The UK always has an amazing concoction of divergent people and characters as people visit from all over the globe. During my street photography travels I’m lucky enough to encounter many of these colorful characters and to get to know some of them. This week I met and talked to an interesting man called China. China once served in the armed forces in Afghanistan and now preferred to live on the streets, partly due to what he saw and experienced on his tour. Billy his playful dog was his companion and friend. I had a small chat with China, bought him and Billy some lunch and wished them both well. These streets can be amazing, sometime you meet people that just put a lot of silly things that plague all our lives into clear perspective.
I see a lot of commentary on street photography, some saying its only ‘true’ if done candid. I disagree all forms are valid and anyone not going up to some of these people are even for just a few minutes, getting to know a little about them, is a person far poorer from the experience. In my opinion is just as valid to speak to these people you find interesting, to hear their story, their lives, to inject some actual knowledge into the photo you are making, instead of just taking a picture – it really makes one to get to know the people involved.