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.
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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