Where to take original photographs in London?

When searching for new places for our photography, we got bored of seeing the same old spots! London has so many undiscovered and quirky streets that we want to share with you so you always have somewhere new to go. Likewise, our students from outside the capital want to take interesting and original photos when they come to the capital, not just touristy ‘snaps’! We’ve spent some time chatting to London photographers and doing our own research on foot so we can present you our favourite ‘secret’ photography locations in London. Here we go!

Leake Street tunnel

Our favourite local spot- great for playing around with flashguns and doing interesting street portraits. A place we love taking our students for some practical outdoor tuition. It’s amazing that this tunnel of graffiti and urban art isn’t better known.

Hackney Wick and River Lee Navigation

For street photography with a striking post-industrial edge, get off the Overground at Hackney Wick and head towards the canal at River Lee Navigation. The masses of warehouses have now been covered in statement graffiti, perfect for black and white styles and for providing an interesting backdrop to street portraits.

Princelet Street

If you’re feeling inspired to capture a bit of early 20th century history, the backstreets near Spitafield Market such as Princelet Street are a real time capsule. Most of these houses have now been turned into media studios- so there’s literally creativity flowing through the streets.

Three Mills

One of the most picturesque spots in east London, this beautiful old mill will take you back to the Victorian era and beyond. Three Mills is one of the earliest recorded examples of a tidal mill system in Britain, and lies just across the River Lea from Bow River Village.

Roupell Street

The densely terraced houses and slate roofs of Theed Street, Whittlesey Street and Roupell Street form a historical microcosm in the metropolitan Waterloo. Plenty of opportunities to get pictures with vintage cars, which the owners of these houses seem to love

Little Green Street, Kentish Town

Forget the hustle and bustle, escape to cobbled streets and cottage charm on this tiny side street. With a few clicks of the shutter, you can pretend you’re in a rural English village. This street was the inspiration behind and music video location for The Kinks track ‘Dead End Street’. While you’re in the area, visit Kelly Street and discover a colourful Victorian oasis.

Shad Thames

These narrow high rise blocks behind Tower Bridge will give you a piece of London’s old docking life. During the industrial age, the tall warehouses were used to store tea, coffee, and spices, with bridges between the buildings so goods could be carried back and forth easily. Divided by a narrow cobbled path, this location gives you excellent opportunities to play around with thirds for a powerful image- especially if you put your subject straight in the middle!

Kiffen Street

A building chopped roughly in half by a blitz bomb sets the scene here with its ragged brickwork. Below, a tunnel filled with graffiti, opposite, an abandoned post-war office block. London doesn’t get much more gritty than this. This spot is so undiscovered that nobody else has a photo of it on Instagram. Why not be the first? Send it to us at [email protected] and we’ll share it for you. Here’s the location…

Ridley Road

Get a throwback to the 70s and British market life with this rough around the edges destination in East London’s Dalston. This location is brimming with foods, clothes and bric-a-brac from different cultures- one exposure was not enough for this photographer to capture everything she saw!

Waterloo Classics at Lower Marsh

Lower Marsh has always been a street steeped in history, and home to quirky independent stores, over 70 daily market stalls and some of the best coffee houses in London. Once a month it becomes a mecca for London’s classic car enthusiasts, who are happy to show off their vehicles, so bring your camera along and take some cool pictures like this!

And finally, a wildcard suggestion…

We reached out to professional London photographer Ronya Galka  to see what spots in London she recommended. Her work specialises in street and urban styles, so we knew she’d have some cool places to share.

Her suggestion however, might come as a surprise! She recommends that you head to Trafalgar Square. Yes- that tourist trap- really? Here’s why…

‘With so many cameras of all shapes and sizes around, no one pays any attention to photographers which, especially at the start of your street photography journey is a bonus.’

Ronya likes the anonymity of Trafalgar Square, allowing her to get close to subjects like this:

‘I discovered the joy of this location when a few years back I was doing some freelance work as a director of photography for a start-up company near Trafalgar Square.’

‘I was office bound for longer spells and in order to challenge myself and keep those ‘street photography muscles’ active, I set myself the challenge to capture one photo a day of life in and around the square which was unique and looked past the easy clichés.’

‘I was surprised to see just how rewarding and re-energising the exercise was and can thoroughly recommend this to others.’

Thanks for the tip Ronya! What locations have we missed out? We have a photography competition running with the theme Location, Location, Location. We have a £100 prize to give away and would love to see your entry- click the button below for your chance