I love London
I was born and raised in London and I've spent most of my life here. Every day, I think how lucky I am to be in the world's greatest city. This book is a love letter to London.
The Mayor likes People in London
Boris Johnson’s already told us that we can quote him as saying: “People in London is a brilliant illustration of why London is the most exciting city in the world and brings this fantastic place to glorious, colourful life”.
What you'll find here
- How I've spent the last five years photographing people in London
- The plan is to have about 230 of my photographs in a book
- More than 400 of them are going to be in an exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society, plus my video films, maps and more
- I need £11,000 to pay for the editorial and graphic design costs of the book so as to get it published
- I would be hugely grateful for your backing
- There are some brilliant rewards for anybody who's generous enough to give People in London their backing
- It would be great if you'd spread the word
The sub-title of the book tells you a lot: “One photographer. Five years. The life of a city.”
I’ve spent that time - five years - exploring London, photographing and filming video interviews with all kinds of different people and in hundreds of different places and situations. Together, the photographs and films that I’ve ended up with create an extraordinary portrait of the people who live in the city. They show, of course, the incredible diversity of London’s people. No one will be surprised by that. Just get on a tube train or a bus. But these photographs do a lot more. They demonstrate over and over again what a colourful, dynamic and vibrant place London is today.
I focused the project on six themes:
• Tribal London: these are the social groupings that Londoners form themselves into – maybe for reasons of class, their preferences in dress-style, their sexual orientation, their passion for Harley Davidson motor-bikes or something else
• Faith in London: the extraordinary range of religions practised in this small area
• The London Melting Pot: the ever increasing national, racial and ethnic diversity of present day London
• Celebrating London: the often highly colourful parades, festivals and parties which take place all through the year
• Street London: the amazing energy and creativity of London’s street life – entertainers, street art, protests and lots more - and
• London Surprises: a few of the surprises – people, places, events – that London is always able to spring.
In the course of my five years criss-crossing London, I took thousands of photographs. About 230 of the best ones are going to be in the People in London book. You can’t imagine how hard it’s been to narrow it down to just those few.
You can enjoy the book just by flipping the pages and looking at the photographs. Or you can read the short pieces that I’ve written about them too and also about my own experiences as I went backwards and forwards across London taking the pictures. There are some maps as well, to help you put the photographs in the places where they were shot. You can test out how well you know London.
I thought that I knew it pretty well until I set out on the five year exploration which resulted in this book. But I soon discovered that I’d hardly scratched the surface. It’s been fantastically interesting and fun to put this book together and I hope that you really enjoy reading it too.
I couldn’t have put it together on my own, of course. A terrific team has helped me. My editor has been Johanna Stephenson, who previously worked at publishers Weidenfeld & Nicholson and who, more recently, has been responsible for editing lots of the books associated with exhibitions at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Tate and others. She’s just done the book on Veronese for the National Gallery. And the book’s been designed by Raymonde Watkins, who was Art Editor of the Telegraph Magazine. She’s worked on five photographic books for Lord Snowdon and has just finished one for David Bailey. They’ve done a fantastic job. The proofs of the book that we've received so far look absolutely brilliant.
We want People in London to be a portrait format hard cover book, measuring 270mm x 205mm (i.e. roughly A4), and to be 240 pages long. The plan is for its recommended retail price to be £19.99.
I’m a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and, from the very beginning, I’ve been working with the Society on the project. They’ve been hugely helpful and they’re kindly allowing me to stage an exhibition in their purpose built exhibition pavilion in Kensington. It’s going to run for six weeks from 8 September 2014.
When you visit the exhibition, you’re going to find yourself immersed in London, with:
• more than 400 of my still images of Londoners – lots will be printed on the walls and display panels and some will be in slide shows on TV monitors too, which means that we can fit in more than we have in the book
• the video interviews that I filmed – you can watch and listen to a really varied bunch of Londoners
• specially created maps which put the images in their places round London – including an absolutely giant one taking up the whole end wall
• a sound track of typical London sounds and
• the winning entries in a competition for photographs of Londoners by Londoners.
It’s free admission and the RGS and I are planning to generate quite a bit of publicity round it, so we’re hoping to attract a lot of visitors.
Why I need your support
The exhibition is definitely going to open on 8 September. But I'd like to ensure that the book is published just before that and I need your help to make that happen, please.
The publishers of the book, Elliott & Thompson, require me to pay for the editorial and graphic design costs incurred in producing it, which amount to £11,000.
Please help me raise this money by pledging your support.
I hope that you like the package of rewards that I’ve devised for anyone who’s generous enough to do so. In the list, there are lots of ways for you to enjoy People in London.
And here’s a massive thank you in advance from me to everyone who does pledge their support. It’s hugely appreciated.
I already owe a huge debt to lots of people who've helped me with the book, the exhibition and the video that you've just watched. I'd like to mention Alasdair Macleod, Sally Stiff, Chris Keeble, Johanna Stephenson, Ray Watkins, Steve Pirrie, Gemma Rawcliffe, Bud Gallimore and Magda Pryzbryski. There have been lots of others and I hope that they'll forgive me for not mentioning them here.
Spread the word
One last ask: if you have been kind and pledged your support, please now spread the word among your family and friends.
Risks and challenges
There’s always the possibility of a delay in the publication of a photography book but Elliott & Thompson are well-established publishers, the printers and pre-press production agency that we’re using are also highly reputable and the editorial and graphic design team are extremely experienced. We’re therefore confident that, if the funds have been raised, we’ll be able to publish the book on – or even before - the target date of 4 September 2014.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)