Street photographers

Today we open another scrapbook put together on Edinburgh Collected by the Living Memory Association, this time focusing on Street Photographers.

In the 1930s, street photography was extremely popular and there were many street photographers operating in Scottish cities. These photographers would post themselves on busy streets in towns and cities taking ‘walking pictures’ of passing pedestrians.

Here in Edinburgh, the North Bridge was a popular location, and there would be a kiosk or shop nearby where you could purchase the photographs of yourself. These photographs became a novel keepsake as most people would not have owned a camera.

Pedestrians Walking Along North Bridge 1930s
Pedestrians walking along North Bridge, 1930s

The great thing about these photographs is that they are not posed, it is possible many didn’t even realise they had been photographed until they were confronted by the photographer.

In one image a street photographer even manages to capture a Charlie Chaplin-esque figure walking along Princes Street and in another one, a woman carrying her messages home along Gorgie Road.

Street photography continued to be popular until the 1960s when photography became more affordable to the masses.

View the whole scrapbook of this lost art of street photography on Edinburgh Collected.

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