Visiting and working in London

For years i’d avoided our capital city.  I just saw too many barriers to being able to work as freely as i do in other parts of the country. Too many people rushing around bumping into each other, the near impossible driving routes, trying to figure out the tube during rush hour, getting permissions to shoot etc etc it had all built into a mental picture of negativity especially for work.

But then i realised the problem wasn’t London itself but me, i just didn’t understand how it flowed.

People who live and work in London are accustomed to its pace and how to move about without friction both for work and pleasure and once i’d realised that the problem was my own ignorance i decided to learn how to do it.  I wanted to learn its ways simply for my own progression and that’s served me well as i’m a regular visitor now especially for work.

The trick is just to observe and at a slower pace initially as a tourist.  To walk about with testing and trialling as your only agenda is the best way to figure out how to get about and eventually enjoy the pace. Naturally, as a photographer, taking pictures along the way makes the learning experience a joy.

Every time i ‘pop’ down now i try and take a moment to photograph things i see and like but in a tourist snapper kind of way which is where these couple of shots of what i call London icons have come from – a break from a commercial assignment.  I simply grab my little Fuji X100f which is my walkabout camera of choice and snap away.

Don’t get me wrong i still hate driving around London so i avoid it as much as possible by compressing my kit as much as i can and using the train, the tube planner app is a life saver too as all the guess work is taken out of the equation and you can just navigate like you would with Google maps.

Do i consider myself a London photographer now? Not really but if get an assignment there it’s no trouble at all. And whenever i get the chance to walkabout as a tourist i’ll happily do it knowing the mental barriers have all been lifted.

Darren Casey is a freelance Brand & Editorial photographer working across the UK providing brand, editorial and commercial photography to businesses and corporate organisations.