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13 photos of London life that lined up perfectly

By
Miriam Bouteba
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Every day, photographer Matt Stuart leaves his house, camera in hand, and waits for the perfect picture to present itself.

 But despite his remarkable compositions – his photography is all about strange, disconcerting juxtapositions – none of his shots are staged.

‘I don't touch, I don't tweak,’ he says. ‘If I miss it, that's my problem.’

His approach is old-school. Matt only shoots film: on an average day he'll take three rolls, on a really inspiring day, ten.

 Yet the vast majority of his images never see the light of day. ‘If I got maybe ten good photographs in a year, I would be extremely happy.’ 

His book ‘All That Life Can Afford’ (a nod to the Samuel Johnson quote) has been in the pipeline since 2002, when he first started taking colour photographs.

 ‘There are 80 photos in the book,’ he says. ’They're all taken in London – I think the work is truthful, it's honest, I don't try to clean up the edges, unlike Westminster Council.'

He's acutely aware of the pace of change in London: ‘I think we need to stop developing so much and keep some of the authenticity. I think the whole development of a place, especially a place with so much character, is so short-sighted.’

 Stuart picks up on the moments that we miss, with our heads down, rushing through this breathtakingly busy city.

So what's the secret of a great photo? The city itself. 

‘London is a multicultural mixing pot of all different types of people – rich, poor, black, white.’ 

‘Weird and wonderful things happen here – if you stop to look at them every now and then.’  

Matt Stuart's book 'All That Life Can Afford’ is available in standard (£35) and limited (£100) editions from mattstuart.com.

More: 42 glittering photos of London in the rain 

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