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#sanctuary18 – Q&A with Ari Gurdon Lindey

For our #sanctuary18 campaign, we had the pleasure of working with Soho-based photographer Ari Gurdon Lindey and her talented eye for candid street photography. We sat down with her after the shoot to find out a bit more about the mind behind the lens.

How did you get into photography?

Just over seven years ago I downloaded Instagram, not really knowing what it was all about. I sussed it out and loved the whole concept of sharing solely photos (not very good ones to start with), finding exciting photographers, learning tips, etc. I really enjoyed the community feel of it all. In the beginning, I exclusively shot on iPhone and only invested in a “proper camera” a couple of years ago. So yeah, Instagram got me into photography.

Who were your early influencers? Who inspires you now?

I discovered the wonderful street photographer Vivian Maier early on in my photography journey and she has been a big influence on what I like to shoot. But I’ve also come across some amazing street photographers through Instagram, Paola (@monaris) & Zahava (@golden2dew) being two of my favourites at the moment. 

We know you usually work with candid subjects, how was it working with models for our Sanctuary shoot? How did your street photography experience influence your approach for the shoot?

Working with models vs candid subjects was very different indeed. I hardly have any contact with the people I shoot on the street, apart from the occasional eye contact when I’m spotted in action (and those shots turn out to be the best ones actually) – so I must say that I was a tad apprehensive before the Sanctuary shoot! But as soon as we were on location and I started taking shots the anxiety went and it felt very natural and relaxed. The models were ace and pretty chilled which helped a lot. We were shooting in an urban environment, outdoors, on the street which made me feel more ‘at home’. 

How do you choose the candid subjects in your work? Do you have a typical process?

I don’t have a typical process unless walking around, camera in hand, with my eyes wide open counts as typical. For me, taking a candid photograph is pretty much a split second decision. I look for a particular face, an expression or a pose. Even the way a person is dressed can catch my eye. 

We discovered you through Instagram — how has social media affected your practice?

For me Instagram has opened up so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought were  possible, so it’s affected my practice by increasing the variety of projects and campaigns I’ve worked on. Each one has been so different to the other — it’s rather challenging but only in the most positive way!

In the spirit of collaboration — who would you love to work with (alive or dead) and why?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’m very much open to all sorts of collaborations and I’m particularly attracted to working with small independent businesses. But if I could pick a big brand I’d like to work with at the moment it would be Adidas.

What camera do you use most often?

Even though I still use my iPhone to take shots on a daily basis (that’s how it all started!) I do love my FUJI X-T10 camera and its 56mm lens.

And finally — what’s your favourite Sanctuary t-shirt and why?

Another tough one because I do think all the designs are wonderful. But ok, I’ve shortlisted two, the first one — “BE KIND” by Pentagram. I love the simplicity of the design that carries such a lovely and strong message. I also really like Lewis Khan’s design with the swimmers in Marseille. I find the image calming and somewhat reassuring. 

Ari will be working on a kids’ clothing website and going to the Costa Barcelona region to take photos for the Spanish Tourist Office in November – follow her on twitter and instagram to stay up to date with all things Ari!

@ari55 – instagram
@arigurdon – twitter

To get your hand on the t-shirts mentioned in this post or any of the #sanctuary18 t-shirts, please visit All profits from t-shirt sales will go directly to The Childhood Trust.