Candid Street Photography by Darren Lehane

I'm a London based candid street photographer.

I'm very much a snapshot photographer - attracted to raw, spontaneous and instantaneous moments rather than technical or compositional perfection. I react to things genuinely happening in front of me rather than “set up” scenes and hope for the best. Life and the human condition appeal more to me than overly considered images. After all, I'm a street photographer not a Renaissance painter.

So I'm drawn to humour, irony and the slightly surreal in my street photography; moments that transcend the everyday for a fleeting hundredth of a second. My images often pose more questions than give answers about the human condition.

These days I work exclusively in colour. My focal length of choice is 28mm, although a lot of the earlier work here will have been predominantly shot on a 35mm lens. For me, personally, shooting wide means I have to get inside a moment rather than be a telephoto voyeur standing on the outside looking in. It’s lot harder shooting wide and close. Street photography for me has to be a challenge.

I was a winning finalist of PDN Street 2016 - as selected by Colin Westerbrook - and a finalist in the San Francisco Street Foto Festival in 2019.

I first picked up a camera in the early 1970s when I used to mess around with my Nan's old Instamatic. Unbeknown to me there was never any film in the camera which is a shame, as they were amongst the best shots I would have ever got. I got my first SLR as a teenager in 1986, my mum won it through her work and gave it to me. Having failed to make it in a synth pop band, and inspired by the music photography of Anton Corbijn I started making gritty b&w portraits of people.

It wasn't until I went digital in the early 2000s did I start pursuing what I now know is called "street photography" though it was still a few years before I started to actually get results I was happy with. My main influences are Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, Tony Ray-Jones, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz and Elliott Erwitt.

During thus time I've also been a documentary wedding photographer, freelance photojournalist and provided stock work to a number of libraries.

Features, exhibits and accolades

  • 2008 Finalist Curry's Our Lives Competition

  • 2008 Part of Group Exhibit at The Mall Galleries, London

  • 2008 Work Featured in London Time Out Magazine

  • 2008 Work Featured in JPG Magazine

  • 2009 Featured on Londonist Website

  • 2009 Work Featured In The Guardian Weekend Magazine

  • 2009 Part of Group Exhibit in Los Angeles, USA

  • 2010 Work Featured in The Guardian Weekend Magazine

  • 2011 Work Featured in Amateur Photographer Magazine

  • 2012 Images Used in London 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremonies

  • 2013 Work Featured in British Airways Magazine

  • 2016 Winning Finalist on PDN Street 2016 (judged by Colin Westerbeck)

  • 2017 Featured in Olympus Passion Magazine

  • 2018 Featured on Urban Street Diving website

  • 2018 Featured in "Street Photography" book - to be published by Acuity Press

  • 2018 Featured Photographer on ISP Collective Instagram

  • 2019 Final 5 Finalist London Photo Show (Spring)

  • 2019 Finalist San Francisco Street Foto Festival - Single Image

Listen to an interview with me about my street photography