A bag with a camera and other items on it.
A woman with afro hair in a window.
A woman wearing a nun outfit.
A person is laying on the ground.
A woman standing in front of a truck.
A man in a hat smokes a cigarette.
A man loading a dummy into the trunk of a car.
A group of people sitting at a table.
A man walking down a street with graffiti on the wall.
A dog sits in the driver's seat of a white van.
Two police officers standing next to a police van.

Brian Lloyd Duckett

Street | Last Updated: November 21, 2023

I’m Brian Lloyd Duckett, a London-based documentary and street photographer.

I guess I wear two photography hats as I shoot an observational style of street photography and work on longer-term documentary projects.

My full-time job is running street photography workshops through my business, StreetSnappers, which I set up almost nine years ago.

I now run seventy to eighty street and documentary photography workshops annually in locations like London, Brighton, Liverpool, Venice, Lisbon and Prague. I also run one-to-one workshops anywhere in the world.

My work as a photojournalist led me to street photography. I found that walking around London and going from assignment to assignment, I started to notice things happening on the streets.

I guess you could call it street life, things that many of us would pass by.

I enjoy humour in street photography. I look for coincidences, absurdities, juxtapositions, witty connections and unlikely situations.

Things the brain doesn’t immediately understand and needs a few seconds to comprehend what’s happening.

I much prefer this style of street photography to the ‘light and shadows’ stuff with silhouetted figures and people walking through shafts of light.

Of course, I do get tempted into doing a little of that, but those images are often easily forgettable and generally don’t stand the test of time.

Projects pretty much drive my personal work, and I aim to put out two to three projects every year, usually in the form of zines and occasionally books.

Whilst we can all find good spontaneous images while walking the streets, the magic happens when your focus goes into projects. You quickly become more fulfilled, productive and motivated to leave bed and do it again tomorrow.

I’ve now written four educational street photography books, all available through Amazon, good bookshops worldwide and signed copies via my website – Mastering Street Photography, 52 Assignments: Street Photography, Street Photography Pocket Guide, and Street Photography Workshop.

I was formerly a Fujifilm ambassador and used their gear exclusively, and I do still use some Fuji gear, but not so much these days.

I now use a Leica M10-P with a 35mm lens for most of my street images. I love this camera’s ‘P’ version because it has a quieter shutter, and the absence of the Leica ‘red dot’ is a little more discreet.

I also shoot film using a Leica M6.

Why Leica? Well, for me, it’s all about the shooting experience. Yes, there’s also the Leica look, but that’s almost secondary, as I love the journey and the experience of using a kit that feels very intuitive and minimal.

My desert island lens is the Leica 35mm f/2 Summicron-M , which I use about seventy-five per cent of the time. I use the lovely 50mm f/1.4 for street portraits and the 90mm f/2 when I have a ‘Saul Leiter moment’.

In fact, the Leiter style/approach is now really popular, and I’m currently in a series of ‘Inspired by Saul Leiter’ workshops.

The contents of my bag are pretty minimal:

Leica M-10P
Leica M6
Leica 35mm f/2 lens Summicron-M
Leica 50mm f/1.4 lens Summicron-M
Leica 90mm f/2 lens Summicron-M
Gossen Lunasix meter
Lens wipes
Business cards
Billingham Hadley ONE

I’ve been using Billingham Hadley ONE for about forty years, and like most photographers, I’ve experimented with almost every bag there is – but I keep returning to the Billingham. There’s nothing quite like it.

I’m not really one for accessories, but I do have a light meter with me, as I prefer the accuracy of incident rather than reflected readings for street portraits.

Is street photography easy? Yes and no.

It’s easy because all you need is a good eye and the right mindset, and you can do it just about anywhere and without needing masses of expensive gear.

The counterpoint to these low barriers to entry is that you really need to have a strong work ethic, put in the miles, shoot as much as time allows and shoot projects.

Keep your expectations low – a handful of strong keepers every month is good output!

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