Itinerant photographers were an accepted part of English street life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Part of the Victorian floating world of peddlers, tinkers and travelling entertainers, their sitters were photographed in mobile makeshift studios that were set up in diverse places throughout the UK.
Influenced by these early travelling practitioners, between 2009 and 2017 I set up my own makeshift photography studio 53 times in 19 venues in and around the London Borough of Camden. Visitors to those venues, that included a doctors surgery, a hospital, a library and two pubs, were then invited to have their portraits taken in return for a free A4 inkjet print.
2224 people accepted that invitation.
This unique portrait archive can be explored through different sections on this website. Along with a portrait of each person in the Participants section, my own favourite images have been compiled into the Overviews. The Collections and Outtakes sections offer a more playful take on the work while the Narrative section asks the viewer to decipher image sequences with the help of small clues. The Information section delves a little deeper to describe different aspects of Jason Wilde’s Free Portrait Studio. This site regularly updated.
I hope you enjoy the work.
Jason Wilde, February 2020