Taking pictures of strangers in public places without their permission requires some nerve. Photographer Ed Walker clearly has plenty of that, as he’s taken loads of pictures in this very way.
There’s an extraordinary quality to his images. Because the sitter is given no notice that they are to be photographed, the look Ed gets is unlike any with-permission portrait. But nor are they reportage, as the eye contact creates a sensation far stronger than just a documentary image.
Without model releases of course, the commercial potential for this approach is zero. This is Art, with a capital A.
Which is why I was so pleased to be able to use some of Eds’ pictures to illustrate a presentation I’m giving next week; What’s Next For Banks. The images have the same feeling, but as all the subjects are looking at their phones, none are recognisable.
The initial flyer for What’s Next For Banks was posted on this blog earlier this week, here’s another, showing the range of Ed’s approach. He’s a pretty good landscape photographer too, as these fine images demonstrate.