I am not sure which came first, being nosey or an interest in ‘street photography’, but a fascination with people and the way they live their lives is why I enjoy the business so much.

I can’t hide behind lights and technology, I am reliant on a small camera, patience and lots of optimism. But what I get in return is the chance to make an honest picture which people know immediately is a genuine moment and which hopefully burrows deep into their memories.

As of June 2016 I have become a nominee at Magnum Photos.

All photographs copyright Matt Stuart 2016


How long have you been shooting on the street? 21 years.

What film camera do you use? I use a Leica MP with a 35mm f1.4 Leica Summilux lens

What film do you use? Fuji Superia 200/400

How many rolls of film do you use a week? At least three rolls a day. I never leave the house without my camera.

Do you use digital? Yes I do, for commercial work.

What digital camera do you use? I use a Leica M10 with a 35mm f2 Leica Summicron lens and a Leica SL

Do you stage or digitally manipulate your photographs? No, I spend a great deal of time walking the streets trying to capture moments. 

Who are your photographic influences? Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Leonard Freed and Tony Ray-Jones

Did you learn photography at college? No, I assisted a photographer (Marcus Lyon) for 3 years.

Do you need an assistant? I don’t work with an assistant on the street, for commercial work I already have an assistant.

Do you have a book of your photography available? My book "All that life can afford" is available now.

Do you run into any trouble taking photographs of strangers? Very rarely. I have learned to be quick and discreet photographing in public. If I am ever stopped or asked about what I am doing, I try to be polite and move on as quickly as possible.

What advice would you give to someone starting in street photography? Buy a good pair of comfortable shoes, have a camera around your neck at all times, keep your elbows in, be patient, optimistic and don’t forget to smile.