Interview with a Camden Photographer

We speak to our very own Talia Ferrer about her life in Camden (you’ll see her photos all over this site too!)

  1. Firstly, tell us how you ended up living in Camden Town.

I’ve lived in North London most of my life, I actually lived alone from age fifteen in London in Muswell Hill, back in the days when I was a ballet dancer. Living alone from such a young age taught me a lot of life lessons, and this period is when I first thought about photography because I started seeing things differently, in a way that would make a great photo, I had more appreciation of life and my environment, but I couldn’t afford a camera.

Camden has always been a favourite spot to hang out since my teens, it’s so vibrant, full of character, and accepting of everyone. It’s changed a lot over the years but it’s always been very close to my heart, so naturally it was somewhere I was keen to live. 

When I decided it was time to buy a place, I really wanted to stay in the area. I’d been renting in nearby St John’s Wood for some time, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to afford to stay in North London, let alone Camden, and may have to look further afield. One night I was searching for homes and found a new block under development just within my price range in Camden. I barely slept the night! The next day I put a deposit down and trusted the mortgage would work out. I had no idea what I was buying as it was just a few bricks on the ground at that stage, there was nothing to see, so I was kind of nervous. It really wasn’t plain sailing, but I’m very determined once I’ve set my mind to something, and despite the odds, nearly losing the place as the build got delayed and the bank wouldn’t extend my mortgage offer anymore when the pandemic hit, nevertheless, I trusted my gut instinct on the whole thing and I finally moved into my home in Camden. I couldn’t be happier, I’m so grateful to be able to live in Camden and enjoy all it has to offer.

2. How did you get into photography?

I got into photography by chance, I’ve always been creative and used to do a lot of drawing and painting. I believe I found photography, or maybe it found me, because despite all the hardships I’ve been through, I have a gift of still seeing the wonders in everyday life, and I wanted to share that gift with others. 

People would comment on my photos and say, ‘I go by there every day and I’ve never seen it that way before’. This would make me really happy because I was getting people to actually see, take notice of their surroundings, and be more present. As life is so busy these days it’s easy to take things for granted or dismiss something, we forget how wonderful the world actually is. 

Life, streets, people, it all fascinates me. I can always see the extraordinary in what many find ordinary, and this is why I love photography as I get to capture the places, and moments that oftentimes don’t get truly seen and bring them to life. 

3. What have been some of your favourite places / sights to photograph in Camden?

Everything!!!! I especially love the market, the pretty little streets, and people mulling around in awe of Camden. 

The high street leading up to the lock is one of my favourites too, it’s very colourful and there is always so much happening. The iconic Camden Lock sign never gets old, and the beautiful canal. 

The new part of Camden Market, Hawley Wharf is really awesome too, so many new things (and people) to capture.

4. Any personal favourite hidden gems in Camden Town that people should visit?

Everyone should visit Camden Market because there are so many great food places and unique independent shops. I like the Hawley Arms pub (was a favourite of Amy Winehouse) on Castlehaven Road nearby too.

There is a lovely walk by the canal to Primrose Hill, or continue on to Maida Vale. The London Waterbus is another fantastic way to see the sights along the canal if you don’t feel like walking.

Parkway is a street that leads from Camden Town to Regents Park, I really like this street. There are lots of independent businesses down there including a very cute coffee shop called The Coffee Jar, a good pizza restaurant called Goodfare, and I like The Spread Eagle pub too, it has tasty food with a relaxed atmosphere. Parkway is also home to the iconic Jazz Café which is great for soul music Sundays, and also The Dublin Castle, another Camden gem full of character that has live music. 

Be sure to hunt out Camden street art, oftentimes hidden in little streets off the beaten track, this is a great way to explore more of Camden and the surrounding area.

Other good pubs and music venues I like are The Worlds End/Underworld, and the wonderful Roundhouse (once a circular engine house) down the road at Chalk Farm. 

5. Camden has so many unique areas, shops, bars, and characters. What do you look out for when looking to take a meaningful photo?

When I’m out taking photographs I’m soaking up the Camden atmosphere. The key thing for me is to see things like it’s the first time I’ve ever been there, kind of like a kid in awe! I’m looking at what’s happening, the colours, people, moods, and my brain is processing the sights I’m seeing to make an interesting and meaningful picture. In a way it’s like my mind takes the shot before the camera, so I have to be quick to then snap the image. 

I love Camden, it’s so exciting and inspiring, it’s the perfect place to capture life. Taking photos is my happy, therapeutic time. I don’t plan too much, it’s all very freestyle and creative but I really pay attention to and appreciate my surroundings. I’m looking to frame the moments which go unseen that can disappear in the blink on an eye. My aim is to freeze those moments in time, in an image that’s forever out there, to remind us that life is happening now, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now. 

Follow Talia’s photography page on Instagram