Featured Photographers – Leanne Boulton

Leanne is LKB Photographic and does her shooting in Glasgow, Scotland. Leanne was one of the first people I followed on Flickr, when I started in Street, and was the first person I asked for advice on Street Photography. Which she readily gave. Never saying “This is how you do it”, just “This is how I do it.” What a tremendous help to me when I was first starting. Yes I have changed since then, but so has Leanne. Nobody stays doing the same thing in Street Photography. You find new ways of shooting, where to do the shooting, which differs wherever you are, but there are still the basics, and that is what Leanne passed onto me. To her it may have been just passing on advice to someone who had asked, but to me it was a grounding, and I’ll always be grateful to her for that.

Right, onto Leanne’s photography. Why have I chosen the shots below? The reason is, they bring out emotion in me. Whether it be laughter, sorrow, thought. Sometimes it is just a pleasure to my eye. The hardest part is culling them down to 10, as there are so many more. I hope you agree that they are the right choice, but I understand that you will have your own favourites.

All the photos in this post were taken by Leanne, and are copyrighted to her. © Leanne Boulton, All Rights Reserved


Naughty Or Nice?
Naughty Or Nice?

“Empty your pockets!” That is what the Policeman is saying to Santa. Or is it?
Is the Policeman just giving him all their Christmas Letters for their Christmas presents. Whatever it is, this Santa must be a hard nut, as there are 5 Police Officers. Saying that they do seem to have half smiles on their faces. Maybe they have asked him to empty his pockets and are finding funny, whatever he has taken out.
That is what makes this shot so good, so many stories. Like one of those books where you decide which way to go and the story changes. Great!

Fun in the Sun
Fun in the Sun

Two youngsters, just looking happy. The composition is very pleasing on the eye, with the youngsters to the side, and oh the colour on the coat makes it so bright & cheerful.

Tuck In!
Tuck In!

Is this a “Visit Scotland” advertising poster? I was wondering if the guy in the middle has a Deep Fried Mars Bar in his hand. Leanne assures me that they are not as prevalent as the media would have us believe. Although she did not confirm or deny that Scotland was where the Deep Fried Mars Bar was created.
I would say joking aside, but you cannot with this shot. It brings out the wise cracks from everyone. Isn’t the idea of photography to stir the emotions, and laughter is the best of them.

Safe, Secure and Strapped
Safe, Secure and Strapped

This should be on “Have I got news for you”. It would feed Paul Merton & Ian Hislop material for the whole show. It really makes me laugh, as every time I see it a new line comes into my head.
Right let’s remember this is in Glasgow and you know how the media, comedians and even other Scots people, especially the people from Edinburgh portray the Glaswegians.
The tape is around the cash machine because of the one word “Free”, and they think it is.
They have put tape around the telephone box, to stop the drunks who think it is a toilet and using it as such. Or the even drunker ones thinking it is the Tardis.
The tape is around the cash machine so people know it’s empty because they keep using the money from it in the Chip Shop behind.
The list goes on, and this is where Leanne excels at seeing the humour in things as she walks around Glasgow and shares that with us.

Going Up In Smoke
Going Up In Smoke

We’ve covered 3 really humorous shots, now we see another side to Leanne. Great composition!
There is so much in this shot. It is so pleasing to the eye as the tones are fantastic and the image is spot on and clear. I have tried myself catching comeone smoking a pipe and can appreciate what an excellent piece of photography this is. Not hard, say some people. No it isn’t if you have a pipe smoker who is willing to pose, and puff when you ask them. Do it on the street and get the timing just right, so they don’t stop when they see you, and also get all the smoke in the shot, where he has exhaled it and the smoke coming off the pipe. And to top it all off, the guy to turn around just as you hit the shutter button. Just Superb, the whole image and Leanne’s skill.

Personal Space
Personal Space

“The almost equidistant spacing of random people really drew my eye.”
That is Leanne’s description on Flickr, and that is what hits you. The steps are a great background, but also the stage for the actors. But, they are not actors, and there is no interaction between them. You could photoshop any of them out and it would still look right. That is what makes it for me, the fact that 4 individuals could be in what is really a small space, and each one unaware of the other 3. Where they are in the image is as if they had been placed, and that is what makes it so pleasing to my eye. Excellent!

Wiping Away A Tear
Wiping Away A Tear

You look at this shot and not see the Title or the description, and it is beautiful. A pretty girl with a woollen scarf and matching hat that is so big. Then there are the refelctive sunglasses showing the buildings that she is facing. The girl’s head and shoulders almost fill the frame. I love shots like this. Getting in close, but you can see in the bokeh behind there are others around.
Then you read the Title, “Wiping Away A Tear”, and then where and when it was taken, “Remembrance Sunday in George Square, Glasgow.” It takes on a whole new meaning of why the girl’s hand is at her cheek.
Truly Delightful!

