created by Katie Gales

Through her lens, Katie opens her eyes to everyday smiles


When I started this photo essay to capture moments of joy in London I thought I had set myself a difficult task. However, when you start to open your eyes to seeing something that can easily be missed in among the packed tube carriages, the work deadlines and the stress of getting a drink in Brixton's Grand Union on a Saturday night, our weekdays our filled with moments that can lift you, and stir the smile

My journeys around London became increasingly uplifting as I sought out these kind and mostly unexpected moments. One Sunday I decided to just sit and see what happened around me and within two minutes, two local gentlemen approached me and asked for their picture, posing together with their arms around each other. They then sat with me and the conversation somehow moved to them teaching me how to make BĂ©arnaise sauce, in great detail. I will point out that they were drinking Special Brew at 10am but whether drunk or not, our unusual meeting was full of kind words and compliments.

I won't lie, London isn't the most giving or generous city on a cold, miserable Monday but I believe that any city which gives out free newspapers and magazines every day, that has hundreds of free fun events to entertain and educate us, and that installs pianos in random places to encourage public musical outbursts, is a pretty special place to live.

As I write this, two elderly Italian twins, wearing identical outfits have just sat opposite me on my morning train. They sat down and both yawned at the exact moment, I smiled at them and they then looked at each other, laughed and smiled warmly back at me. When you start to really look and appreciate, it is inconsequential moments like this that can keep you happy in a frantic city.

My very friendly local newsagent upon hearing of my project, hit me with some words of wisdom:

"Kindness is appreciating someone else's soul."

Appreciate your day to day, and hopefully you'll notice more moments of love, honesty, fun and kindness as you travel around this place we call home.


Follow her @katie_gales