It's days like this that make me want to live in London all the more, and the second time in two weeks where I was on a train within a few hours of finding something awesome is happening. Green Park was set to host a gathering of some of the most creative photographers across the UK - all set in motion by the inspirational Brooke Shaden. I took Rachel along with me for the ride, travelling down straight after I finished my work at the office.
It was surreal being surrounded by so many brilliant artists, and creators of images I had seen go viral. The arrival of Brooke saw hugs with everyone in sight, before settling down to remember why we create and inspire. She revealed some dresses and accessories for any willing models, and instructed us to go wild.
With nearly a hundred photographers all trying to capture the image they see in their mind, the handful of models had their work cut out for them. But they did an amazing job. Kristina Nikitina was one model that took it all in her stride, posing in front of tens of cameras at once. By lying on the grass to avoid the barrage of lenses behind me, I was able to capture some stunning images as the sun went down. Click here to see Kristina's full album. As Rachel had forgotten her camera, she happily took the opportunity to build on her modelling.
Conversation was flying and business cards were everywhere. It was exhilarating meeting so many talented artists. I even bumped into Oscar May, whom I had met almost exactly two years earlier outside Hyde Park, as we assisted Felix Kunze photograph the London 2012 Olympic Volunteers. I was going to write about everyone who I met, but it would make this post too long...so watch for them in a coming post. But check out this group shot! Can you find me?
The sun went down all too quickly, pushing the ISOs ever higher. I was finally able to grab my hug, a photo, and a few words about Harry Potter with Brooke before she left for some much needed rest. Rachel, Kristina, Simon McCheung, Ana Isabel, a few others and I went on a hunt for food as all of our stomachs were rumbling. So what did we devour as we perched on a shop window ledge just outside Piccadilly Circus? Cake so rich it could have had a room at the Ritz down the road.
Sadly we all had to rush for our trains before we knew what was happening - one of those evenings you replay in your mind as you sit on the train home, wishing you could go back. It was such a driving, inspiring, humbling and exhausting experience. Thank you everyone! Can't wait for the next one.