Photographer Niall McDiarmid travels from town to town to capture the essence of Britain
- Emma Latham Phillips
- 17 July 2018
Niall McDiarmid travels up and down the country to capture portraits of the people of Britain. Each image, with their pops of colour and character, beautifully summarises the mood of each place he visits. “It’s an interesting time to be a British photographer”, Niall tells It’s Nice That. “Britain, along with many other European countries, has become much more diverse, and I want to capture that in my own style”. Niall’s project, Town to Town is packed full of people of all ethnicities, sexualities and genders, truly reaching into the heart of Britain.
Niall’s interest in photojournalism began as a child. “My grandfather had a passion for sending stories to the local paper back home in Perthshire, and I started doing the same”, he explains. Most British citizens tend to turn further afield to find the exotic; however, Niall looks into his backyard, garnering inspiration from home and highlighting how the beautiful can be found right here. “I realised from early on that I wanted this to be a long-term project”, the photographer tells us. “I had to fit it around my life, so going abroad was not an option, and I wanted to see the country”. Niall predominantly uses train travel, “studying maps and possible destinations late at night”. Occasionally he turns up “at a local railway station and picks a town simply because it’s cheap to get to”, he comments.
Niall’s street photography is all about these serendipitous moments – the perfect, lucky capture. He isn’t looking to photograph places you might expect; he turns to the unnoticed towns, the ones that never get a look in. “I am interested in people who have a unique style combined with saying something about the area I am in”, he explains. His eye is drawn to colour; “I suspect there is an underlying desire to get away from the greys and muted tones that are so often associated with Britain”, and his portraits burst with unexpected vibrancy, immediately stealing the viewers gaze. “As there are so many photographers making work, I think it’s important to have a distinctive style”, Niall explains. “I’m keen to capture Britain in my own way, using colour, shape and pattern”. The photographer’s portraits stand out amongst others as charming and exuberant; there is an optimistic feel to the work, which gives us hope of a more harmonious and diverse Britain.