I’ve lived in London for long enough now that I do that annoying, pretentious scoff when somebody suggest I haven’t done something that everyone has done, ESPECIALLY if it’s in my North London hood. Air BnB is such a good way of finding a ‘hidden gem’ in a new city, but an experience in my own hometown? What could they really be showing me that I didn’t know already?
Air BnB’s new Experiences* option, means you can not just stay in accommodation like a local, but see a place through their eyes too. I headed to a photography walk in Hampstead, with the hope of learning a little more about manual settings on my camera, but assuming I already knew where I was heading. I love this area of London, so I was pleasantly surprised when we headed north of the Heath and found a secret beauty.
Professional photographer Ira runs an experience that isn’t so much about the technicalities of your camera (some of the people in our group were using their phones), but more about how to set up a shot and to be inspired by our surroundings. The beautiful pagoda and gardens we were shown seemed to be an insider’s tip, with a few romantic couples going for a stroll, and more than one photoshoot happening.
As we were elevated above the gardens, I took the chance to look down, and used the leaves as a chance to play with framing and trying to get them to show the secretive nature of our location. I liked discovering that having a few people in a picture actually highlights the sparseness of an area, and as much as I usually lament about drizzle, it all added to the atmosphere I wanted to create.
It was the first time I’d played with my 45mm lens for a while too. I bought this on the recommendation of every blogger out there, but seeing as I travel solo a lot, it’s not always the best for a decent selfie. But a few portrait shots taken by Katy go to prove that I still love that #basic blur.
We finished the day with Ira showing us his original Polaroid camera and offering us pics to take home. I’m awful at printing photos, so it’s testament to this old piece of kit, an awesome guide and a pretty friend that this now graces my wall at home!
I’m intrigued by Air BnB experiences, and as somebody who’s so desperate to seek out ‘authentic’ travel wherever I go, you can be sure I’ll be clicking right on this new section as soon as I’m done booking my accommodation.
What I wore on the Air BnB photo walk
|Raincoat – Joules* / Jumper – Beyond Retro / Jeans – River Island / Trainers – Nike via Love the Sales*|
*We were provided with a voucher to write about an Air BnB experience of our choice, but all words, photography and opinions are my own