This is the eighth of nine interviews that Sheldon Serkin has completed with photographers involved with the incredible 24HourProject, please see his introductory article here. We have put each interview into a separate article so that it’s easier for you to navigate, they can all be found under our new column StreetWise, here.
This one is with Natalie Davison…
What is your name and instagram username?
My name is Natalie Davison and my username is @natal13d
‘Lust on the railway stairs – this was my first shot and was one of my favourites. I looped back an hour later and they were still going for it!’
Was this the first time you participated in this project, or have you taken part in previous years as well?If you participated previously, how did this year’s experience differ from past experiences?
This is the first time I’ve taken part, although I’ve been following the project for the past two years. I have been following Renzo on Instagram (@aliveinnyc) for many years and totally loved the concept of the project.
What city where you able to document?
What inspired you to take part in this project?
I’m originally from Sydney, Australia and I’ve lived in London for the past 12 years and I wanted to document how the city winds down and comes to life. I do a lot of photowalks in London and had done a sunset to sunrise challenge previously but doing 24 hours straight and posting each hour just seemed like an amazing challenge.
Did you plan where to go or did you have an idea what you wanted to document, or did you just let fate decide as you wandered through the streets?
I plotted a rough route of where to go, as I thought between 3-5 am was going to be tricky, but surprisingly that was the time I got my best photos!
What was the biggest challenge you faced during the 24 hours?
I do a lot of street photography and shoot iPhone only, so I was worried about the night shots and how they would turn out. But that ended up being the best part of the challenge, thinking about how I can use light from car headlights, or head to late opening train stations to get shots with good light. My iPhone 5 didn’t let me down!
Do you feel like the time pressure was beneficial to your creativity, or did it just make you nervous and diminish the quality of your images slightly?
Yes and no. I kept managing to get pretty decent shots in the first 10 minutes of the hour, so it was a choice of whether to wait or to post! I have a lot of #latergrams!
‘Missed opportunities – I shot this near Charing Cross. She was waiting to cross the street to hail a cab. I just loved the angle of her coat and the movement of the passing taxi’
Did you develop a workflow for every hour in order to manage uploading your next image in time?
Not really. I just walked and shot what felt right and then uploaded the image I felt was best.
Be honest, did you by any chance cheat a little by processing a few pictures in advance in order to rest a bit?
Not really. I’m a bit of a people-watcher so I actually found stopping at outside cafes was a good way of getting more shots
Did you follow the IG feed of other excellent photographers taking part in the project? Why or why not?
Yes. I have lots of IG friends from around the world and it was great to follow and offer encouragement. I was following @paulabroom in Sydney, Australia, @librarymook in Sapporo, Japan @isnob in Valletta, Malta, @ektara and @tarulp in Helsinki, Finland and @aliveinnyc in New York, USA. The time difference was great for ensuring we were all encouraging each other to get to the end!
What was your secret to staying up so long?
Coffee and taking the bus! Although the night bus rides were quite speedy- so I didn’t get as much of a rest as I hoped!! I also had some great friends from the Instagram London community who I caught up with along the way.
Would you take part in this again next year?
Absolutely. One of the best and most challenging projects I’ve had the honour to be part of.
Was there a point when you considered giving up and going home? Did you walk the whole 24 hours?
I hit a wall at around 4-5pm, but that was mainly due to being dehydrated! My IG pals kept my spirits up with lots of nice messages and I pushed on through!
‘Foxy ladies – this one I was really pleased with. It was quite dark and thankfully a car came down the street which made the women move to the pavement and closer to the fox and also gave me the light I needed’
Please share your 3 favorite images from the day and talk about why they are your favorites.
All of the above
What were some thoughts that ran through your mind when you were finally able to crash into bed?
Just overwhelming amazement of what I’d achieved. I walked most of it by myself and was just pleased I’d managed to get the shots that I did. It’s also given me some more ideas for some street series off the back of it. I might wait until Summer though!