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Camden Town street portraits

Date posted: 19 September 2015

Camden Town street portrait of bearded man in leather jacket smoking with girlfriend

Camden Town is known for it’s vibrant and diverse atmosphere, and has been the centre of alternative culture in London for over half a century. It attracts interesting, colourful characters – and it was this ‘anything goes’ attitude and style that I wanted to capture in my street portraits.

Photos by Peter Carruthers

There were two rules I gave myself. Firstly, the subjects had to look interesting and unconventional – the kind of people you couldn’t help but notice, and the kind of people who wanted to be noticed.

Secondly, everybody had to be asked if I could take their portrait, so candid photos were not allowed.

Rather than wander endlessly around, I remained at the top of path that led from the high street to the canal, and waited for suitable people to walk past. This gave me a certain amount of control over the shoot in that the background and atmosphere remained fairly constant through all the photos.

All shots were taken with my Canon 5D camera and L series 35mm 1.4 lens one Friday afternoon in September. Here are some of my favourite portraits.

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Finally, I don’t usually photograph street performers for a few reasons - they’re too easy, too obvious and the kind of shots that tourist take. But on the way home, I couldn’t resist photographing this guy with a guitar by Camden tube station.

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