I came to photography probably because of my burning curiosity and interest in history. Social and political history. Local history. I pour for hours over old photos and maps. Pictures of people in the street 20, 50, 100 years ago still seem alive somehow.

Photography is my way of capturing similar moments that will hopefully also be of interest and curiosity to somebody else looking at my photos 100 years from now.

I don’t believe in trying to intellectualize photography and concoct spurious reasons for doing it. My reason is simply to record moments in time for posterity.

I do believe that when you make a portrait you are capturing part of the subject and part yourself. There are reasons why I choose the subjects that I do but I’m not sure I can explain that in words. It’s instinctive and intuitive. The viewer can draw their own conclusions and invent their own stories. I don’t even like to try and explain my images as that tends to limit the possibilities that are available for anyone viewing them.

I was on walkabout in Camden when this old punk asked me for some money to get some more beer which I thought was very honest. I did a deal with him and he stood for me for a few shots against a closed shop front,

John Robb is a Manchester journalist and punk historian. John runs a magazine called “Louder than War” and I shoot for the magazine. I met John in Chinatown last December and took a few shots. This one was in between the ones that he posed for and consequently was the best because I caught him off guard and natural.

I snapped this image walking down a high street in Manchester late at night. I saw it as I walked and suspected it would look good. That’s the problem with being a photographer. You see photos all the time. I always have a camera with me.

This is Dom, the bass player from Manchester band Space Monkeys. I like doing night portraits where the light allows as I don’t use flash. I only use the light that is available.

I took this photo at a funeral.

A homeless guy that I got talking to outside the Ritz in Manchester. I was just taken by the light that he was standing in and asked could I take a few shots.

The scene on Matt Busby Way, formerly Warwick Road at Old Trafford. I’m working on a project photographing the comings and goings of the people on the street on match day.

A car park outside a pub in Richmond. There was a group of lads having what appeared to be a smoking competition with big cigars.

Back stage at the Electric Ballroom in Camden. These girls had come to see Carl Barat but couldn’t get in so were sitting there listening. I was there shooting Carl and while talking to the girls rattled off a few frames. I just liked the look of this one. It has something about it.

The guy approached me and asked me for a light. The shot was a gift from him. A moment in time forever.

Most people that do street photography will tell you that you just walk and go into a mental zone and shoot instinctively at whatever catches your attention.

Steve O J the bass player with Manchester band Dust Junkys in pre gig mode.

A press shot I did for Nev Cottee who is now a solo artist but used to play guitar in Proud Mary who were signed to Noel Gallagher’s record label.

I have an ongoing project at a boxing gym in Moss side, Manchester. This is an image from that series.

The front row of the crowd at Catfish and the Bottlemen gig in Manchester. The band had just walked on. Sometimes it pays to turn the camera on the audience.

I was walking through a crowd at a party. I sometimes like to go deep into crowds and snap away and see what comes out. Even though this shot isn’t 100% sharp there is something about. Why have they both got their hands to their faces ?


David Gleave is a photographer based in Manchester, England. Learn more at http://www.northernfacephoto.com/.

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