We’re featuring some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community with our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, see London through Elena Shamis’ photos (@elensham).

Photos on the Go

While walking the streets of London I’m always looking for picture opportunities, and colorfully-dressed people often catch my attention. London is very international — you can meet people from various countries and with different backgrounds — and that diversity is reflected in the way they dress too. Sometimes I see an interesting person and try to catch him/her in front of an appealing background. But it also works the other way too — sometimes I see a beautiful background and wait patiently for someone to stride-by. The perfect stride-by can happen in just a matter of seconds so I always keep my camera ready.

A Look at London Homes

There’s always something new to discover in London. Even areas that may seem residential or boring can be great subject matter for photos. I look for vibrantly-painted doors, flowers in bloom, or something that will make the home pop.  I particularly like walking into mews, the narrow, cobbled streets with rows of houses that used to serve as stables and have now been converted into homes. The best time to photograph mews is when wisteria is in full bloom — those pops of delicate lilac make any house stand out.

Tick Tock

Big Ben is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world! Every tourist and photographer in London has taken pictures of the famous clocktower. It is extremely difficult to find new angles, so I always try to add a personal touch to it by  shooting from a distance and adding a flower or a tree in the foreground. It will soon be covered in scaffolding for three years of repairing works so make sure to visit London as soon as you can if you want to see it in full glory. My favorite place is under an arch on the opposite side of the Thames, beneath Westminster Bridge, as it creates a perfect frame for the tower and works great for couples photo shoots or simply on its own.

Hittin’ the Streets

Streets of London can be extremely difficult to photograph, as some areas get very crowded. The best way to get a great shot is to wake up early in the morning on the weekend when even areas like Covent Garden or Piccadilly Circus can look deserted. As much as I love Notting Hill for street shots, East London is really the best place to go.

Foggy Days in London Town

Few things excite me more than fog in London! When I see a slight chance of fog in the forecast, I set my alarm for earlier than usual and look out the window as soon as I wake up. Everything looks magical in the fog and, on the foggiest days, it’s easy to imagine London of centuries past. To catch fog in central London, you have to be up early before it starts to dissipate. This year we had a few days when the fog was so thick that you couldn’t see Big Ben from the other side of Westminster Bridge.