One man, one taxi and 101 Edinburgh journeys. For 16 days out of 2015, Ryan Walls drove person to place, capturing distinctively natural moments of the lives of 101 passengers.
Edinburgh: a city steeped in history, diversity and culture, none more so than during the month of August when the city plays host to the biggest arts festival in the world, the Fringe. I love my city. I’m a proud “Edinburgher”, born and bred. I’ve been working the taxis for six years to date, and this book has come about as a result of my curiosity in people and having a lot of ‘thinking’ time in the early days of the job. Other people’s journeys are my life, my bread and butter. Journeys come in all shapes and sizes; they’re all the same but different, if that’s not too much of a contradiction. And for each journey, I’m party to a snapshot of that person’s life.
An opportunity came my way last summer to assist the husband of a friend of mine doing wedding photography. There’s nothing like learning on the job and I was thrown in at the deep end. What I learned from him over those four months was invaluable. That same summer my wife and I went to a weekend music festival with a huge group of friends. Naturally in such a big group you know some people better than others and yet here we were, thrown together for that weekend with the common bond of the festival, and yet just a snapshot of time in each other’s lives. And it inspired me.
I’d been five years doing the taxis and by this time I was lucky enough to own my own taxi. I was choosing to do day shifts and off the back of being at the music festival, I took my camera out with me with the vague hope a few of my customers wouldn’t mind me taking their picture and finding out a little about them. It was August and Festival time in Edinburgh and at that time, the city carries with it a very carefree attitude for the most part. People are in holiday/party mode, you know that way when you’re a bit more receptive to new things, open to trying different things. Of the 103 customers I asked, only two people declined to take part! It was an overwhelmingly positive response so I knew I was on to something.
You can tell by everyone’s faces in the following pages that they’re having a great time. Edinburgh does that to people at Festival time. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, where you’ve been, what you do, everyone’s here to celebrate creativity to experience the giant street party that is Edinburgh in August, come and I defy you not to feel inspired!
Every passenger I pick up is going somewhere; we’re all on a journey through life. I’m no different to you, we’re all on a journey to somewhere, we all have stories, but not everyone has the outlet to share them. I created my own outlet, with the help of my friends and family, and, of course, you the passenger. That was my journey, the following are snapshots of some of my customers’ journeys – now, what’s yours?