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PORTFOLIO

11.05.2015

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A photo safari in London – this is Matt Stuart’s hunting ground. He prowls the streets of the British capital, stalking his prey, searching for the perfect moment. Senses on alert, he waits patiently, then emerges from undercover with his camera poised to shoot. He does not give up till he has bagged his prize – unique images full of colour, humour and the scent of the big city.


You unintentionally capture bizarre situations in the street. Do you have to be a situational comedian, or just really fast so as to capture the scenes before they’re gone?

I don’t think you have to be a ‘situational comedian’ as such. I think one of the most important things with working on the street is to have time. Without time you can’t truly immerse yourself mentally and physically in what you are doing. Obviously being technically competent and reactive is important, but in my opinion free time, with no agenda, can really help to get you in the zone. Unfortunately time is a very expensive commodity!


How do the people react when you emerge from undercover with your camera? Do they recognise you?

I don’t tend to sneak or hide when I am photographing. I’m pretty obvious about what I do. In my experience, as soon as you sneak or hide what you are doing people become suspicious. Recently, through video interviews and magazine articles, people have started to recognise me on the street, which up to this point has been flattering.


Surely, your type of photography means taking lots of quick snapshots, of which only so many will be perfect? Why then do you choose to work with an analogue Leica MP?

I’m working in a tradition where film was the norm. I like to be a part of that and respect what has gone before. I really enjoy the process of working with film, the tangibility of it, the uninterrupted analogue experience of spending time in the viewfinder, and the relationship between me and the negative at the light box stage. The MP is extremely quick, quiet and discreet. I’ve been using Leica Rangefinders for over 20 years now and I’m extremely comfortable with how they feel and the results I achieve with them.


You can see a comprehensive series of Matt Stuart’s amusing images in the M Magazine No. 2.
© Vincent Montibus

Matt Stuart

Born in 1974, Matt Stuart grew up in Harrow, a district in north-west London. After three years working as a photography assistant, Stuart turned his hobby into his profession. Since 1996, the photographer is constantly on the move on the streets of London, looking to capture bizarre moments but also the curiosities of every day life. Among other locations, his pictures have been exhibited at the Leica Store in Los Angeles. Stuart is a member of the international street photographer collective iN-PUBLIC.

www.mattstuart.com
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