Taking a Candid Photograph is Pretty Much a Split-Second Decision

I’ve been shooting for the last 20 years or so. I’ve had some form of camera on me, be it an actual camera or my iPhone, but my passion for photography really developed eight years ago when I downloaded the Instagram app. Not really knowing what it was all about, I sussed it out and loved the whole concept of sharing photos (not very good ones to start with) and discovering like-minded people. I really enjoyed the community feel of it all. In the beginning, I shot exclusively on my iPhone. At the same time, I had not long given birth to my baby girl and I was taking long daily walks by the Thames. I would always snap a photo or two (or 10) along the way. I would then take advantage of quiet periods at home. For example, when my baby girl was asleep, I would sit and play around with various iPhone apps to edit my photos, and then I would upload them to Instagram. So yes, Instagram got me into shooting. 

Quick and on the move. Full of characters. The way I approach photography is by simply getting out there, camera in hand, without high expectations, but with a glimmer of hope that I’ll get one or two shots that I will go home happy with. That obviously applies only when I go out shooting for myself and not respective clients. 

I’ve had many styles since I took up photography. Early on I would get bored quickly and crave change, which meant a lot of extreme edits with graphics and all sorts. But, in the past couple of years I feel that I’ve found ‘my look’ and I’m not straying too much from it. Over time I’ve become a tad more confident with getting closer to my subjects. I think there is still plenty of room for improvement, but compared to my early days when I only shot from afar, the change in my photography is definitely noticeable. 

Experiences I like are the ones where I make a connection, and make eye contact with my subject. As intimidating as those can be, they are also exhilarating, and in my opinion, they make for the best photos. Mostly it’s a blank stare that I get, but occasionally there will be a smirk, a smile and very rarely a frown.  

Taking a candid photograph is pretty much a split-second decision, so I don’t have time to think too much before I press the shutter button. When I’m out and about, I’m always on the lookout, ready for ‘that shot’ of an unsuspecting passerby. I go with the flow, which means that I hardly ever position myself in one place waiting for that perfect someone to walk past.

Instagram has had huge influence on how I shoot. If it wasn’t for Instagram, I probably wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. The way I shoot has also been influenced by Instagram along the way. Discovering amazing people and their amazing photography has inspired me to push myself, to practice, to challenge myself, to learn and to find myself.

I’d like to think that people describe my work as Intriguing, fun and beautiful. That sounds good to me. But everyone is different and everyone perceives things differently, so Id be happy with whatever viewers take away from my work. 

Just to be remembered would be amazing, wouldn’t it?! But a good and loving mum, and a kind human being would come on top of things Id like to be remembered for. Anything else would be an incredible bonus.

ARIJANA GURDON-LINDEY is a self-taught photographer and mum. She moved to London 25 years ago where she worked at the British Film Institute, moving on to West End Theatres shortly after, including a stint as a Broadcast Assistant at the BBC World Service Radio. With London’s SoHo as her daily canvas, Ari describes her street photography style as ‘quick and on the move, full of characters’. For Ari, just imagining that her photography might live on makes her giddy.

Shoots with: Fujifilm Xpro2

@Ari55