In April I had the privilege of visiting London, one of my favourite places in the world. The reason behind my visit was to attend the Snap Photography Festival (but more on that later). The reason why I adore London so much is because my precious friend Lauren lives there.
I met Lauren a few years ago on the magical 6-second video-looping app called Vine. Two years ago I had a trip planned to Italy and sent Lauren a message asking if I can stop by. I went to visit her for a week and we’ve been buds ever since. Lauren was also the one who introduced me to Snap.
One of the things I really appreciate about Lauren is that she puts up with my taking photos all the time. However, since we met on Vine, I must say that she also enjoys photography. One of my favourite activities in London is to go “Night-sploring.” This is a term Lauren and I coined after many a adventure past midnight in the streets of London. Somehow we always end up passing the Globe and crossing the Millennium Bridge. I, of course, always confess my undying love to the Globe every time I see it (being a theatre major and having a life-long crush on Shakespeare).
One night Lauren and I crossed the Millennium Bridge again and I happened to have my camera with me. I asked her if we could stop and take a picture of St. Paul’s cathedral. I wanted to take a long-exposure and capture the movement of the people passing by. This proved to be a bit of a challenge seeing as I did not have a tripod with me. I spotted a railing and decided to rest my camera on the railing while clutching onto the strap for dear life. After a few billion shots I finally found the one that I was happy with! Just in time for Lauren and I to miss out train. Oh dear. We do the craziest things for out art though, don’t we?
I met some pretty interesting people on the streets of London. I love that the people there are so interesting and so vastly different to what I’m used to. My friends and I were walking through the flower market one day and came across a group of street musicians. We assumed that they were a band, but they actually just met and decided to play a few songs on the spot. We stayed for the whole afternoon, sitting on the sidewalk, listening to the cheerful melodies that filled the street.
This wasn’t my last encounter with street musicians. On a gorgeous sunny Sunday I took a walk along the South Bank and came across an elderly gentleman playing folk music on his keyboard. He had an audience of stuffed animals around him that he brought with him. I took a few pictures of him playing his music so passionately. I then walked over towards him and threw a few coins into a tin on the ground, being guarded by a stuffed tiger. He then started singing a song “Ain’t she sweet” and winked at me. When his song ended he introduced himself and gleefully told me about his videos on YouTube. Meeting him was definitely one of the highlights on my trip. If you want to listen to some of his music and show him some love, click here.
London has just absolutely captured my heart. It feels so strange to visit a totally new and different country and to feel right at home. If anyone happens to have a few fly-miles lying about- I’ll be more than happy to take them off your hands.