Portraits of London by Andy Smith
As a part of our Visual Trend Multilocalism, we are exploring how increased global consciousness and a yearning for authentic, local experiences are influencing visual culture. For photographer and Adobe Stock Premium contributor Andy Smith, Multilocalism is all about connections: “Multilocalism, to me, is the fact that there’s such a diverse group of people in one place, but that one place is connected through common interests.”
Andy’s home town, London, is exemplary of this diversity. London welcomes millions of immigrants from all over Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East, and beyond. The unique stories and customs these individuals bring weaves a robust mosaic of heritage and culture. So we tasked Andy with capturing this vibrant scene in an exclusive photoshoot for Adobe Stock’s Premium collection.
A critical element to his shoot was authenticity. As Andy explains, “It’s not often I get a brief – be it a stock brief or a brief for a client – that doesn’t have the words genuine, authentic, real, in there somewhere. This is what people are looking for.” And diversity and authenticity go hand in hand. “As a stock photographer, diversity is important because we’re reflecting what’s going on in the real world, and the real world is diverse.”
So when it came to casting, Andy made a purposeful effort to find real people, rather than models. It was important to him to capture them in their natural element and document what they do on a daily basis, whether they are a cab driver, barber, butcher, or a crossing guard (lollipop lady).
This documentary approach is the norm for Andy. He sees photography, and stock photography in particular, as a way to satisfy his curiosity about people and places. “For me the interest in photography was always about people. It usually starts with the people and the location and those two things together tell a story, and we build the rest around it.”
Although all of the characters Andy photographed are from different business, as well as different backgrounds, what brings them together is their shared love for their multilocal city, London.