Reflections on a photo #011

Reflections on a photo #011

In one of my classes last week, I asked students to choose a photo from an earlier blog post I'd written back in June of 22 A Walk in London #007, and from that photo, to write a 200-word blog post as a team.

They can write about whatever they like and interpret the picture however they like. That's part of the fun; I’ve decided upon image number nine. Rarely going to London, preferring the countryside, I was surprised (naively) to see this bustling cheese shop. The photo was taken at 5:43 in the afternoon and clearly people who were probably on their way home from work, stopping off for a treat that evening. I still like the fact, when I look at this picture, that there's an industrial feel to the shop itself. It has an almost sepia tone to it that brings across a nostalgic view, I suppose. There is a draw to the volume and variety of cheeses presented in a rustic, almost industrial manner.

The clear interaction between customer and artisan is reminiscent of the articles I've read in the past. Specifically, I'm looking at this and thinking of the early 1973 article by Kotler in which he stresses the importance of ‘place’ and atmospherics as a product. There is pleasure and satisfaction from the interaction of people, the tasting of different cheeses, and meeting like-minded individuals. You can't achieve this online or by picking it off a shelf in a supermarket.

More recently, (but still 1993) Mary McGrath and her paper with John Sherry and Deborah Heisley, provides an insight into the relationships between artisans and customers. I recall the different typographies suggested as a result of their observations, the nostalgia, the ambience. Those observations are still valid today. They can, in my view, be equally applied to photos such as this, taken in one of the busiest cities in the world. This is where London really does shine in my view, with its ability to mix large and small, provide a sense of interaction between different people even though we are so many and so ‘unknown’ to each other. I think it's a shame, but stores like this probably need such larger catchments nowadays to survive.

Neal's Yard Dairy not only have shops in Covent Garden, they also have an outlet in Borough Market, (another area that I want to visit) alongside Bermondsey and Islington.

I'm looking forward to going to London once more and seeing how the journey will continue in terms of my photography exploratory