A busy and large city like London can be challenging to navigate, even for locals. It’s a hotspot for photography and every site, alley and monument has been well photographed. The special thing with candid people photography though, is that each picture will always be unique and that is a real motivator for me with my street photography.
Popular street photography locations like Hoxton, Camden and Oxford Street pop up regularly on Instagram, Flickr, etc. Contrary to the reluctance of some to share their locations, here I am suggesting a short route around the West End that might fit well in a longer lunch break or couple of hours of free time and catches some slightly less obvious points, although far from “off the beaten track”.
Between four and five miles should be comfortably walkable in an hour and a half to two hours, the map above passes through the following favourite spots of mine.
Covent Garden - always busy, great light - don’t miss the side spaces and alleys around Seven Dials, maybe try to avoid the obvious (street performers, buskers etc.), but as below even a candid moment can make that work too.
The steps by the Institute of Contemporary Arts between Waterloo Place and The Mall - lots of opportunities to get pictures of people sitting on the steps taking a break, a popular meeting location with a mix of nice architecture, good space and light and views down towards Horseguards.
Marble Arch - Pigeons, people and although quite busy at commuter rush hour, provides a relatively clean background for people photographs and a good mix of tourists and locals.
Parks - St James’s and Hyde Parks tend to be quite busy with regular thoroughfare of people including local workers as well as tourists and make a pleasant break from walking through the streets. This can create an interesting opportunity for street photography of moments of calm in the middle of our busy city.