Chiara, James and baby Moira ©️Matt Payne

Portrait series captures intimate moments between local families

Hackney Wick-based photographer Matt Payne’s new project ‘Portrait of Britain’ captures the warm, intimate moments of local families in our neighbourhood.

Payne is a man of many talents; earlier this year he shot a unique bird’s eye view shot of an empty Victoria Park using his drone. Over the coronavirus lockdown period, he turned his camera lens to pictures that illustrate the stories of everyday local people.

He reached out through Next Door, the app for people in neighbouring areas to share helpful information, and shot as many portraits as he could, letting his subjects dictate the story. 

‘I wanted to meet people and hear about their experiences. Everyone’s got a story to tell, especially during this strange period, so I wanted to capture those stories visually.’ 

What emerged were snapshots of local people in their everyday environments, and moments of familial love between local residents; couples who cut each other’s hair, the joy of holding your baby in your arms, the satisfaction of building a business with your life partner, all stolen moments through Payne’s lens. 

He did not plan the project to turn out this way; he wanted to let his subjects dictate the narrative. 

‘I didn’t know what to expect from anyone, so I would turn up and everything would be a surprise. We’d talk for a while and get to know each other and then I’d begin to shoot. They told their own stories.’

See his photo essay below.

Husband and wife on their doorstep environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Local couple Anita and Jim ©️Matt Payne
Lucy and family environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Lucy and family ©️Matt Payne
Michelle a local artist and partner on doorstep environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Michelle, a local artist and partner Pete ©️Matt Payne
Couple cutting each other's hair on their houseboat on Regent's Canal laughing environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Emma and Anna on their boat cutting each other’s hair on Regent’s Canal ©️Matt Payne
Gemma and family in their family home in Mile End laughing environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Gemma and family in their home in Mile End ©️Matt Payne
Husband and wife business team in their shed smiling environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Finn and Brian who run their own business in their work shed ©️Matt Payne
Ole and her mum Kim in Victoria Park wearing matching dresses environmental portraits by Matt Payne
Ole and her mum Kim in Victoria Park wearing matching dresses ©️Matt Payne
couple with baby environmental portraits Matt Payne
Chiara, James and baby Moira ©️Matt Payne

If you like this article, you might also like to see more of Matt Payne’s photography, this time capturing Victoria Park from above.

 


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