Welcome to The Photographers of Cambridge interview series with Chris Le’cand-Harwood at Campkins Cameras.
Approaching me with a confident stride, Mark exudes an air of excitement as he greets me outside Campkins Cameras on King’s Parade. His broad smile is infectious, and his long leather coat trails behind him like a cape in the brisk wind. Around his neck, his camera is at the ready, snug in a matching leather case, with the lens cap off, poised for the next shot.
Mark is the talented photographer behind the popular Humans of Cambridge Instagram account. And he’s our first interview for The Photographers of Cambridge – the project showcasing the thriving photography community here in Cambridge.
What is Humans of Cambridge?
It’s quite a sight seeing Mark in action taking photos of passersby on King’s Parade. He started Humans of Cambridge about three years ago as a way to capture the individuality and uniqueness of the people who make up this city.
He takes photos of people he sees in the city during his lunch break. He has a natural ability to approach people who are busy but are usually more than happy to have their portrait taken. There isn’t time for stories but Mark lets his portraits do all of the talking at a busy time of day.
What inspired Mark to take over 1,500 photos?
Mark knew he wanted to do this project nearly three years ago – and he got the inspiration for the name from students he was photographing shortly afterwards.
He knew it would be a great way to capture the essence of Cambridge through the people who live and work here.
One of his early photos of a girl named Nicola was a turning point. It was just that one shot at Burrell’s Walk during the autumn – the red hair, the coat, and the perspective lines and the autumnal leaves.
It was a shot that really captured what he had always admired in other people’s work, and it inspired his pursuit of his own vision as a photographer.
And now he has shared around 1,500 photos on Humans of Cambridge!
Mark loves what the city has to offer and it excites him to think that some of the people he meets could become famous – who knows, a future prime minister could be on Humans of Cambridge right now.
When you look at Humans of Cambridge you’ll notice how personal and striking Mark’s portraits are. He has a real knack of the capturing the vibrancy of Cambridge.
What’s next for Humans of Cambridge?
Mark’s main goal is just to keep doing what he’s doing, with the same enthusiasm and passion. And if Humans of Cambridge continues to grow in the next three years or so, Mark will be happy.
As we say our goodbyes, Mark sees another perfect subject for his next photo before he heads back to work.
If you want to find out more about Humans of Cambridge then check out the Instagram account.
And find out more about how Mark balances his work with his photography on the Every Photographer’s Assistant YouTube Channel.
Chris – Campkins Cameras