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  • Writer's pictureCourt Richards

Exploring the Classic Car Boot Sale in London as a Street Photographer

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

The Classic Car Boot Sale is an event that takes place in London where enthusiasts of all things vintage come together to relive the nostalgia and glamour of the decades gone. It's usually held twice a year, typically in the spring and in the summer. However, the exact dates and times may vary from year to year, so it's best to check the event's official website or social media pages for the most up-to-date information.

Equipped with my trusty Sony A7riii camera and Sony 40 mm lens, I spent a Sunday afternoon exploring the event which was being held around the Coal Drops Yard area of King's Cross, London. I was immediately struck by the energy and vibrancy around me. I was initially a little overwhelmed by the crowd and by just how many people there were showcasing their vibrant vintage styles. I wasn't sure exactly where to start and was reluctant at first but after some initial hesitation the positive energy of the event pushed me forward and I was inspired to try and capture some of that energy with my camera.

Given the vast number of people and activities occurring within a relatively small area, I needed to find a way to avoid feeling overwhelmed again. In order to narrow my focus I began seeking out small details to document. After some searching, I realized that people's hands were particularly intriguing. Whether flipping through crates of vinyl, gesturing excitedly, or adorned with vintage jewelry, these often-overlooked features held a number of untold stories just waiting to be captured through my lens.

Overall, I had a fantastic time exploring the Classic Car Boot Sale in London as a street photographer. The event offered endless opportunities, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to enjoy an incredible weekend of vintage style and fun.

If you are thinking of visiting for the purpose of capturing some photos here are a few tips that might help you on your journey.

Tip 1: Start Small

When starting out, it can be overwhelming to capture everything around you. One effective strategy is to begin by focusing on a specific aspect or detail, such as people's hands. By narrowing your focus, you can block out distractions and gain a sense of purpose. Once you start to get a few shots that you're happy with, you'll likely feel more comfortable and confident. This can lead to greater creativity and the ability to capture a wider range of subjects. Choose whatever catches your eye, whether it's a particular color, object, or scene, and use it as a starting point. Before long you won't even notice how relaxed you become, and you'll naturally start to expand your focus.

Tip 2: Be Patient.

When it comes to street photography, patience is a crucial element to success. Take the time to find a scene or frame that catches your eye - perhaps a mirror at a stall or a car window. Use your camera to experiment with composition until you find the perfect shot. Once you've found it, the key is to be patient. Remember, you're at an event where interesting people and moments are bound to happen. Take a deep breath, relax, and let things unfold naturally. The longer you stay in one spot, the less noticeable you become, and the more candid and natural your subjects' reactions will be

Tip 3: Experiment with Different Perspectives

Once you've found an interesting scene and have captured a few shots, resist the urge to move on too quickly. Instead, take the time to experiment with different compositions from the same location. For example, try getting low and tilting your camera up - this can help to remove distracting background elements and create a more dramatic effect. Alternatively, hold your camera up high and shoot down to provide a unique perspective. Remember, people tend to react when they see something out of the ordinary, so don't be afraid to try something different. You might capture a truly unique expression or moment simply by changing your point of view.

Tip 4: Enjoy Yourself

While it's easy to get caught up in capturing every moment with your camera, it's important to remember that street photography is also a fun and enjoyable experience. Take the time to put your camera down and immerse yourself in the surroundings. As a photographer, it's easy to feel like you need to document everything, but some of the most memorable moments happen spontaneously and naturally, whether you capture them or not. So, allow yourself to participate fully in the event - have a dance, browse a record store, or simply enjoy a drink while observing the world around you. Remember, it's not just about taking pictures, but also about experiencing and enjoying the moment. By embracing the fun and lightheartedness of the event, you'll likely come away with more meaningful and memorable experiences.

As always thanks for reading and if you want to see more of my work you can check out my Instagram feed or Facebook page or drop me a message at

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