Art, Introductions, Photography

Introductions – The Future Is Papier Mâché

Today I am going to introduce another blog I have been following for quite a long time, and I thought it would be good to show because his work is very different to mine, also quite different to any of the other people I have shown.  I hope you feel it is important for me to show a variety of work.  So the introduction today is to Richard from The Future Is Papier Mâché.

Richard does a lot of street photography and finds some of the most interesting characters.  He does something that I find really amazing and something I can’t do, he goes up to people and asks if he can take their photo.  He obviously gets a lot of people agreeing to let him.

SONY DSCThere is so much character in many of these images.  I always finding it so interesting to see who he has found and was given permission to photograph.

I asked Richard why he takes photos and he said this, “I’m interested in finding narratives in everyday life, and exploring how putting a frame around objects or events skews our perception of them.”

SONY DSCHe even gets to photograph some famous people, do you recognise Dumbledore?

In my mind London has always been full of really interesting characters. People who dress differently and don’t look like the normal conservative population that we are used to.  I find Richard’s photos just confirm my view of what I think London is like.

Inspiration is something else I asked him about, “I don’t really believe in inspiration, but I do believe in motivations and ideas. These come from all over the place – current affairs, pop music, art, other photographers etc. But my best shots are taken without a thought in my head. I think something happens where all these influences come together in the moment and inform everything from the lighting to the composition.”

SONY DSCThere are also a number of images that are quite interesting, not so much for the person that is in them, but for the story that you can see in them.  I love trying to guess what the person is thinking or doing.  It would be interesting, I think sometimes, if Richard could get writers to respond to some of the work.

Of course, with someone taking photos like this, I had to ask how he works, “Most week days I take photographs on the streets of London, a lot of the time without an agenda, so pictures of anything that interests me. I shoot for about 2 hours per day and have learned to walk very slowly (it has helped me capture things I would otherwise miss). For the past year or so I’ve specialised in street portraits of the stylish or interesting (or both), and met a lot of great people as a result.”

SONY DSCRichard also does some images that I like that I find really interesting, I know I have used that word a lot today, but I can’t think of another one.  I love the way he does images that are looking into windows, and there are reflection in reflections, and shadows.  They are quite amazing, I find them like a puzzle, and I have to try and work out what it is.  There is an abstract nature that I love.

My final question was about the gear or camera he uses, “Sony a200, usually with a Sony DT 50mm AF f/1.8 lens, but sometimes with the 35mm equivalent.”

I don’t have black and white images on my blog very often, but Richard works mainly in that format.  I have found some colour images, though I must say I tried very hard not to put too many colour ones in the gallery below.  I hope you enjoy looking at a small selection of Richard’s work and I invite you to go and take more of a look at The Future Is Papier Mâché.  I would also like to thank Richard for allowing me to feature him, his work and his blog on my Introductions post.



  1. Nice post, Leanne. I may have collaborated with Richard for well over a year now, but it’s nice to see someone else’s take on his excellent street photography! :)

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  3. littlepinkdove says

    Love his work! Oh, how I wish I had the courage to ask a complete stranger if I could take his picture. It’s a struggle for me just to ask family and friends! Great post, Leanne.

    • It can be a very confronting thing to do, even harder asking a complete stranger. I think it is fantastic how Richard does it.

    • Richard is such a great person and photographer, so it was inevitable that I would show his work, and I am so glad that you have enjoyed it. :)

    • You’re welcome, street photography is such an unusual thing for me, I love looking at it, but could never do it.

  4. Thank you so much for this, Leanne – a real ego boost! Love the way you presented the work as well. Thanks!

    • You don’t need to thank me for this Richard, it really was a pleasure, I enjoy doing them and it is great that you aren’t disappointed with what I have done, so thank you for letting me feature your work.

  5. Great introduction, Leanne, interesting photo’s , I agree. Thank you for sharing!
    groetjes, Francina

  6. It’s funny how I find a new blog I like and then… I find out half of my favourite bloggers is also following it:)

    • I know what you mean, then I feel like I am behind everyone else. It is great to hear you like Richard’s blog, and if half your blogging friends are already there, what a great recommendation.

  7. Always nice to come across a street photog. I’ve seen Zack Arias in action on the street and it is so natural for him to go up to people and ask to take their photo. Not that I am a pro or anything, but the best advice I can give to people, is to use a small frame camera (like an X camera from Fuji) and not hide your face behind a big DSLR. Even I find it a bit intimidating when I have a DSLR pointed my way. Anyhow, thanks for sharing.

    • That is some great advice for people who want to do it, thank you for that. I could never go up to people and ask them, I don’t like having my photo taken, so I understand people not wanting it. I do admire those that can though.

  8. discovered richards blog on the internet one day, followed it, admired it and commented… we met irl in may this year in london. had the honour of my portrait taken by him.
    he surely is a true artist!

    • What a great story, I have never met Richard, but I hope to one day. You are very lucky Olive. Thanks for sharing your story.

  9. Are people in London tolerant and kind? If I tried to go around town, snapping pictures, at some point, someone would grab my Nikon and fling it to the ground and trample it and tell me to mind my own business. And then I would cry.

    • I don’t know, you would have to ask Richard, though I know he asks lots of people, and not everyone says yes. I think the difference is whether or not you just do it, or ask to do it. I stay away from it and try to get no one in my images.

  10. I really enjoyed your article about Richard. Black and white photo’s speak for themselves, they have a uniqueness that even color does not compare with. Richard certainly is gifted in this area and has a charisma that appeals to people that allow him to take photo’s of them. His photo’s have creativity that is really appealing. Thank you for sharing.

  11. I never used to photograph people at all but have been relatively pleased with my few recent attempts – still not brave enough to ask though!

    • I know exactly what you mean, I could never go up to a complete stranger and ask them. He does a great job, but I think I will leave the street photography to him.

  12. Great post :) RG’s blog is one of my favourites :) My favourites of his images are where he combines different repeated elements, reflections, shadows.

    • You are very welcome, his work is so different to what I have shown before, so it was good to his blog, and the response has been outstanding.

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