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Street photographer captures Luton Road and Chatham

The first gift Mick How received from his father was a camera. Almost 50 years later he has continued this legacy by capturing street pictures every day.

But while many capture beautiful sunsets and fields of flowers, the 54-year-old street photographer takes either candid or posed shots of the daily scenes in Luton Road or Chatham.

Mick How snaps a mirror selfie in a shop in Luton Road, Chatham(18758977)
Mick How snaps a mirror selfie in a shop in Luton Road, Chatham(18758977)

It all started when his father, Chris How, gave him a camera when he was growing up in Rochester Avenue, Rochester.

Mick said: "The first thing my dad did was give me a camera.

"We didn't have the best of relationships but in the final years of his life we started talking again and he said, 'make me proud son'."

He has made it his mission to document the life and times of the town where he lives now, and its people.

Mr How, who works nights in a factory, struggles with social situations but is at his most comfortable behind the lens.

Mick How street photography, taken in Luton Road and Chatham High Street
Mick How street photography, taken in Luton Road and Chatham High Street

He said: "I'm out on the street talking to people. I speak to homeless people for example and the people society has forgotten.

"I'm part of the local history groups on Facebook and often see pictures from the sixties and seventies. It made me wish I had started taking pictures earlier.

“I make the pictures black and white because that is classic street photography style.

“It makes them look timeless. It could have been taken 40 to 30 years ago, or 10 years in the future.

"I often take portraits, so after I’ve edited them, I send them on to the person in them and they are always impressed.

Mick How captures passengers on a bus through going through Luton. Pic: Mick How
Mick How captures passengers on a bus through going through Luton. Pic: Mick How

"I took a picture of the hairdresser and he gives me a free haircut.

"Luton Road is a lovely area, there are lovely people. It doesn't matter what age, race or country you’re from.

"There is a community down here and I love it."

Though photography is simply a hobby for Mr How, he is often recognised as the man with the camera.

He said: "I take so many pictures in Chatham that the local PCSO knows me.

Mick How street photography, taken in Luton Road and Chatham High Street. Pic: Mick How
Mick How street photography, taken in Luton Road and Chatham High Street. Pic: Mick How

"Around four years ago one man complained, saying I seemed dodgy.

"I heard the PCSO ask him to describe me and he said 'bald, middle aged' and the PC replied ‘yes, that's Mick, leave him alone’.

"I think I need to get some cards so people know who I am.”

Mr How has lived in Medway all his life, and is proud to call Luton Road home again after moving away.

He said: "When my wife and I got married we lived in a one-bedroom house in Walderslade.

One of Mick How's favourite street photographs, taken in Luton Road and Chatham High Street. Pic: Mick How
One of Mick How's favourite street photographs, taken in Luton Road and Chatham High Street. Pic: Mick How

"But when my first daughter was born we needed to upscale so we moved back to Luton Road.

"Medway gets a bad press. People often say Luton Road is a sh*thole but you've got to look, I see the beauty in it."

Read more: All the latest news from Medway


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