Jan 30, 2012

Man with Laptop

Asking strangers to stand for a photograph is not always easy. I hope for a yes, but prepare myself for a no. When I asked Patrick, he gave me a no, and continued on walking down the street. It was a shame because I really liked his white outfit with a dash of red and the laptop under his arm. However, a few meters down the road, Patrick stopped and called me over. Luckily for me, he had changed his mind and asked me where to stand. After the photograph we talked for a bit and he pulled from his wallet a picture of his girlfriend, which he said would have been perfect for my blog. She had bright red hair and a very interesting look. I thanked for his suggestion and gave him my card incase they wanted to look me up.

Jan 28, 2012

Man in front of bars

Lost in between huge council estates in the South of London, I felt very lonely on the street. Why don't I just hang around on busy street corners, where people pass by all the time? The thing is, you never know when and where the next interesting person will show up. It is something about the quiet atmosphere that gives photos a different mood. Alan(76) was about to exit this barred gate when I saw him. He was on one side, and I on the other. At first I thought he might be scared by my approach, thinking I was an intruder or something, but Alan wasn't scared at all. He opened the gate and was happy to be photographed in front of it. He was on his way to visit his stepdaughter, who lived just across the street. I didn't feel like taking up too much of his time, so I thanked him and continued down the quiet road alone.  

Jan 27, 2012

Tom, 81 - Ladies Man

Tom is not a difficult guy to find. 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, he spends in his little car outside the Snappy Snaps store in Camberwell green, London. It might sound a bit crazy, but when you're 81 years old and sick of spending your days inside a empty apartment, it's actually quite nice. Tom has chosen a busy spot, which makes people-watching easy. All though, after talking to him for 10 minutes, I got the impression that he was mostly interested in the ladies. Tom had a great sense of humor and he told me that one of his biggest joys in life was to make other people smile. He kept honking the horn, calling over elderly ladies, and wishing for snow, so he could install skis under his car. 

Jan 26, 2012

Brasileiro in London

Apparently Tarcisio was on a cigarette-break / salad-pick-up. I thought it was an interesting combination, so I asked for his portrait. He answered me; 'Brasileiro, no english'. As he didn't understand a word of what I was saying, I pointed at my camera, and then pointed at him. He smiled and nodded his head, so I assumed he was okay with it. I got a few shots and what I think is his name, before he went back to his bakery shop. 

Jan 25, 2012

Man with gold tooth

Patrick(72), aka Pedro was busy talking to a lovely lady when I noticed him. I didn't want to be rude and interrupt them, so sadly I decided to walk by without asking for a photograph. Luckily for me, another guy walked up to the lady and asked her for directions, so I grabbed the chance to have a chat with Pedro. The lady was watching us, and she kept joking with Pedro, saying he was famous. Looking at him now, it wouldn't have surprised me if he was. Not many 72-year-old beats Pedor's sweet coolness.  

Jan 24, 2012

Mark & Louise - An outside bet

I noticed Mark and Louise when we were walking towards each other on the sidewalk along Southampton way. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but it was something about them that fascinated me. Maybe I felt they had a typical english look going on. The photo makes them look quite serious, but my impression of them when we met, was the complete opposite. They were wearing same button tags on their coats saying 'outside bet'. I wish I had asked what it was for. Our meeting was very brief, and I'm still to this day, curious about how they were related. 
Later I've been told that 'Outside bet' is the title of a film that will be released this April. The film is based on a book Mark wrote called 'The Mumper'. 

Jan 23, 2012

Joan, 46 - Her earrings made me happy

When I met Joan I instantly knew it was going to be a nice meeting. I think her earrings describes her  personality well. Warm, lovely and colorful. We talked for a while and I felt a really good connection. She kept saying things that made me smile, and I think I made her smile too. She admitted to me that she was very happy about being photographed. The reason for this, she explained with a simple image on her phone. It's fair to say that Joan used to be bigger than what she looks like today. I don't remember the exact details, but she had lost a lot of weight over the last months. It was hard for me to believe that the lady in the image she showed me was the same as the one standing in front of me. 

