Your walks seem guided by the random interactions you have in the streets. Are the routes of your wanders generally planned or spontaneous?
Yes, it definitely hinges on the people who are left. They tend to be lost, vulnerable or eccentric. Initially, I’d walk in different directions locally to see who I might encounter, but as I went further – and because I am innately averse to repeating myself – found myself going further and covering more ground. So, after a while, trying to document this in as many different parts of the city has also become significant.
Who are you drawn to when photographing in the streets? Would you say that these past few weeks have this sharpened your awareness and made you hone in on certain things more in your photography?
There aren’t many people left, so your options are pretty limited, but I try and have conversations with people who look like they have lived a life, or have a story to tell. The people who were sleeping rough before are the ones suffering the most, and though I have spoken to several, I’ve tried to avoid just taking photos of people who have been left with nothing.
I have a good idea of what I think is important to convey, so in that sense I have a ‘brief’ in my head that I’m following, but the thing I’ve been acutely aware of, is how I approach people. Everything is inherently tense, so the first obstacle you have to overcome is making it immediately clear that you’re not a threat. Some people say yes, others say no, but I’ve learnt to approach people in a way that means they feel comfortable with me either way.