London Photo Festival & London Photo Gallery

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Writing about your photographs.

Do you dread having to write about your photographs or avoid having to do it altogether?

You are not alone.  When I am entering competitions or exhibitions, I try and skip the part that asks for a description of the image or come up with some random sentences which ultimately do not say anything at all.

Here are some questions to ask to yourself when writing about your photography:

  1. What led you to take the photograph?
  2. What is it about?
  3. Did you plan it or was it spontaneous?
  4. Where there any ‘unusual’ circumstances behind the image?
  5. Where and when was it taken?

And it goes without saying; remember to check your spelling and grammar!

It’s a skill worth learning and it is an important part of exhibiting your photography because people are intrigued about the story behind the image and if the viewer has a connection with the image, it enhances their visual experience.

This struck me at one of our earlier Festivals when I noticed a man looking intently at an image and he kept returning to the image several times during his visit, clearly struck by the subject matter.  I went over to talk to him & he said that he’d visited the memorial pictured in the image (it was taken in Washington). The image also contained the reflection of a young man reading the names on the memorial and I went on to explain that the young man was the photographer’s fiance who was tragically killed not long after the photograph was taken.

The man was silent for a moment and then said; ‘Despite the sad circumstances, I am pleased I know that because it has made the image even more special and powerful to me’


© Amanda Webster



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Theme for October’s Festival announced!

Our theme for October’s Festival will be ‘landscape photography’.

Dates: 16-18 October 2014.

We will be releasing spaces soon, so sign up to our mailing list to be kept informed 


© Roberta Facchini


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LPF Exhibitor Sets up Photography Club

Are you interested in photography?

At Southlands Arts Centre, (75 The Green West Drayton Middlesex UB7 7PW), we are holding the Southlands Photography Club.

This is due to start on Sunday 4th May and our meetings will be on the 1st Sunday of the each month.

The club will be an opportunity to share ideas, ask questions, and gain experience in this great field of the arts photography.

It is open to everyone regardless of experience, and people who have no experience are most welcome too. We want to cover Film photography as well as digital photography, and the more experienced members of the group will enjoy sharing their skills with newcomers. (Devoted shutterbugs can be eager to share their work with an interested community).

The initial agenda for the club will be to discuss upcoming photography adventures, such as a monthly assignment for all to be involved, future photo competitions, the possibility of exhibiting our photos.

All ideas and suggestions are more than welcome, there are so many branches of interest, such as nature photography, portraiture, landscape, street photography and pet portraiture, just to name a few which can all be discussed for our club.

Being a member of the Southlands Photo Club you will receive a monthly email with all upcoming events to do with photography and get to share information and show off your work.

The club is intended as, a fun, enjoyable environment for the learning and practicing the craft of photography, so whether you are an amateur, a professional, someone with no experience, or somewhere in between, all are welcome.

At some point, one of the club’s members, will be talking about his own experience with photography and his disability, even though his Cerebral Palsy makes his hands shake, he will discuss how he overcome this and manages to enjoy and love taking photos.

So what’s stopping you? If you need more information on the Southlands Photography Club, then you can email me at or call 01895 580 148 Leave a message and I will get back to you.

Have a Look at the web site for Southlands Arts Centre


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The Story of Vivian Maier

The documentary about Vivian Maier by John Maloof is opening this week in the USA.  Read my review of his talk at the LSPF in 2011:

Emma Mapp reports from John Maloof’s fascinating talk at the National Portrait Gallery about his discovery of Vivian Maier and her incredible archive:

Perhaps it would have been more accurate to call our exhibition ‘A Life partially Uncovered’.  Little did John know that when he purchased a job lot of negatives from a Chicago auction house for a book he was writing about a local park, that he was about to embark on a journey that would change his life forever.

Initially, Maier’s architectural photographs caught John’s eye and he became inspired to recreate the scenes that she had captured around the city of Chicago.  John slowly became interested in photography, started to develop his own film (including some of Maier’s photographs and he used the notes she made for her printers as a guide) and eventually completed a Masters in photography.  The rest, they say, is history.

How many photographs are there?

Thousands!  John went back and purchased the remaining boxes of negatives at the auction house and estimates that he has only developed/scanned 10% of the contents.  There are bins and bins of undeveloped black & white film, colour film and slides.  Maier also made interviews of people on 8mm film, so John and his army of volunteers have a mammoth but poignant task ahead of them cataloguing and developing all of the material.

What was she like?

She was an intensely private person and became a prolific hoarder during her life, leaving boxes of newspaper clippings, books and strange objects that she collected throughout her life – for example,  railroad spikes!  One family she stayed with had to have the floor of her room (which was always padlocked by her to protect her privacy) reinforced because the weight of all her things threatened to weaken the floor.  Save from some personal effects of clothing , hats and her cameras (Box Brownie, Rolleiflex and Leica), no diaries or letters have been found to provide us with an insight into her personality or emotional intelligence.  We know that she was well travelled but she always travelled alone and often left on her travels at a moment’s notice and was sometimes gone for months on end.  It is still possible that people that she encountered on her travels will get in touch with John to recount some anecdotes and provide further information.

It is rumoured that she didn’t like having her picture taken and would hit photographers with her umbrella if they dared to photograph her!

Who were her influences?

It is difficult to say but it is possible that she was influenced by Jeanne J Bertrand because Maier and her mother stayed with the photographer when Maier was a young girl.  There is also a similarity between Maier and Lisette Model, an Austrian-born American photographer but one thing is for sure, Maier is now an influence on photographers across the globe, inspiring people to see the beauty in their immediate environment. This inspiration is not only significant in terms of making photography accessible to everyone but it is also an important documentation of social history.

So, did John Maloof discover Vivian Maier or did Vivian Maier discover  John Maloof?  We think they both found each other and the best is yet to be revealed.

Vivian Maier


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Street Photography Walk (London Bridge/Borough Market) 23rd May 5-6pm

Exhibitor, previous f/Factor winner and successful seller, Linda Wisdom, is organising a street photography walk around London Bridge/Borough Market as part of the London Photo Festival.

Photo Walk Schedule 23rd May 2014:

5pm – Meeting at The Crypt Gallery (just inside the reception area)

Walk down to London Bridge/Borough Market

6pm (ish) – Return back to The Crypt Gallery to attend the exhibition (6pm-8pm)

(Click n’ Clique is always a good day to network with photography professionals and socialise with fellow members/street photographers).

See you there! 


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April 2014 News

  1. We only have ONE Option ONE space left – don’t miss out on a chance to exhibit your street photography images at May’s Festival
  2. Colin O’Brien will be our judge at the Private View.  He will be selecting his ‘Best in Show’ and two runners up.
  3. There are a few spaces left for Portfolio Reviews on Saturday 24th May with Zoe Whishaw – a mere snip at £25 for 20 minutes
  4. Want to know how to make the leap from emerging photographer to professional?  Join us on the 22nd May for an inspiring Master Class with Zoe