Spotted in Soho: Street Photography in the Days of Covid-19

During the pandemic I’ve tried to always walk around with a camera, even if I’m just going to the local grocery store. I have a lightweight digital camera which has pretty much become part of me. That’s me in the picture below, walking down Frith Street in Soho last summer. I’m wearing one of my favourite dresses, designed by Katya Wildman of Bombshell London. In an amazing coincidence I had spotted Katya who was in the middle of a Soho photoshoot and said hello. We took a couple of socially distanced photos together and her photographer took this shot of me which featured in their Instagram story:

In previous blogs documenting the period since March 2020 I’ve focussed more on street abstracts, reflections and signs when it came to representations of Soho. In this piece I’m showing a more traditional aspect of street photography, with candid shots involving people in the Soho environment. The images in this selection date from April 2020 and were taken as recently as January 2021.

In an otherwise deserted Frith Street, a couple kiss on the lips; the woman has a bandana over her mouth and nose:

A mature couple walking their dogs in Old Compton Street, both donning face shields and masks:

During the months prior to the current Tier 5 lockdown, Soho establishments were permitted to open for outdoor dining and could expand seating into the streets which were closed to traffic in the evenings and weekends. The following three photographs were taken outside Bar Italia on Frith Street. Below a 30th birthday celebration:

Soho icon George Skeggs aka Soho George being greeted by a passer by:

A good book; a man reads Bukowski whilst awaiting his friend:

In the image below, my husband is taking a photo of artist Alison Jackson’s hyper realistic sculpture of Donald Trump at the Soho Revue Gallery, Brewer Street:

Next a few pictures taken during the Christmas season in December 2020. First, a chance encounter with a heart-shaped social distancing sign and a multi-heart hairdo:

Legs in Wardour Street:

Socially distanced Christmas Carol singers perform via open windows on several floors of this building:

The choir conductor, holding the score of O Come All Ye Faithful, directs from the street below:

DJ Wayne walks past a Christmasy facade on Old Compton Street that has been graffitied with the words COVID HOAX:

Personally I’m glad to see that wearing masks outdoors is becoming more commonplace, particularly with regards this new, more transmissible strain of Covid. Taken at the end of the year, a shot of a table tennis game in Soho Square (I know the masks only cover their mouths):

An image from January 2021 featuring vibrant shades of red in Brewer Street:

Links:

Alison Jackson https://www.alison-jackson.co.uk/sculpture

Bombshell London https://www.bombshellhq.com

Bar Italia http://baritaliasoho.co.uk


Also published on Medium.

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