Jan 22, 2012

David, 34 - Long hair in the morning sun

David was on his way home when I saw him. He was a few meters in front of me, so I had to increase my speed, in order to catch up. Just before he entered his house, I shouted; hey, which was enough to make him turn around. It was early morning and the light in the street was really nice, so I asked if we could take a photo there. He explained to me that he had just woken up, but despite that, he didn't turn me down. What first intrigued me so much about David was his super long hair. It didn't seem like he planned to cut it any time soon. When I asked for how long he had been saving, the answer was; 17 years.

Jan 21, 2012

Ja'far, 52 - The friendly henna beard guy

From across the street I noticed Ja'far's ginger beard. I thought it was too good to let go, so i decided to run after him. Ja'far was originally from Canada, but had spent the last twenty years living in London. Of course I had to ask about his beard. When I look at it now, my question might have come across as a bit stupid. But anyways, I asked if it was his natural color. He laughed, and said it was the same color as mine. I told him mine was the real deal, and he started explaining me all about the henna tradition, and how he colored his beard. As beard grow fast, you're supposed to dye it quite often. For Ja'far, often meant one month ago, and he excused his rough look. I thought it looked perfect! Lesson learned; Henna dye is a lot more healthy than normal dye.

Jan 20, 2012

JayKAy, 77 - Afrobeat musician from Nigeria

Today I walked for almost two hours without meeting anyone to photograph. It was cold, rainy, and I even questioned myself why I bother to do this blog. Then, on a street corner close to Peckham, I found my answer. Jay Kay used to play the drums in a band producing similar tunes to the great Fela Kuti. Looking at his outfit, his musician background didn't surprise me. Unfortunately Jay Kay had to retire a few years ago after suffering a stroke, but I can confirm that his ability to spread joy amongst people was absolutely still there. He promised not to forget me, and I will certainly not forget him, so hopefully we'll meet again soon. 

Jan 19, 2012

The Bushey Hill Postman

This portrait was the result of a knock on my door yesterday morning. Postman Steven(47) was trying to push a package through my letter box. Unfortunately, it got stuck half way through, and he wasn't able to deliver the rest of the mail. When I opened the door, we both had to work together in order to get the package loose. After a few words, Steven went on with his route and I went back in side. Though, regretting not to have talked more with him, I quickly got dressed, grabbed my camera and went after him. Just up the road I found him talking to another neighbor. It really showed his true postman-spirit; nice to everyone! We talked about his 17 years working for the Royal Mail post service, his regular route up Bushey Hill, and my letter box, which is way to small. He didn't complain, but I got the feeling I should try too do something about it.  

Jan 17, 2012

Bendik, next issue of playboy?

Bendik(64), was also one of the friendly people I met in the woods last Sunday. And,, he was also one of the few that I had the chance to talk with, as he stopped to repack his bag, and spent a second to enjoy the beautiful nature. I instantly fell in love with his hat, which didn't seem to serve much purpose. Bendik agreed to be photographed, but he kept fiddling with his bag, so I thought maybe he was a bit shy. However, after I finished photographing, he asked if I was submitting the photo to the next issue of playboy. I told him yes, laughed, and gave him the address to my blog.

Jan 16, 2012

Unknown cuties, in a hurry

Unfortunately I don't know much about these two lovely ladies. They looked slightly scared and sceptic when I approached them, but after some convincing, they agreed to take a quick photograph, though, on one condition, that they didn't have to tell me their names. For me it made the meeting more mystical, so I told them not a problem. Our conversation was very brief, as they both had more important things to do than hanging around chatting with me. Can't really blame them.

