When I first arrived, London felt overwhelming, with its hectic architecture, its complex labyrinth of streets, its multi-coloured heritage, and diverse present.
But out of all its wonders what attracted me the most was my peers. I live in a student’s residence that houses art and fashion kids. The way they dressed and carried themselves, their recklessness, self-absorption, and flamboyance marvelled me. Being around them felt as though I was assisting to a performance. And so, I became a glorified spectator.
At first, my subjects were mere acquaintances. As an experienced image hunter, I knew I could not simply pull the big guns or I would run the risk of scaring them away. Consequently, I decided to lure them in with a camera as flashy as their personalities, my toy camera, a golden mini Diana F+.
Soon enough I learned two things. One, my peers did not only agree to be photographed, but thoroughly enjoyed it, to point they would actively encourage me to take more pictures. Two, I loved the way my photos were turning up. Lomography cameras tend to behave unpredictably and I felt this spirit mirrored that of the people I was photographing; full of light leaks, dust stains, saturated colours and hard blazes.
With its built in flash and lightweight body my mini Diana soon stopped being a handy voyeuristic tool and transformed into an extension of my body. I would carry it everywhere and, as I do with any analogue camera, I would just wait for the moment to manifest itself. As my pictures developed into close-ups my relationship with my peers bloomed into true friendship. I was no longer photographing strangers I was documenting real people.
And then, something else happened. I no longer felt like a mere spectator. There, in the window, my own reflection began to surface.