In Lockdown with Lou Smith

Kicking off this week’s In Lockdown features, we catch up with dexterous photographer and videographer Lou Smith, currently swapping nightlife for nature…

‘My name is Lou Smith, I live in East Dulwich, South London.

I am mostly known for my photo and video documentation of the underground music scene, specifically centred around the South London scene, even more specifically The Windmill, Brixton over the past decade.

I am probably most closely associated with my photos and video work of Fat White Family, having produced a couple of their promos and a single cover and have the most comprehensive image catalogue of their performances anywhere.

During lockdown I had been looking at new subjects to point my camera at. A friend posted on FB that she wanted to investigate her body for skin mites and did anyone have a microscope. I remembered my old microscope and dug it out. I had some fun playing a what is it game where people had to guess what I had under the microscope today.

Alongside this, and because of the large number of hours I spent at home and in the garden, I started to try to photograph the foxes that live there. One young vixen in particular became really quite ‘friendly’ and started to come really close, due to the promise of peanuts and mealworms. I have really loved having her around, filming and photographing her and watching her interactions with my cat Wiz.

The Windmill, Brixton is to me as to many others virtually a second home. I can’t wait to get back into the steaming throng of the live music family that lives there too and be in the thick of it once more. In the meantime, I am thoroughly enjoying my new muses.

I think generally, I am learning quite a lot about myself during the lockdown. I think I am a natural introvert (my camera has served as some kind of social crutch in the past, and has opened me up to a much wider experience than I might otherwise have had) so I am actually finding some great positives in the lockdown. I have used the time to kick a forty plus year smoking habit and to take up yoga, cooking and meditation to help steer me through. I have also loved the birdsong and relative freedom from air and noise pollution.’

All images are taken and copyrighted by Lou Smith. You can see more of his work and take an immersive look into the London music scene as viewed through his lens on his website. For regular updates follow Lou on Instagram and YouTube.

Links to the rest of our series of features with photographers in lockdown can be found here

27th April 2020