By LAUREN KELLY BROWN, JULY 2017
Growing up in London has meant that I have never had a shortage of things to photograph. Everything from grandiose, historical buildings that line the banks of the river Thames, to a dishevelled busker, singing in to the hearts of onlookers outside a tube station.
Capturing the true spirit of the city in a photograph is one of the most rewarding things you can achieve as a photographer. To show the image to someone who has never visited our beautiful city and inspire them to want to visit and explore is a great feeling.
For any budding street photographers, London is the place to be. So, grab your camera, make sure you’re fully charged and head outside to take some great snaps!
My London Bucket List is endless, and because this wonderful city is ever-changing, as soon as I tick an item off, another one is added! So, in no particular order, here are a few of my personal recommendations for things to do, eat and see in London:
Neil's Yard - Covent Garden
This bustling, vibrant area in the heart of London is perfect for capturing snapshots of street entertainment, vividly coloured architecture and quaint café delicacies (for you instagrammers!). Home to an eclectic selection of high street and independent stores, the crowd is a mix of students, tourists and high-end shoppers.
Neal’s Yard itself is neatly tucked away just off Neal Street and is host to Neal’s Yard Remedies, small independent stores and cafes. My personal favourite amongst these is Slam City Skates, just in the alleyway leading to the Yard. I’ve met a number of diverse and interesting people whilst browsing this store; it’s also a hot spot for touring bands and the like. The buildings surrounding the yard are all brightly painted and this makes for a great photo opportunity.
Stepping out of the yard, you will be surrounded by a number of streets that all stem from the Seven Dials, more details can be found here.
From Neal’s Yard it is only a short walk until you are in Covent Garden piazza, which is where you will find an array of street performers, leading from the station and in to the square itself. On days walking through here I have seen statues, magicians, circus performers and dancers, just to name a few. These all provide a fantastic chance to snap some photos of both the performance and the crowds!
Shoreditch & Hoxton
Shoreditch has long been renowned as the home of the trendy and the cool. The area boasts a gritty, urban edge, with graffiti covering walls and shop fronts as far as the eye can see. Ramshackle hipster bars and independent shabby shops line the streets, whilst nearby markets lure in large, diverse crowds. The weird but wonderfully dressed can be seen in almost every direction and this is the perfect setting for capturing the quirky side of the city.
Spending just a couple of hours here can cause you to completely fill up your memory card (or roll of film, if you’re feeling retro!). So I recommend bringing spares, because some sights here you will definitely not want to miss!
South Bank - Waterloo
Probably my favourite spot in the whole of London, South Bank is lively, cultured and there’s always something going on; just waiting for any budding photographer to snap a few shots! Home to national centres for both film and performance, the crowd it attracts is diverse in every way. There are bars, restaurants, markets and pop-up events that take place throughout the year. As well as this, there’s always a great photo opportunity in the skate park for anyone who might be interested in capturing some action shots.
The views on offer here are simply amazing. Head up towards The Eye and you will be able to gaze across the Thames to the Houses of Parliament. This setting is particularly enigmatic around dusk, as lights from both sides of the river illuminate the water and the various surroundings, creating the perfect atmosphere for some taking a landscape shot or two!