I got an analogue assignment for the top London magazine Big Issue, available all over the capital in support of the homeless. Here is my story of the day...
I was in Marrakech, celebrating my Birthday, when the UK Lomography team emailed me asking if I’d be interested in shooting some Lomographic pictures for the Big issue magazine. Of course, I was!
The Big Issue is a magazine which offers homeless people the opportunity to earn some income, instead of just begging. The magazine reads kind of like a smaller Time Out. Vendors buy it for £1 and sell for £2, keeping £1 for themselves. Good cause, yes, but the fact that they wanted Lomo pictures was just astonishing to me.
So I went to Big Issue Head Quarters to meet with Sally Brummal, Junior Reporter, and a graphic designer. I showed them all the Lomography books featuring some of my photos, and we discussed ideas. They wanted to shoot the famous Spitalfields market in East London, focusing on it’s fashion aspect – which was easy because Spitalfields market IS FASHION!
So, one cloudy Friday with just a few decent sun spells I went to the Lomoraphy Store East London to pick up 12 rolls of different Lomography films (400 ISO, 800 ISO and Lomo Slide 200 ISO). I had 3 cameras on me: Horizon Kompakt, Lomo Kompakt and Nikon F55.
‘Friday is fashion day at Spitalfields Market. The fashion and arts market stallholders vary from designers and artists to resellers with an eye for the undiscovered and new. This is a fantastic day to skip the crowds and bag a great hat, wallet, brooch, skirt or original artist print.
On the first and third Friday of every month there is a record fair, which gives visitors the opportunity to pick up the rare, the old, and the new, covering all musical tastes.’ From the Spitalfields Market website
Although it appeared to be difficult to Lomograph the stalls- a lot of the vendors were against their pictures being taken, and few got really really angry. So I had walk fast through the stalls, with a stoney face, and make sure nobody noticed my LCA. The first floor terrace with the restaurants became a perfect spying spot. I had to chase one lady for the sake of Lomographing her pink Melissa shoes by Vivienne Westwood.
I also told my fashionista friend to come around to try his chance to appear in the magazine. And he did!
I dropped films to Jack, the Lomo Lab manager, to come back for them on Monday.
Monday’s market includes fashion, footwear, gifts, bric-a-brac and more. So I came back again, at about 11 am. The feeling was completely different. vendors were only starting to put up the stalls. It was too early for lunch break yet.
I asked few unusually brightly dressed people permission to snap them- both pictures ended up in the article! But within 2 hours it all changed: office workers from the nearby business district appeared in big amounts, looking for the food and bargains.
I did some amazing x-pro Horizon shots on that day. Again, dropped everything to Jack. My BF was very sweet and drove me across the town to Big Issue’s HQ to drop the pictures. The magazine crew was very pleased with them, which made me really happy, and had a hard time choosing the final 13.
One week later they were published!
If you’d like to support the Big Issue charity you can purchase a copy of the magazine here
To see more of my pictures or articles about the Spitalfields market, check out my lomohome
This whole experience was amazing and proved that not only digital shots can end up on the pages of the magazines!
Viva London! Viva LOMO!