A series celebrating the talent of our friends in the Londonist Flickr pool. This week, meet Natalie Clarke.
“I’ve lived in London now for ten years, having moved from North Yorkshire for work. Each morning I would travel on the 343 bus from London Bridge to Peckham where I taught IT to secondary school kids. The journey would take me from the affluent Bermondsey Street and redevelopment of More London, through the estates around Elephant and Castle to the newly designed Peckham Academy and brightly coloured Peckham Library. Staring out the window I’d often say to myself, ‘one day I’m going to photograph all of this’; there was so much hidden history, social change and contrast in just 30 minutes.
After two years teaching I left to travel South East Asia. I asked for a Canon SLR for Christmas, did a few photography courses and then spent the next few months surrounded by fantastic photo opportunities. Returning to London my camera sat on my bookcase gathering dust. The grey, rainy weather of London just didn’t cut it compared to the sun and sights of Thailand. I didn’t take many photos for a few years until 2009 when I set up my own photography group and slowly my enthusiasm for picture making returned. Alongside new photography buddies I spent time photographing the City and London’s parks as well as being inspired by the wealth of photography exhibitions that this city has to offer. My favourite is the Landscape Photography of the Year which is currently showing for free at the National Theatre.
Fast forward and I have been running the Photo School & Club for nearly four years teaching beginners photography. Together we’ve captured the energy and buzz of London at night and used photography as our motivation to become tourists in our home city. Recently I’ve been exploring more about daylight and seeing the sun rise over my local area has helped bring my more recent travels to South East Asia home with me. Exploring London with my camera has become a way of life and although I’ve yet to photograph my old haunts of Southwark, I enjoy discovering the changing faces and recording unexpected delights in East London.”
See more of Natalie’s work on Flickr.
Browse the Londonist Behind the Lens archive.