Having been inspired by some fantastic street portraits from the Singapore based street photographer Danny Santos II and also the 100 strangers Flickr group, I wanted to embark on my own journey to shoot portraits of strangers close up. This appealed to me for a number of reasons especially as the mere thought of it scared the Bejesus out of me. I know, I know, it seems that it is shouldn’t be that difficult, but unfortunately for me it was and  I needed to grow a pair!

I decided that a good place to start my project was Carnaby Street in London where there are a lot of tourists and as a result I thought that they would be more approachable. I went on a cloudy day, which would result in even light for my pictures. However, I kept putting it off; firstly by visiting the Photographers Gallery and then by having  lunch. Having run out of reasons to not do it, I finally placed myself at one end of Carnaby Street searching for a suitably striking stranger. After about an hour I had not taken a single picture so I decided there was only one thing to do. That’s right, I put it off some more, went to a pub and sat outside having a drink while watching the world go by. I just put my camera down and just relaxed.

Feeling reinvigorated, I decided to have one more stab at doing this and went back to my spot. I had seen a couple earlier who I knew I wanted to take pictures of, but they were too far away and I thought that I had lost them when they popped into a shop. Luckily, they passed by me a second time and this time I finally got the courage to speak to them and guess what, they were really cool. They were from Nigeria and I was able to relate to that from the time I spent there as a little boy. They were also happy to let me take a picture of them. The portrait above is of Simon which I felt came out well.

Hopefully this will be the first of many.

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