Jan 15, 2012

This is Norway - 'Søndagstur'

As many other Norwegians today, I've been out, walking in the woods. It is sort of a tradition in Norway, that when it comes to Sunday, you put your skies or walking-shoes on, and go for a trip in the woods. We call it 'Søndagstur' (Sunday-trip). It was plenty of people out today, but most of them were skiing fast by me, so difficult subjects to catch. Then, after an hour of walking, I met Morten(57). He was having a little break at one of the view spots along the track. When I was photographing him, I noticed that he had a genuine interest in what I was doing, so I asked if he was a photographer too. It turned out, he is a great cinematographer, with experience beyond my imagination. He had a couple of tips for me and as we shared common interests, the talk went really easy. The portrait couldn't have described a 'Søndagstur' any better. He had the look of one of those classic Norwegian character from a Hollywood movie. And, he was eating an orange, which is one of two mandatory snacks when your on a Sunday-trip. On top of that, he shared his orange with me, which I thought was pretty great and really kind. What a lovely day!

Jan 14, 2012

Tex(51), great name for a mechanic

Tex was standing more or less exactly like this when I saw him outside his car garage in Peckham. I liked his rough worker look, so I crossed the road, to go and talk to him. Before I had finished my little introduction, a customer came over and payed Tex some money. It was a slightly awkward moment, where I was just standing next to them, not knowing if Tex wanted me to leave or not. I decided to hang around, looking up into the air, so I din't seem too nosy. When the customer left, I asked for the portrait. I don't think Tex cared too much, but he gave me a nod and said it was cool. First when I got home, I noticed his fly was open, but knowing Tex, I don't think he'll mind.      

Jan 13, 2012

Laurence, from the heart of Peckham

Laurence was way a head of me when I noticed his awesome hair. I was unsure if I could catch up with him or not, but decided to give it a go. I picked up my speed and followed him down an empty street. As I was about to reach him, to my big surprise, he suddenly turned around and asked if I had any money. It's not an unusual thing in London that people ask for coins to take the bus or something. Unfortunately I didn't have anything on me, so I kindly said no. Normally I'm the one that starts the conversation, and after turning him down, it felt a bit harder asking for his portrait. However, I felt the good vibes, so I asked anyway. After a few snaps, we were both happy. Laurence asked me one more time for change. I apologized and said no again, thanked him for the photo, before we walked of in separate directions.   

Jan 12, 2012

Leif & Marit - Couple on tour

I was being lazy driving down the road, when i passed the sweet couple, Leif and Marit. It was something about them that caught my eye. Maybe it was the walking poles and the lovely combination of colors. Well, I decided to park my car, and walk back to have a chat with them. It turned out, they were really nice locals from Kjelsås in Oslo, out for a exercise/walk in the beautiful weather. The sun was shining, and with temperature just below 0 degrees, it keeps the snow in perfect condition for a beautiful trip. As per usual, I had to ask for their age. I won't go in to details, but added up, they are soon turning 170 years. Looking at them, I find it hard to believe. If only I can be in this great shape, when turning their age.

Jan 11, 2012

The former lawyer, Reidar(84)

Today I've been in Oslo and helped out at a local volunteer center. Driving out groceries is one of the daily duties, and my first stop was 84 year old, Reidar. The former lawyer had a small back problem, and shopping in the snow, was no longer easy for him. Apart from this, Reidar was still going strong. I entered his house, and the first thing I noticed, was a laptop in the living room. When I asked if it belonged to him, he looked at me and explained how he couldn't live without it. Reidar didn't strike me as the typical laptop user, but email, internet and online banking, was all part of his daily routine. When I was about to find my way out, he insisted on following me to the door. At the doorstep, I noticed the beautiful light that was shinning through the house, and I asked to take his portrait. He accepted with thanks. 

Jan 10, 2012

Second meeting with Robert - True kindness

The first time I met Robert, I was actually photographing Ron, 77 (on the left in the photo below). I was explaining Ron what my blog was about, and how I liked to photograph people I found interesting. At the same time, Robert walked passed and overheard our conversation. Without me knowing, he stopped behind me, and as I backed up to photograph Ron, I bumped into him. A bit offended and disappointed, Robert questioned how I could photograph interesting people, but not wanting to photograph him? I explained that I would love to take his portrait after I had finished taking Ron's. Robert must have been in a hurry. Instead of waiting for us to finish, he decided to jump into the frame. I love how Ron had one of those smiles where you can't tell if he is comfortable or not. Before we knew it, Robert was already on his way, and I didn't get the chance to talk to him. Luckily, a few days later, our tracks passed again. Robert remembered me, and I asked him if I could take a proper portrait this time. He removed his hat and placed his hands on the back. It was a perfect moment! Although he had some very sad life stories to share, I thought he was quite positive. I believe his face showed his true kindness. Hopefully we'll meet again, so I can give him a copy of this photograph.

