One of the main lessons I learnt about London Street Photography is that anything has the potential to make a s good subject for a photo.What might seem meaningless at this point in time, could, in years to come, develop into something historical. It’s one of the cornerstones of taking London Street Photography, so pretty much everything is on limits.. Within reason that is! The pure density of London’s buildings, inhabitants and 24 hour lifestyle, mean that you simply should not come home without exciting imagery. Step out into the night and the cityscape for London changes beyond belief. You can find solitude literally a few steps away from main roads and images take on a whole new perspective.
London Street Photography – The Homeless
There’s a lot of photographers out there shooting London Street Photography who will gravitate away from homeless people as subject matter. They call them “Easy Targets’. Homeless people are on the streets.. Right? Too bloody right they are! o people who are always on the streets anyways? Nearly seven in 10 Londoners say they are appalled by homelessness in the capital, according to a survey. The You Gov poll, commissioned by the newly launched Lead London Home campaign, reported 68% of respondents saying they either tended to agree or strongly agreed that they found the scale of the city’s homelessness problem appalling. Homelessness affects people from many different backgrounds for any number of reasons. The breakdown of a relationship is one of the biggest causes. Some people become homeless because of an addiction that has taken over their lives. Some people are escaping abuse and have nowhere to go. Others come from the armed forces and are finding it difficult to cope with civilian life. From a perspective of London Street Photography, the subject matter, the personal stories and circumstance, the absolute resillience of living a life on the streets in which most average ‘Clapham Omnibus Man’ would literally never survive, is enough for me as a professional photographer, to want to document stories and life on the streets.
Running the risk of causing a social media backlash, which really isn’t my brief here today, street photography can be as easy or as engaging and difficult as you make it. I totally agree with the opinion that anybody into iphoneography can pull out a phone and shoot crap photography of any subject. It doesn’t matter if it’s a homeless person or a national landmark. It’s about capturing a moment in 1/60th of a second or however fast you choose to hit the shutter button.
“The reason I don’t like shooting street performers and the homeless are because it is rare you will get a compelling or unique image. Not only that, but it is too easy.”
I totally disagree that you can’t take compelling images of homeless people and why not. Raising the issues of homeless as part of a street project is perfectly acceptable and all down to your own moralistic interpretations. Sleeping rough has serious consequences and A homeless rough sleeper is 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person. On average, homeless people die at just 47 years old, compared to 81 years for the average UK citizen. Combined with high percentages of drug and alcohol abuse, the visible scars on many homeless leave plenty of opportunities to obtain fantastic London Street Photography images. The following images were all shot within about half a mile of Kings Cross Station. Some of the images were caught in a few seconds. Others were shot after returning to the same spot and seeing how the situation had developed.
Lee Blanchflower is Director of Photography and owner of Blanc Creative, Norwich. In 2013, Lee won the SWPP Travel Photographer of the Year. He continues to document Street Photography whenever his commercial photography commitments allow.