Interview with London Street Photographer Linda Wisdom

Linda, you are a London street photographer, please tell us a little about you:

Well, I started shooting in 2009 after being given a loan DSLR to practice on. It wasn't my initial plan to photography in this genre, but as a 'people watcher' prior to having a camera in my hands, I was always observant of life around me and had an interest in sociology, so it was probably a natural progression.


Can you identify for us the main reason you shoot street work?

As mentioned, I have a interest in people, but I am also quite an empathy person and can read others pretty quickly. I started in the portraiture style of street, but soon progressed into being more creative with multiple elements such as with light play, geometry, POVs, urban scenes, etc into my photos.


Looking at your work I see you probably shoot 95% in black and white is that right?

I shoot in RAW, so I have the option of converting to black and white. But the majority of my photos usually have elements other then a strong colour theme, so to avoid distraction I prefer to convert them to B&W yes.


You recently took part in the London Photo Festival and the theme was appropriately street photography. How was it?

Yes, it was good to know that from a public vote the next exhibition theme was going to be street photography. I exhibited two images, one each from my Lisbon and Paris trips. I was pleased to sell my Paris framed image to a visitor. Overall there was a nice mix of styles on display which made it an interesting show to participate in.


Could you tell us about the "We Shoot People" events?

We Shoot People - London Street Photography Group is a group I set up in 2012. I was looking for a London based street photography group to join so I could socialise with fellow shooters on photo walks etc... Bizarrely, on doing a search for a London group there wasn't one! So I thought to myself, why don't I create one! I can say WSP was the first official, 'exclusive' London Street photography group on Meetup.  Since launching, I have organised to date 91 events. Events have included photo walks, workshops, visiting photography exhibitions, day trips and social gatherings in and outside London. The group membership to date is now just over 1600 which is pretty cool.


Your "Soho Rain" photo (above) is one I particularly enjoy. Getting that man standing out so perfectly from the lot, well done. Can you explain the context of that shot?

Thanks. How I achieved the exact timing was kind of luck! My eyes were drawn to the way the car lights were dancing between the legs of the pedestrians crossing. I noticed the man in the beige mac crossing and he seemed to stand out from everybody else who were all mostly wearing darker clothing, so I took the shot when he was in a good position in the frame. It wasn't until I got home and loaded the image onto my computer that I saw he was looking up in the way that he is. Considering it was the middle of winter, freezing cold and raining, I was about to give up and go home and this was my last shot that night! It is one of my own personal favourite shots, and is the image that I've sold the most prints of out of all my photos.


Do you have any long terms or short term projects you'd like to share with our readers?

Yes, I am in the process of scheduling some documentary photography projects for private and commercial customers. I have several jobs booked and I'm pretty excited about doing them as they still allow me to remain with creative control but also keep within the candid context that is street photography. 


Finally, what would be the one piece of advice you wish someone gave you way earlier when you began shooting?

Though, it is very useful to learn your basic camera settings, you do not need a huge, expensive DSLR to shoot street photography! 

Thanks a lot Linda!

All photos © Linda Wisdom