Columbia Road

Just having some fun with a tilt shift lens around Colombia Road on a sunny spring day.


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Venice portraits

I spent the first week of April in Venice with a lovely bunch of Italian photographer friends, who I met last summer in Tuscany. (My life isn’t always like this.)

Here are some portraits I made of friends and strangers.








Guidecca man

Beigel Bake – exhibition at Timber Yard Old St

Brick Lane, 7am - Shira © Emma Marshall

Shira, 7am

For those of you who missed the LDNtwentyfour7 exhibition of 24-hour life in and around Brick Lane’s famous Beigel Bake, there’s a 2nd chance to see the work. It’s up now at Timberyard Old St and the launch party is this Friday, 5 Feb. Hope to see you there!

RSVP to the FB event

2015 in 12 portraits

In mid January 2015 I decided I’d take a portrait a day and post it to social media. A challenge to myself to get out there and make work every day of the year, and only a ‘project’ in the loosest sense of the word.

I’ve been mostly successful at this, missing a few days due to illness, insomnia or all-engrossing deadlines. I’ve achieved an average of six portraits a week, so if I were a 365-project-purist it might not qualify as a total success, but I am not so it does. Hah!

I’ve achieved my basic aims of maintaining a consistent practice of making portraits, overcoming shyness about approaching people and getting better at working with them to get the image that I want. There have been lots of other positive consequences too – getting to know the people in my community, making new friends, invitations to get involved in other projects, photography commissions. It wasn’t exactly intended as a marketing exercise, so the fact that it worked a bit like that has been a bonus.

One downside has been that I stopped working with analogue cameras all year, because I was permanently carrying around a DLSR so that I could quickly upload my work. I really enjoy using film for personal projects, for its tactile qualities, and the way it makes me slow down and think more before exposing each (increasingly expensive) frame.

I’d like to continue posting a daily (ish) portrait to my instagram and tumblr feeds, but I’ll relax the rules a little this year, to give me more space to work on other projects. Expect a mix of digital and analogue formats and unpublished work from my archive as well as faces of the people I meet from day to day.

So here is my year in 12 portraits:

1. Stacy-diptych

January: Performance artist Stacy Makishi outside the New Unity church in Newington Green.

Tony, Trattoria di Luigi, Stoke Newington Church Street. Day 39.

February: Tony, a welcoming face at Trattoria di Luigi, Stoke Newington Church Street.


March: Azim getting a late night cut and shave on Stoke Newington High Street.


April: Jack, who was my neighbour in Crouch End when we were kids, visiting from Brisbane, where he’s lived since 1989. Photographed in the White Hart, Stoke Newington.

Luke, day 114

May: Luke, an art director, wearing headgear by Fuud, on Stoke Newington High St.


June: Bedri, minicab controller on Stokey High Street.

Chiara, day 163

July: Chiara, an Italian living in London, who was hanging out with friends outside IL Monte restaurant on Stokey High St.

Asha, day 201

August: Asha, from Somalia, encountered on Via Palazzuolo, Florence.


Sepember: David, one of the landlords of the Royal Sovereign pub in Clapton.

Amanda, 1am

October: Amanda, a writer, photographed in Brick Lane at 1am as part of the Beigel Bake project and exhibition with the collective LDNtwentyfour7.


November: Antonio, a musician originally from Sardinia, working at Lucky Seven record shop on Stokey Church St.


December: Artist Julio Osorio, with painting of his in a shop window in Covent Garden – his exhibition launch was taking place in the Frevd bar downstairs.

Photofusion SALON/15

I’m thrilled that the good folks at Photofusion have selected one of my portraits  for this year’s members’ salon.

The launch party is next Wednesday evening and is open to the public. Promises to be a great show and not to be missed if you’re in London Town.


Music photos and a night of photo-themed music


Dreamed up by Nathan Loughran in 2010, Under The Influence started as a brilliant idea for a music night that supported new acts while paying homage to the greats.

Every month there’d be a different theme act and a line up of great new musicians who would play one cover song by that artist, along with a few originals of their own.

Since then, Under The Influence has paid tribute to an impressive range of artists, including Leonard Cohen, Blondie, Prince, Jacques Brel, Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder and many more.

The night’s still going strong, although it’s no longer monthly; Under The Influence is now also a record label and a podcast, all run with the same ethos of supporting new talent.

Between 2011 and 2014 I took photos regularly at these monthly sessions at the Boogaloo in Highgate, and next week, I’m opening a little exhibition of some of those images.

To launch it there will be a special photography-themed Under The Influence night of live music.

It’s in association with East London Photomonth, and it’s all happening at the Royal Sovereign in Clapton on Thursday 26 Nov.

If you’re in town, come along!

[And here is the event on the FaceBook]

Documenting an East London institution

One of the things keeping me busy over the last few weeks has been all-hour loitering outside the Beigel Bake on Brick Lane. The resulting portraits, along with those by the other five members of the LDNtwentyfour7 collective, will be shown at the Canvas Café on Hanbury Street, from 3-15 Nov.

The launch party is happening this Thursday from 7-9pm. For more info, see

Hope to see you there!

Beigel Bake LDNTwentyfour7

Portrait of the week – David

David © Emma Marshall

So David was actually my portrait of last week, but I’m a bit behind and wanted to feature him, so here he is.

I met David at a housewarming party and it soon became clear that we knew several people in common. Not particularly surprising, seeing as he runs a pub in my local area. I enlisted him as my daily portrait and we went into the garden as the light was fading fast.

David was full of energy and wouldn’t stay still for long enough for me to get the photo I wanted, and this was exacerbated by the fact that we had a bit of an audience.

This was the only frame in which he was both standing still (so not blurred), and looking at the camera without a trace of self consciousness. I love his expression, which seems at the same time frank, honest and disarmed. Like we’re really seeing him, but he’s really seeing us too.

Portrait of the week – Lello

Lello © Emma Marshall

I was wondering down Church Street last Friday when I spotted Lello, a chemist, looking very studious and dapper as he wrote thoughtfully on this sheet of paper. I walked past, not wanting to interrupt him, but the urge to get the picture was too strong so I went back and asked. He agreed, and also showed me what he’d been working on – a list of reasons to stop smoking. He didn’t seem completely convinced.

Portrait of the week – Mak

Mak © Emma Marshall

I arrived a bit early for my swing dance class on Tuesday evening, and came across Mak fixing this humungous truck in Torrens St. He works for both the Islington Metal Works (by day) and Electrowerkz, the night club/music venue (by night), and this is what they use to haul large amounts of steel around. “Basically a tractor,” said Mak.