Snapping at heels (quite literally) – By Richard Gray

Although a little later than normal, we couldn’t let Friday go by without Richard Gray’s wonderful Gray’s Anatomy column article. This week Richard discusses iPhoneography and shoe fetishes. Where else can you read original content like this? Over to you Richard. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).

Slightly afraid I might be stepping into a PC minefield with this one, but here at Anatomy we like to push the boundaries a bit so let’s give it a go.

I was on my way to meet a couple of friends at the über trendy Soho House in the ultra trendy Shoreditch with my wife last Saturday night (he says, already putting himself in a certain slightly dodgy demographic). As we got off the tube, I noticed there was a bit of a buzz about the place. Lots of party-goers in their glad rags out for a big night out. Turns out there’s a pre-night-club night club (or possibly a night club place itself, though surely not at that time of night) near the station. And the crowds were streaming in via the main line station from various provincial outposts in East Anglia and from those far-flung yet exotically sounding places at the far east end of the Central line: Theydon Bois, Roding Valley, Epic Epping.

I already had my iPhone out and my eye was caught by the sparkles on the glad rags highlighted by the Liverpool Street neon. And by – and here I enter dangerous territory – the size of some of the high heels, now at my eye-level as we went up the escalator. “They’re on their way out” commented my wife dismissively as I mentioned how surely some high heels could be a serious health and safety issue on escalators. But of course, I already had my camera out and was snapping at the heels (quite literally!) of a group of women immediately in front of me. I kept on chatting about health and safety to my wife all the while, though she could see right through me. “I’m just a smoke screen for this, aren’t I? Will you stop it. You’ll get into trouble”. I remembered a quote by the very famous Paul Melcher that the best photographers are trouble-makers and kept on snapping those high heels.

Does this guy have a high-heel fetish? I can hear you ask. No, definitely not. I know some people do. I once posted a video on Youtube of a woman cycling in really high heels and it went so viral that I got offers of advertising. And from the comments I got, I know the sort of people who are into high heels and I am definitely not one of them.

As I reviewed my shots walking along the street (no good, no good, no good, mmm not bad), my wife grabbed my phone: pervy, pervy, pervy, mmm not bad, she said.

What do think? Well, if this is my last column for App Whisperer, it’s been a real pleasure and I wish you all the best in your mobile photography. Don’t get into trouble.

© Richard Gray – ‘Sparkly or Pervy?’

Richard's mobile photography has been exhibited around the world and published in various magazines and on many websites. He launched the world's first live course in iPhone photography in early 2012 with Kensington and Chelsea College. He has given workshops with The Photographers' Gallery and British Journal of Photography. Sport England recently commissioned him to cover various of its Sportivate initiatives with the iPhone. A keen observer of this new photographic genre, his writing has been widely published (most notably in The Guardian) and he writes a blog (iphoggy-bloggy). With a big camera, he specialises in music photography ( and syndicates to Press Association (with both big and small cameras).


    • Richard Gray

      Thanks Robert. I’ve never tried high heels (that didn’t come out right) but, yes, I imagine they must be very tricky to walk in. But they look good! (did that come out right?).

  • Frederique Bellec

    Never understood the high heels thing, I prefer staying flat on the ground!
    Went to a party the other night, after a couple of hours the place was littered with high shoes and the dancefloor full of bare foot ladies – So even They agree it’s not the best foot attire to dance the night away!
    Love the shot though;)