I’d never noticed a pink telephone booth outside Melbourne’s State Library before, but sure enough there it was – pinpointing our rendezvous.
I sat down on the wall clutching my camera waiting to meet photographer, Jaime Murcia.
Born and bred in Melbourne and freelance veteran of magazine and news photography, Jaime divides his time between photography and bespoke laneway photo tours.
There are over 200 laneways and little streets in Melbourne and he’s passionate about them, publishing a book of laneway photos in 2014 called Little Big Town.
He says: “All my tours are private – catering for just one person or a small group of friends/family so we can talk in depth about what we’re seeing and I can give personalised photography tips”.
After a quick look at my camera and an assessment of how much I knew about photography, I expected to be heading towards the tourist magnets: Hosier Lane, AC/DC Lane and Union Lane.
Instead, we headed west to explore a series of former industrial laneways, now bustling with cafe patrons spilling out onto streets peppered with graffiti and climbing jasmine.
As we set off, Jamie reached out and caught a shaft of sunlight in his hand: “No clouds today so we’ll work with the highlights and shadows to create different images. It might be light and shade on a bluestone wall, a person’s face or a brightly coloured top.”
We meandered through several laneways taking photos of street art, people and architectural features; discussing exposure and settings; ducking into funky cafes such as Krimper, Captains of Industry and Brother Baba Budan.
And just like the pink phone booths, Jamie pointed out things I wouldn’t normally notice – pulleys hanging from the roof, a curve in a blue stone wall, a tiny tapas bar at the end of Presgrave Place.
For most Melbourne residents these amazing spaces stay hidden from view – known only to the locals; and it was a treat to be guided through them.
Delving into Melbourne’s history, cafe culture and street art, I’d started to see with a photographer’s eye.
Jaime described photographing one of the laneways at night when the lights on the red-brick factory walls cast pools of light on the stone below.
I’ll have to go back to capture it.
Looking for more walking tours in Melbourne? Take a look at Melbourne: exploring on foot.
How to book
To book a laneway photography tour with Jaime Murcia at a time that suits you, go to: https://www.jmphototours.com.au/laneways-photo-tours/
There is a 10% discount for World Glaucoma Congress delegates – just use the code WGC2019 when booking.
Please note that the light for photography is generally better in the morning or early evening.