Experience

London Nightlife in the Snapshots by David Richardson

On the days when David Richardson does not take photographs of models and pop-stars for glossy magazines, he goes out onto the streets and into the clubs of London with a film snapshot camera, in search of the craziest shots. He dug into his collection, and chose the best pictures for Bird In Flight.

David Richardson

London-based photographer. Worked for Dazed, Elle, Vice, Vogue, and Wired. Exhibited his work in London, Paris, Berlin, and Bologna.

I take pictures of anyone, if I found something interesting about them or where they are at. I think portraits are best when people let you in a little. Simplicity is also important: some of the simplest portraits are the most disarming things I’ve seen.

People don’t come to me if they want something slick. I guess my commercial work is more technical. I have the opportunity to sort out lighting and locations and for a good few years my philosophy to life has been led by what would be the adventure. Where can the night take me? I try and merge that into my work, but now I look more for the story inside people.

When I’m shooting I’m always looking for the human connection. The character of something even if it’s a toilet. I tend not to go for the shit or blood these days, though.

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Point-and-shoot cameras are small and great for catching energy. I think all photographers will look for things that are slightly different, but maybe the simple lo-fi approach these cameras encourage is in itself a reaction to the overkill of overly glossy and stylized images that are everywhere.

I started on digital, but then I fell in love with film. The mistakes, the imperfections. The way it was much more real and beautiful.

Phones can be discreet and they’re revolutionizing documentary photography around the world. At the end of the day, I’d use what was there.

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My visual language has to change. I think for any creative the reason for that is becoming bored of what you’re doing. And if it doesn’t change, it means you’re not pushing yourself enough or your work is out of touch with what’s happening around you or inside.

There’s a worrying juxtaposition of an abundance of shocking content paired with a desire to remove elements of the past which are unsavoury. I think there’s a deep down need to observe things that make us feel better, more vindicated, or just dirty.

Photography has been the gateway to seeing more than I imagined before. It made it easier to connect things together, see the bigger picture in the smallest details and that the world and time pushes and pulls you around, the best you can do is take in as much as you can and make it all mean something.

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