Island Life: Photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation

David Hoffman

Born 1946, London

‘I hate galleries and their white walls. You just get people who wander in, scratch their arses, and walk out.’

‘I don’t think the make of a camera is at all important, creatively. I use Nikons because that’s what I began with, but Canons would be just as good, as would many others. The important thing, professionally, is that they are reliable, robust, have a good range of lenses and enable one to work quickly and productively. It’s the person behind the camera that really matters.’

Hoffman is an independent photojournalist and since the 1970s he has placed himself at the heart of protests against inequality. He studied at York University in the 1960s with Chris Steele Perkins (they set up a student darkroom together) but ‘slung the course in at the same time that they slung me’. He has photographed London’s changing East End where he squatted, and protests and riots, from the Anti-Poll Tax and Brixton riots to Slut Walks. He laments the domination of the big image agencies and advises budding photographers on how to photograph protest with practical tips such as ‘learn first aid’.