Hidden Message
Hidden Message

This is a terrific image. There did seem to be a slight hint by a commenter on Flickr, that Leanne’s title could lead people to think a certain way about this shot. When titling a shot, you try to find something relevant or comedic, pun, or maybe something more abstract, but Leanne’s title suits this image perfectly to me without any undertones or overtones, just spot on.
Hidden – The girls’ face is hidden.
Message – She’s sending a text.
So with that out of the way, why do I think this image is terrific? We only see a tiny proportion of muslim girls in photographs on Flickr. I don’t know the reason for this. I know that I don’t take that many. Maybe it is the fact that the women wearing a Niqab are showing they are hiding, just like someone putting their hand up to their face. So this subject is not so common. Then there is the composition. Only the girl in focus, with everything else in a strong bokeh, which focuses so much more on the girl by the separation. She looks alone, and I don’t mean she is the only person in the photo, but the impression it leaves me with is that she is lonely.

The Social Disease
The Social Disease

Maybe the title should be “The Anti-Social Disease”.
Leanne has it correct though. Although nowadays smoking is seen as anti-social, in some areas it is still classed as very acceptable. If this was a cross section of Leanne’s work I think we would have seen a much higher ratio of people smoking in the shots. If you look through her stream you will see what I mean. The reason I believe and I may be wrong is that there is a higher than average population of smokers in Glasgow. Add to that the fact that smokers are not allowed to smoke indoors where other members of the public are, so are made to smoke outdoors and that may be the answer.
That is the title and the social aspect out of the way. Now onto why I think this shot is great. POV! The angle at which Leanne has taken this shot. The same shot at a different angle, would be just a shot of a smoker. You get the feeling that she is sitting next to him, listening to his troubles. She is sharing his personal space, and what comes over, his thoughts as well. Moving on to the actual person, she has caught him just as he is inhaling, whilst he looks so deep in thought. This image will stay in my minds eye for a very long time. To me this is what Street Photography, and particularly the style I like is all about.

Getting The Point
Getting The Point

As with the others, I have left the best until last. This a superbly well composed shot. The only people in the shot are the only people who matter for this story, and are well in focus, though we do have people in the shadows of the alley, walking away to give the shot depth & contrast.
What you see here, breaks all the rules of what you are brought up to believe, is the correct way to behave. Pointing is rude. You shouldn’t be rude to your elders. Being rude to a disabled person is a no,no. However we don’t know the story, and that is what is great about this shot. Even Leanne doesn’t know.
When I started in Street Photography, everywhere I read said that each shot should tell a story, well this one certainly does.
The girl is pointing straight to the woman’s face. The woman, who’s name we assume begins with an “M”, has her hand obscured by her coat, so we cannot see what gesture she is making. I bet, of over 3,000 people who have viewed this shot on Flickr, each one has their own story. The fact of the matter is that the girl is saying to the woman “I know it was you who stole my laces!”

Now I bet you looked at the girls shoes to check her laces.

Thank you Leanne for allowing me to use your photos on the Blog.

To see more of Leanne’s work, take a look at her Flickr Photostream

5 thoughts on “Featured Photographers – Leanne Boulton

  1. Wow, another great insight to another street photographer. I just think the way you look at images and find points that I would never have noticed, brilliant. It makes me try to look closer at other images….but I still miss half the stuff.

    Great choice of images from Leanne I bet she’s chuffed with this.
    A good job well done!

    • I’m very pleased with the result Grant, and I believe Leanne is too.

      I don’t believe Leanne would have chosen these, and with so many to chose from and all our different preferences, no two of would pick the same ones.

  2. All of these shots are amazing. I follow Leanne on Flickr as well, and I think you did an excellent job at sorting through her photos. She has so many incredible photos that I’m sure it was a tough choice. I absolutely loved “Personal Space”. I can’t explain what about it exactly that I like, but it’s my favorite. (I’m never very good at explaining on Flickr either. I try to say something other than “great catch” or “nice shot”.)

    P.S. I did check the girl’s laces. 😀

    • Tina, culling is the second hardest part of these posts.

      The hardest bit is putting your thoughts into words.

      “Personal Space” I managed to put it into words, but I won’t tell you how long it took.

      I knew you would. Grant didn’t admit it though! 🙂

  3. Thank you for your kind comments on my photography and for featuring me in your blog Just Ard, it is very much appreciated.

    I certainly wouldn’t have chosen these shots to showcase my own work as I don’t personally feel that they are my best but, having read what you see and feel in the images, I am able to see them in a new light. Thank you for that!

    Kind regards and thanks


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