My Photo Walk in London with the Leica Akademie

"One of the workshop leaders encouraged me to take more portraits and helped me approach a couple of true Londoners having a cigarette break. They thought it was hilarious that I wanted to take their photo!"

A sunny Friday, and what an amazing feeling it was to jump on a train again and head down to the big city of London! For quite some time, I looked forward to this opportunity to participate in a photo walk (on the theme of 'new perspectives') run by the Leica Store in Mayfair. Finally the day arrived 😊


Whether you own a Leica or not, these workshops are run by the 'Leica Akademie' and offer you a great chance to learn some skills from professionals, as well as discover some tricks with the Leica cameras (or borrow one to see if you like it!)


When I arrived to the store, I met the other participants in the classroom and we considered some 'new perspectives', such as looking down, looking up and 'shooting from the hip'. This involves setting up the camera and shooting without looking through the viewfinder, something that I always find is hit and miss, but I love to try!



We headed to the Soho and Carnaby Street area first and I wandered off to see what I could capture. Whilst exploring, I saw a man wearing red sitting on a bench. I'm usually not very good at asking people if I can take their photo, but he seemed friendly and didn't mind at all (in fact telling me it happens to him all the time 😀). What a fun and cheerful person! He asked me where I'm from and explained that his son tells him he's a poser for dressing so vibrantly (doesn't he look great though?!). I tried some portraits from a low angle. All I can say is, what a great representative of London!


And London really is such a vibrant and diverse place with so much going on and so many interesting people. What a different place it is now compared to when my grandparents grew up right there decades ago, before the glitz, glamour and money poured into areas such as Mayfair, Kensington and Westminster. This, for me, is what always fascinates me about London.



As we continued the walk, one of the workshop leaders encouraged me to take more portraits and helped me approach a couple of true Londoners having a cigarette break. They thought it was hilarious that I wanted to take their photo, but again, what an authentic opportunity to capture the people of the city!


We passed by Porsches and an office selling yachts in Mayfair. The incredible sunshine bathed the buildings and people walking in and out of the shadows as they hurried to and from their workplaces. It was still notably quieter than it usually would be as a result of COVID, with one woman in my group exclaiming "this is Bond Street on a Friday!" - she could hardly contain her surprise at how quiet it was.


When we returned to the Leica Store and the classroom, we marvelled at each other's shots. We were nearly all using the Leica Q2 (some trying out the Leica Q2 Monochrome, which takes only in black and white - the images looked pretty special by the way). I was in good company with other Leica fans! And what lovely people they all were.


After a great workshop, I went round the corner to a favourite place of mine for lunch (Joe & The Juice, that was a regular drop-in for me in Den Haag!) People were sitting in the sun outside a traditional London pub across the road. What an incredible vibe!



Eventually, I had to head back to Euston station to get my train home. No time is ever enough in London! But I really loved my day there and will surely be back again soon.


For any of you considering a Leica Camera, or if you would love to do a great photo walk, I highly recommend the Leica Akademie (and the Leica Store in Mayfair) 😀👍🏻📷

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