London Photo Festival & London Photo Gallery

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The London Photo Gallery is proud to…

announce that we are a sponsor of the Art Gemini Prize. More details to follow!


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The psychology of the portrait picture

‘Make me look like a super model!’

I provided Ingrid with an impossible task when I bravely volunteered myself for her portrait of the month project back in April. I am far more comfortable behind the camera than I am in front of it and when I was having my photograph taken by Ingrid, we tried to examine this in more detail.

Ingrid’s project has thrown up more than just thinking about the technical aspects of taking people’s portrait photographs – she has also had to think about human emotions, skin tone, location and how the subject feels about themselves.

Some people are naturally more photogenic and relaxed in front of the camera than others, but one thing that Ingrid has learnt to do is make the subject feel relaxed and she does this in one sentence: ‘pretend I am not here’ and it works!

Perhaps also as photographers, we are concentrating on the camera of the person who is taking the photograph and by this I mean: ‘why are they using the flash outdoors?’ or ‘that’s a nice camera, I want one of those’!. We are trying to analyze the nuances of the situation instead of just enjoying the moment.

Read Ingrid’s blog post:

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News from Cafe Art

We are delighted to be a supporter of this project – one of last year’s finalists exhibited at the Festival in May and sold both her images and I have been invited to judge the finalists for this year’s calendar.

Cafe Art’s Press Release:

We wanted to let you know that this year’s photo contest is being held today so keep an eye out for it in social media over the next few days!

As you know, this is where the images for the exhibition and calendar will come from. Over the past few weeks we have held participatory workshops with art groups all over London and today more than 100 people affected by homelessness will be given disposable cameras and asked to take photos of London at St Paul’s Cathedral.

With the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) the contest is for people who are sleeping rough or have been recently homeless. The goal is to build self-esteem and confidence and the photographs will result in a calendar which will be sold in markets like the Big Issue later this year.

The cameras were donated by FujiFilm UK.

Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, Director-General of The Royal Photographic Society, said ‘The Society is pleased to lend its support to Café Art which has had such a positive impact in supporting and working with homeless people. It is well known that art and photography can help raise an individual’s confidence and sense of worth which can be as important as more tangible benefits. This competition will contribute to that as well as raising awareness of the problem of homelessness.’

Last year the calendar sold out after selling in Spitalfields Market, St James’s Piccadilly and Camden Lock Market giving homeless people work experience and an income. It earned almost £30,000 which was split between the photographers, calendar vendors and art groups.

This year the print-run will be doubled and more markets will be hosting a table to sell the calendar.

The homeless photographers come from more than 12 London homelessness organisations including Crisis, St Mungo’s Broadway, 240 Project, The Connection at St Martins-in-the-fields and Providence Row.

The project is a self-sustaining social enterprise which pays for itself and earns money for people affected by homelessness with their own efforts.

After the cameras are handed out several of the participants may go and take photos with members of the RPS, though they have five days to take all 27 shots.

We will have winning photographs from last year’s contest at the event who can talk about their experience. Like last year, the contest will end up producing an employment-generating calendar and will be launched at a week-long exhibition at Spitalfields Market from 13-19 October.

Media coverage of the final results from last year’s contest: