Sometimes you feel too tired to rise from the bed and go out there wherever you promised to be that night. But you cannot disappoint your friend, can you? So I got myself ready, went out of the house. Ten minutes late, as always. After missing one stop and going back again, I appeared on the Temple Pier. I took my camera to capture this amazing night view we were going to see from the boat. My friend, who invited me there, offered to become an Official Photographer for tonight’s UCL’s boat party. Sure, why not.
Before the guys warmed up a little bit, I took advantage of breath taking buildings surrounded by colourful lights and made a couple of river-view pictures. One of those rare opportunities which are unlikely to repeat. After half an hour or so I was ready to start. Even though it was my first individual event photo-shoot, everything went real smooth. Students would poke me and ask if they could have an image of memory from this particular night. I was more than happy to help them.
I then approached two youths from New York State. One was studying history at UCL and the other one - Computer Science at Queen Mary University. They were exchange students leaving for Euro trip in just a couple of days. The guys had a rail pass to travel all over Europe. First they were going to Copenhagen, then to Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, some Swiss town, Roma and up to Sweden, where one of them had relatives. I was the first Lithuanian they ever met. Of course, I offered to visit the country. Too bad it does not have European rail tracks. None of the European trains can enter the country. The tracks do not suit the trains. Oh well, perhaps another time.
After dozens of other party-shots I noticed the bartender. A man with a beautiful smile and red paper glasses happened to come from Slovakia. He came to England to learn English. This was his part time job. He was extremely bored. He asked how long I was into photography. I began my story with summer’s internship at L’Officel where I participated in model, interview and event photography. I then told him I just started working with a Serbian house and style magazine where I took pictures of some London boroughs and therefore contributed to the articles. I also revealed my interesting friendship with one of the best photographers I even met in my life. I explained he was a professional because he could bring people to life. Make them laugh. Show the real faces, without the masks on. I said: “Photography was not only about the person who is captured into that very moment. It was about the photographer who engages people to reveal the true selves. And also about the ability to choose the right corner, appropriate camera function and combination.
At the time then most of the dancers started sleeping on the chairs, I was lucky enough to meet two happy Singaporeans and one Indonesian. All of them were from UCL, one studying law, the other history and the third one - physics. They were interested in my photography experience. I had to admit it was my first time taking full responsibility of the pictures at an event. I told them I was a self-motivated enthusiast who could be associated with street style, London boroughs and random portraits photography. I spent a little more time talking with the physicist who was doing his one year Master’s degree. He later wanted to continue studies doing PhD. “First one in the Family” - he said. The guy had three sisters and one younger brother. The Indonesian revealed he was 27 however everybody thinks he is 16. His beard just does not grow so he always stay young.
We reached the ground around one o’clock in the evening. The tube was closed, so I had to take the bus. I was so happy to realise there was one bus coming straight to my home. I got on to it at Strand and was calmly enjoying the whole bus all to myself. Until two guys carrying Chinese food boxes joined me in the front seat at Piccadilly Circus. Sometimes I just got the feeling there is going to be an amazing picture at this very moment, so I asked if I could take it. “Someday you will going to sell this picture for a lot of money” - said the charming guy with this cosy hat on. One was from Iceland - he wanted to become a musician, the other one was from Sweden - he was going to be an actor. We have started talking, I told them my luck of becoming an event photographer for the evening, about my passion for photography in general and also the other side who wants to do marketing. We continued talking about how pop-culture became something to avoid. And how the shallow people on Facebook becomes more and more annoying every day. We discussed traveling all on your own was much more fulfilling because of the people you meet and variety of little things you notice. I could feel I was talking to very special characters. One of them was carrying an actual paper notebook and a pencil. This is what inspires me about the people.
Sometimes you know you will never meet those people again. The only thing you can do is to enjoy conversations. Always remember the things they tell you, because they really mean it. There is no point of lying. People talk from their hearts. However, I wish sometimes you feel you have not finished. Sometimes you know there is so much more to be said and you are dying to meet those strangers on the bus again.