Ilya Ilford is a Russian citizen who has been living in Edinburgh for the past five years. Following a move to Leith in the north of the Scottish capital, he set out to photograph people he met on the famous Leith Walk.
“Making portraits of strangers helps me to connect with people living in Scotland and understand them a little bit better,” says Ilford.
“My favourite street is Leith Walk, one of the longest and the most vibrant streets in the capital.
“I fell in love with pedestrians and owners of local shops, as well as the light, colours, and textures of the buildings. That’s how the Walk began.”
Ilford aims to shoot at least 100 portraits for the series, all shot on film using a Rolleiflex camera.
“I don’t like to spend too much time editing pictures, so film photography helps not to end up with hundreds of similar photographs,” says Ilford.
“Having only 12 shots in one roll allows the photographer to be selective with their subjects.
“I’m suffering from social anxiety disorder and getting myself out on the street helps to ease it, as odd as it may sound. Not concentrating on myself while watching and listening to people around can do wonders.
“People are generally friendly and open to having their photos made. Very few say no.
“My goal is to make a visual snapshot of Leith Walk and people passing this street, rather than focusing on documenting their stories. Let the pictures speak for themselves.”
You can follow Ilya’s work on Instagram.