Our Friends in the North

Introducing Brendan (@chrome_acros_the_street) and Thomas (@theurbantake) – The Curious Camera Club’s Northern Division.


I’m a street photographer based in Middlesbrough, England and I’ve been experimenting with photography for the best part of 3 years. I come from a creative family, full of musicians, singers, artists and cake makers (living the dream!) For me, both drawing and painting were my passion for the longest time, but as the golden years moseyed by, my life got serious and my own little family became my new obsession. I needed something else my family could be part of that quenched the thirst to create.

Photography was my answer, and I picked up a 4 megapixel beast that was the Kodak DX6490. It had been collecting dust on a shelf at my dad’s for God knows how long. It was like a drug – I was instantly dependant on this new creative media and ran with it. After endless pictures of my new family (including my moggies), I decided to take to the streets, and well… I found my home away from home. I also bought a camera upgrade in the process as a moving in present.
When it comes to a recipe of things I like to capture, it’s not really something set in stone, more a feeling I get. However, there are trends many of my photos take on such as single subjects or small groups of people, ideally no more than 3. Recently I’m loving contrasty scenes with blankets of dark shadow and bright light that give an almost graphic novel feel. I aim for a hint of surrealism, comparable to a dream or movie. You could look at my recent work and think I’m exclusively a night photographer but this is simply not true. I hated shooting in the dark but with a young family I take my free time when it’s good for them and that means I have to shoot at night. I’ve come to love it and it has reignited my creative fire that was smouldering at one point. However, as soon as the light nights come back I’ll be a day walker once again.

Follow @chrome_acros_the_street on Instagram

I first picked up a camera 7 months ago, on the beautiful island of Malta. The camera was a Fuji Finepix HS20 EXR, which I’d borrowed from my old man.

I was never really sure what I wanted to shoot, but before I knew it, my natural people-watching ways had been adopted into my shooting style. At this point, I stopped shooting random objects and started to direct my lens towards people candidly going about their day. From that moment I was hooked.

Upgrading to the Canon 200D with the kit lens, I gradually moved out of my comfort zone and delved further into the world of street photography in my hometown of Middlesbrough. After I got over the fear of shooting strangers I soon found myself standing directly in the line of sight of people and shooting more of a portrait style. Eye contact became something I aimed for most.

Since then I have experimented with wider environment scenes, to find those leading lines and pockets of light that elevate a photo to a piece of art capturing human life inside it. I wouldn’t say that I really have a message to convey to anyone, other than to hopefully inspire more people to leave their comfort zone and try different styles of shooting. 

Follow @theurbantake on Instagram