I am a… Londonite photographer, I love everything photo-related and strive to keep my work fresh. I cover events from Burlesque nights and underground film screenings to weddings and exhibition openings. I have lived in London for six years now and feel that the city really inspires me in work and play. Every day is different and I never stop discovering here. I think it might be love.
The area in London I call home is… right on the river in Battersea, which is awesome. I haven’t been here that long but have recently stumbled on lots of little thrift shops and quirky places off the beaten track. My favorite spot to pass the time is Battersea Village Square; it’s a micro hub of world cuisine with Italian, Indian, Thai, Lebanese and seafood restaurants. There is always something going on there, whether is be a wacky jazz trio playing or an outdoor zumba class - it’s all going down in the square! I grew up on a farm but I was never terribly keen on overdosing on fresh air and frankly I find wellington boots ugly and incredibly uncomfortable, so like dear Dick Wittington (and many others before me) I packed my bags and journeyed to the Big Smoke to seek my fortune. Whilst on arrival I was initially disappointed to find the streets were not all paved with gold, I have found that there are more valuable hidden treasures around the city!
I’ve got to have a meal at…Borough Market. It is certainly up there - although I am not sure you would call it a ‘meal’ more of a graze / gorge of all the amazing artesian foods they have. Places with offers on are also a winner for me for a couple of reasons – firstly they get you out of the rut of going to the same places so it’s a bit of a journey of discovery, and secondly I unashamedly love the smug feeling of getting a good deal!
I tend to get my threads (clothes) from… shops. Especially ones that sell very beautiful and incredibly uncomfortable shoes, sadly I’m drawn to them like a moth to a flame… Will I ever learn?
To enjoy London’s nightlife, you should… expect the unexpected! I always go out with an open mind and try to find out what’s going on before hand. I am really lucky in my line of work that I get to hear about, and photograph, lots of really cool things that happen around London. My main tip is to choose an area and stick with it. It’s a belief shared by Londoners that everywhere is an hour away - whether you are going a couple of stops on the bus or tubing across the zones it always takes an hour!
If I was mayor, I would… crack the whip and get my fellow cyclists fully clad in neon and helmets and supply lots of flashing lights. I love, love, love my trusty stead and couldn’t be in London without it – it’s pretty much the only way I get around. But I have been knocked off a couple of times, it’s not fun…
My favourite spot to check out art is… always changing. But ultimately it’s actually my flat as it’s covered in art I adore, and lots of my own photos – it’s like a private gallery! Having worked in the art world and a keen interest in photography and beautiful things, I’m signed up to various galleries so often visit new shows and pop up exhibitions whether they be on Cork Street or private homes. I am lucky enough to photograph for the Tate Museums so I never miss their exhibitions. I get a real rush from going to auctions and love seeing what the trends are and who is buying.
I’d kindly tell a tourist to… Get out of Leicester Square and Covent Garden and try something new, there is a lot more to London then chain restaurants and people handing out flyers, I promise! Also the number 11 bus is a really good route – you get to see a lot of the sights.
The things I miss when I leave London are… hmm… it’s far easier to talk about the things I would NOT miss about London. One is the dodgy paving stones that when trodden on in the rain submerges your feet in water to your ankles. Another is the bus drivers who see you running and waving frantically but then pull away at the last second leaving you in a puff of bus smoke.
My soundtrack to London would be:
Airborne Toxic – “Sometime Around Midnight” During the day the city is so hectic you barely have time to think, I find my quiet times are always at night. To me this song expresses that as it’s all about switching off and reassessing your feelings and thoughts without the white noise.
The XX – “Intro”A dear friend of mine got married in a photographic studio in east London and this is what accompanied her entrance. When the music started the atmosphere was electric everyone had goosebumps. The song wasn’t out there in the mainstream at that point and the words I would use describe to London also apply to this beautiful piece of music. Epic, urban, hypnotic, fresh and most of all… Love.
Cash Machine – “Hard Fi” This was released around the time I moved to London and I listened to it over and over and over again, it was kind of an anthem for me at that time and has a great beat for stomping around getting to know the city.
The Duchess / Charlotte Fielding / 31 / Wonderland / Hayley Atwell / Open
Charlotte’s childhood was happy and by all accounts fairly normal. Her parents ran a bakery in Wonderland and customers often remarked on how bright and precocious little Charlotte was. Though her mother had told her fanciful stories when she was a child, as she grew Charlotte became much more interested in what was really going on in the world. She was fascinated by the machinations of the courts in both Wonderland and Looking Glass and always wanted to know more about everything. She came to realise that much of the way the governments are run is cloaked in shadow which seemed wrong to her. The desire to expose the truth only grew stronger when she got a job at The Mirror, the city’s newspaper, and she’s been tenaciously pursuing stories ever since.
There is nothing Charlotte values more than the truth. She understands that people have secrets but when those people are in very powerful and dangerous positions she thinks those secrets should be exposed. Her work ethic is impeccable, some might say almost too good, as it often slips Charlotte’s mind to stop working and just relax for a bit. The way she pokes around and asks questions often results in her being at odds with authority figures but she fearlessly pursues what she knows to be right anyway. There are too many dark and terrible secrets in this city and Charlotte believes the people have the right to know what those are.