“Some people need directions when you’re taking their photo,” William Lepper says. “Some people just perform. Chani and Kamaria were definitely in the latter camp.”
Photographer Lepper was in his local area of Walthamstow, north-east London, on a sunny August afternoon this year, passing down Pretoria Avenue. He spotted Chani and her granddaughter, Kamaria, up ahead. Chani had just picked Kamaria up from nursery and was taking her to a cafe for lunch, but the pair had passed a friend along the way and stopped to chat.
“I hung back and waited for them to finish their conversation. When I asked Chani if I could take their picture, she was ecstatic. As her friend was walking away, she yelled, ‘This photographer wants to take my picture! What can you do, y’know!?’ Then she popped her hip.”
He doubts whether she’d have reacted the same way if he had been using a professional camera. “People perform and respond differently if it’s a phone. Body language, confidence and expression are all tempered one way or another depending on the equipment you’re using,” he says.
Lepper was originally drawn to the colours the pair were wearing, but ended up capturing a very special moment, in his own neighbourhood. “I just love how sisterly they are together. I love the mischief.”