Jason Wildes Free Portrait Studio
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 helping me create an important and unique visual archive that is equal parts English history, cultural anthropology and human narrative.
This unique portrait archive can be explored through the different sections at the links below. Along with a portrait of each person in the Participants section, my own favourite images have been compiled into the Overviews. The Sequenced section offers a more playful way to view the work while lots of background info can be found in the Information section.