Max Barstow

Max Barstow is a London-based photographer with a degree in Philosophy from King’s College London. He is 23 years old and began making photographs with a Rolleiflex medium-format camera when he was 13.

Max is broadly interested in images about city-life, with a particular interest in people and advertisements. He is inspired by a mixture of studio and documentary photography: Irving Penn’s ‘Small Trades’ series and still-life images of detritus inspire him as much as Michael Wolf and Bruce Davidson’s subway photographs.

He is currently working on a two-part portrait series in London, alongside an ongoing project photographing shop-windows, screens and reflective surfaces.


This is the second half of a portrait project I began in 2015, inspired by William Blake’s bleak illustrated poem London. I’ve primarily worked at locations such as Liverpool Street, Bank, Regent Street, Oxford Street, Holborn and Westminster, using pre-existing white surfaces as backgrounds.

My aim has been to create un-staged portraits which have the clarity and emotional depth of studio portraits by photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and David Bailey. Stylistically, I’ve tried to make images which are equally appropriate to contemporary and antiquated aspects of London – the diversity of people who live, work in and visit the city, as well as the more traditionally English financial and political centres in Bank and Westminster.

My other goal has been to produce images that convey the intangible sense of angst and uncertainty which have been present in London in recent years.

To view more of Max’s work please visit his website.