Interview of a Street Photographer - Linda Wisdom

Each week we would like to feature one of our members from the Street Photographers Community, ask 10 questions, share their images and their insights. See the entire collection here

This week we have the great pleasure to interview +Linda Wisdom.
She is based in London, specialising in social documentary, street photography & fine art urban cityscapes, which have been exhibited in gallery shows in the UK & worldwide.
You can check our more of her images in our Street Photographers Community and on her website or follow her on Instagram:

interview by +Birka Wiedmaier

1. Please tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? How did you get interested in street photography and how long have you been shooting this genre?
I was born in Paddington, London. I grew up around film photography as both my parents started taking snaps of me as a baby until I was old enough to be taught how to use their cameras. I have always had a love of photography. I only started shooting street photography by fortunate accident about 9 years ago, when a photographer friend of mine loaned me one of their spare DSLRs so I could teach myself some pro camera basics. I practiced just by going out for walks with the camera and just photographing anything that caught my eye. I noticed after about 2-3 months that almost all my photos would include people, mostly street portraits of interesting characters or interactions between people but I didn’t think too much of that. Soon after that, I created a Flickr account and posted some pictures, when someone commented that one of my picture’s reminded them of Henri Cartier-Bresson, and at the time I had no knowledge of any street photographers, and so I was like ‘Who?’ and I Googled the name ‘Cartier-Bresson’ and of course this opened up a massive Pandora’s box which introduced me officially into the genre known as street photography.

2. Do you have a camera or lens of choice?
I am currently using a Panasonic Lumix mirrorless. Lens wise, I stuck with a 50mm prime for a while, but am preferring the 35mm more lately. I am looking to upgrade to a new mirrorless camera. I know exactly what I want it to do and what specs I want, but haven’t found that perfect camera as yet! The search continues.

3. How often do you shoot at Street?
I used to go out 3-4 times a week on my own when I first started. Time wise now, it is more or less whenever I have a workshop. My schedule changes week by week, but I would say on average 1-3 times a week depending.

4. Do you shoot any other genres?
Yes, I don’t restrict myself to what most people would deem traditional street photography. I often experiment and so also enjoy making abstract photography, urban photography (without a human presence) and cityscapes. I get commissions from both non-commercial & commercial clients who like my style, so I get jobs that involves candid, lifestyle and documentary work, which is always interesting to do.

5. Are there any photographers who have inspired you?
Well, Cartier-Bresson as mentioned was the very first photographer to inspire me. But there a many more who have in some way influenced me in some way or another. Other photographers include Saul Leiter, Charles Harbutt, Ernst Haas, Fred Herzog, Fan Ho, Josef Koudelka to name but a few.

6. When you process your images, do you have a preferred editing system?
I have both Photoshop and Lightroom. However, I am a lazy editor, and so I try to do the least editing if possible by taking the best photo ‘technically’ as I can, in-camera.

7. Is there any advice you would give to beginner Street Photographers?
The key is to practice, going out to shoot as often as possible and check out the work of some masters of street photography. If hands on tuition works better for you, maybe going on a workshop with a credible photographer, who’s work you admire and get some 1-2-1 lessons on technique, composition and content, which may help you improve your skills and find your own style.

8. Are you formally trained or self-taught?
I am self-taught. Practice, Google, books, exhibitions & travel! I didn’t attend street photography college!

9. Why do you shoot Street?
It’s the style I feel the most comfortable & natural doing, and there is something addictive and satisfying about capturing those unique moments and little details in everyday life that would otherwise go unnoticed. Also, we are photo documenting the world in our lifetime, which I think is important from a historical point of view.

10. Three words that best describes your style
.... Hmmm, that’s a good question. I can’t think of three words! I have so many photos and my styles have changed over the years, so it would be absolutely impossible for me to describe my style in three words. Maybe that’s something the viewer can answer for me!
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