Jan 9, 2012

Wigi(73) - Animal Lover and mafia lookalike

Underneath a tree, just of the main walking path in Ruskin park, I noticed Wigi and a lot of birds. Strangely enough, this is the second bird feeder I meet in only few days. Wigi did seem a bit more serious about his passion, then Elisabeth did, though. When I started to talk to him, he kindly invited me to join him. Surrounded by lots of pigeons and squirrels, we spent around 45 minutes together, talking about everything from Elvis Presley to EU, peepshows, football, aging and gambling. That's right, I think Wigi had experienced more things than most people do in a lifetime. The former gambler, originally from Malta, used to have money, but no true happiness. Now, as he told me, he had no money, but lots of happiness. He loved anyone and everyone! The little bit of money he did have, was spent on feeding the animals. 3 times a week he came to the park with his bag full of seeds, nuts, ham, bacon, you name it. I was impressed!! Before I left, I told Wigi he looked a bit like one of the characters in a mafia movie. He laughed, told me about his commercial TV career and showed me a few poses. As we got to know each other quite well, we decided to meet up again in a couple of weeks. Same time and place, for another chat, and some more photos. Lets see. Wigi might become a regular entry to my blog.

Jan 8, 2012

Drew(40) & Matilda(8) - As father as daughter

It was difficult not to ask for a photo when i met Drew and Matilda. I think they were out for a walk, testing Matilda's bike. Their outfits and happy faces says it all. Really nice, lovely people, that i hope to see again in Peckham! 

Jan 7, 2012

Lillian, 76

I saw Lillian from far way, and thought she looked so warm and cosy in her scarf and pink  jacket. She was indeed! Back in the days, she used to be an archaeologist, where cameras were often used to document  the digging sites. I was intrigued! We shared some thoughts about photography, and she explained me how she could never get her digital camera to take the photos she wanted. Other than this, Lillian was very conscious about her age. Lesson learned, never to ask a lady for her age. However, after making sure no neighbors were around to see her, she secretly showed me her age using her fingers. I hope I got it right.

Jan 6, 2012

Alfid, 63

When I saw Alfid, my camera was tucked away, so we just passed each other on the street. Of course some meters down the road I realised it was a mistake and I turned around to ran after him. He accepted my portrait offer, put his bags down and prepared for the photograph. I told him to keep the bags. He said; 'yes, that's what I usually wear', smiled and picked them back up. They look pretty great, I have to say. Of course the bags wasn't the only reason why I wanted to photograph Alfid. His mustache fascinated me a lot. The styling was done in quite an unusual way, passing the lower lip.

Jan 5, 2012

Elisabeth, 24

I was watching the birds in the park when Elisabeth suddenly came up next to me and started feeding them. She was definitely not your average kind of bird-feeder-lady (like the one in Home Alone 2), so I decided to ask for her portrait. It turned out, she was a sweetheart, and said yes. When I asked if she came there often, she answered: 'The birds need me'. I didn't ask more, and just assumed she did.

Jan 4, 2012

Nicholas, 65

Nicholas was walking his cute, little dog when i met him.  He greeted me with a smile and a most certain yes, when i asked to photograph him. I think the dog was a bit shy, as he only felt comfortable sitting on Nicholas' arm. Going through all the photos i took of them, I think maybe they were both a bit shy, constantly avoiding looking into my camera.

Dave, 61

I met Dave just a few hundred meters from my house in Peckham. I was fascinated 
by his serious face and how the little hair he had left, got caught in the wind. At first 
he was a bit sceptic about being photographed, but after i told him what it was for, 
he willingly struck a pose.