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Story Behind the Photographs

Late one evening in West London and I wandered round the corner to get another bottle of wine and came across this scene. A gang of girls in front of me were walking past a late night convenience store and decided to help themselves to some of the produce on display. A shopkeeper ran up the road after them and grabbed the bag on one of the girls.

I put the camera to my eye and started shooting.

A fight developed between the shopkeeper and one of the girls - she can throw quite a punch. The other girls were not too happy about me photographing and one of them ran over to try and stop me. Um, well, I spoke to here in a language that I thought she would understand and she, wisely, decided to back off.

I took the pictures to the London Evening Standard and they used them as a spread in the launch issue of their weekly magazine. They day that they were published the mother of the girl that threw the punch came down to the shop in a rage saying "Look at the terrible media, they have faked a photo of my daughter, she is a sweet young thing and would not hurt a fly..." Hmm...

Girl gang violence is on the rise and has been reported many times but I don't think that anyone else has managed to take photos of them in action. Well if they have I havn't seen any.

Technical Information

These photographs were shot on a Leica M6 with a 35mm f1.4 lens, the film was Kodak Ektapress 640 professional colour negative film rated at 640ASA. Exposures were probably around 1/30th sec, f1.4


The London Evening Standard

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