Brick Lane, London A Photographer's Dream by Tony Mearman

I love going to Brick Lane, especially during the Summer months when the weather is warm and the streets are thronging with tourists. My favourite day to visit is Sunday when the main roads into London are at their quietest and the Lane is thronging with visitors. Currently (AFAIK) there is no congestion charge for motor vehicles on Sundays and some parking restrictions are lifted allowing motorists to park on a single yellow line, forbidden during weekdays. For those using Public Transport the nearest Tube Station is Aldgate East, just a couple of hundred yards away from our destination.

Brick Lane residents and visitors are a rich mix of people from all over the world. Restaurants are plentiful with food and drink available from street sellers or waiter service restaurants.

Click on any of these images to view them full size

Burmese cuisine with a smile!
If you like spicy food, there are many choices to tickle your taste buds!
A fiver in hand but what do I choose!

Although the food at Brick Lane is great, I'm a very fussy eater and the main reason for visiting is to photograph the people rather than the food. My standard approach is to speak to people first, usually saying something to start a conversation, making a positive comment about the clothing they are wearing or maybe their hairstyle or whatever comes to mind. At the appropriate time and with a smile, I will ask if I can take a photograph, handing over a business card with my name and contact details, offering to send a digital copy for Facebook etc.

Here are some of my people images from Brick Lane.

This photo illustrates the diversity of different cultures living, working and visiting Brick Lane
"The Watcher"
In the Pink!
Dig the Outfit!
Mother and baby, she was crossing the road in a hurry so I didn't have time to stop and ask her for the photo. I was struck by her anxious demeanor when cradling her baby and curious as to what was going on in her life.
I saw this wonderful face a few times in the Lane but was unable to stop him for a chat. On returning to my car after a long afternoon's shooting, I saw him sitting outside a bar, drinking beer from a can. An interesting and intelligent chap with a tragic story to tell me; he was beaten up just a couple of days beforehand and his cuts and bruises are clearly visible. Since this picture was taken, I have gone back on several occasions, looking for "Jack" as I call him and just wonder where he is now as I would love to show him his portrait.
More people pictures from Brick Lane.
These folks were visiting the "Secret Cinema" store for accessories to wear during their Star Wars cinema production where the audience participates in the performance.
One way of spending a Sunday afternoon!
Intrigued by this lady driving her large SUV.
I love Bangladesh!
Queuing for Ice Cream
I noticed these two gents sitting on a bench and thought they looked quite interesting, albeit a bit scary. I went over and had a nice chat to them which I enjoyed, here are the resulting headshots!
Brick Lane is famous for the graffiti which is in abundance along the Lane and its side streets. I often use them as backgrounds for my portraits and sometimes introduce them into my photo composites where I use 2 or more separate images to make the picture.
I've called this one Brick Lane Guy, what an amazing face he has.
These men were involved with a TV filming session, visiting from the Sates.
Take three girls!

I trust you enjoyed looking at my images of the people of Brick Lane, if you have any questions please contact me at


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Created By
Tony Mearman


All photographs are the property of Tony Mearman LRPS CPAGB AFIAP

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