29 sharp London street portraits from Alan Schaller

Londoners in black and white
© Alan Schaller
Advertising

Alan Schaller, 27, has spent the last year dedicating his free time to candidly photographing London life. Equipped with his black and white-only Leica, Schaller hunts for expressive moments on the city's streets. See more of his work below...

Black and white photo of a woman on the Tube.
© Alan Schaller

Held at a red signal

‘I was on the train home after a long day of shooting. I looked up and saw her standing in what seemed to be a spotlight. Turned out to be the best shot of the day!’

A lady feeds the pigeons.
© Alan Schaller

Feeding the birds

‘This lady has named many of the pigeons, and visits them every day. They clearly like her! She told me stories about a few of them after I took her picture.’

Advertising
An older gentleman rides the Tube.
© Alan Schaller

True gent

‘The combination of his expression, hat, and the reflection caught my eye for this one.’

A couple dancing.
© Alan Schaller

Dancers

‘I found her expression to be intriguing. I wonder what she was thinking.’

Advertising
A man looks through a window in this black and white photograph.
© Alan Schaller

Reflective

‘I used a slow shutter speed and deep depth of field to help create this image. He was engrossed in thought, and I was gifted a few precious seconds to compose the image.’

A woman smiling
© Alan Schaller

Smile

‘This woman seemed to enjoy having her picture taken, and came over to speak to me. I caught this image whilst we were chatting.’

Advertising
A man shopping for groceries at a market.
© Alan Schaller

Suspicious

‘London is among the greatest places I have ever encountered for street photography, and I feel lucky to live here. The diversity of the people and backdrops provides an endless source of inspiration, and keep me out there snapping away!’

Man taking a smoke break alone in an alley.
© Alan Schaller

Smoke break

‘Street photography is all about instinctively seeing, reacting and capturing subjects. I never plan what photos I am going to try to take on a given day – instead, I keep an eye out for interesting, expressive moments to capture.’

Advertising
A man in a suit smoking and walking.
© Alan Schaller

Sharp suit

‘I love the spontaneity of working like this, and an unrestrained approach keeps photography fun for me. Street photography does require a certain confidence. It’s not easy at first to take pictures of people you don't know.’

A man in a marathon costume.
© Alan Schaller

Marathon man

‘I used to worry that people would be angry with me for taking their picture. To date, this worry has proved unfounded. People in London seem either indifferent to or flattered by having their picture taken. ’

Advertising
A woman shopping for books on the Southbank.
© Alan Schaller

Browsing

‘I use a camera steeped in the history of this style of photography, a Leica M Monochrom. Many people on the streets mistake it for a film camera, and it is true that it looks like one. It is a small, light, quiet and unobtrusive camera, and importantly allows me to be discreet when taking pictures.’

A woman in a crowd.
© Alan Schaller

Looking elsewhere

‘Sometimes you want to be noticed when taking a street portrait, but I find people’s expressions are often far more engaging when they are acting naturally.’

Advertising
A man with pigeons on his arm.
© Alan Schaller

Pigeon man

‘Black and white is my preferred style for street photography – in fact, my camera doesn't have a colour filter, so it can only shoot in black and white.’

A man sits on a bench looking over Hampstead Ponds.
© Alan Schaller

Pondering

‘I feel that without the distraction of colours, the intended subject or point of the picture is made more prominent and emotive.’

Advertising
A couple embrace in London.
© Alan Schaller

The embrace

A bulldog looks through a window.
© Alan Schaller

Bulldog

Advertising
A band play on the foreshore of the Thames.
© Alan Schaller

Street music

A kitten looks through a window.
© Alan Schaller

Kitty

Advertising
A street entertainer blows bubbles outside the British Museum.
© Alan Schaller

The bubble business

A woman asleep on the tube.
© Alan Schaller

40 winks

Advertising
Three people sitting on a bench.
© Alan Schaller

Three's a crowd

Elbow perform a gig live on stage in London.
© Alan Schaller

Elbow

Advertising
A man walks through fountains.
© Alan Schaller

Among the fountains

A man walks through the British Museum.
© Alan Schaller

Light at the museum

Advertising
Clubbers dance at a club night.
© Alan Schaller

Dancefloor

‘The combination of the lighting and excessive use of the smoke machine helped this picture nicely.’

A busker.
© Alan Schaller

The entertainer

Advertising
A dog surrounded by a group of men.
© Alan Schaller

With his pack

A man texting
© Alan Schaller

You have one new message

Advertising
© Alan Schaller

Ready

© Alan Schaller

See Alan's work in exhibition

You can visit the Classic Camera, near the British Museum in Holborn, to see more of his photographs.

© Alan Schaller

About Alan

Thanks to Londoner Alan Schaller for sharing his photos. For more of his images, visit his Flickr page, and follow him for one new photo every day.

To contact Alan, book him for an event, or order prints of his photographs, drop him an email.

London in pictures

Advertising
Show more
More beautiful photos
Advertising
This page was migrated to our new look automatically. Let us know if anything looks off at feedback@timeout.com