Yip Chan is one of the calmest people you will ever meet, which must be a great asset in his work as a wedding photographer. He's also that rarest of Archwegians - someone who was actually born here. "I have always had an N19 postcode (apart from a brief time in Muswell Hill). I love it here, simply because it's home. I was born in the Whittington and spent most of my childhood either in the "Banana flats" [named for their curved shape] in Kingsdown Road or living above my parents takeaway on Holloway Road."
"I could never get my head round studying, because I found sitting in a classroom difficult. Once I reached 18 my parents were very clear; they wanted me to be happy but if I wasn't going to stay on at school, I needed to get a job. I had the interview on my 18th birthday and got a job in Printshop on Holloway Road. My work there involved many aspects of photography including developing film (that was before digital made life a lot simpler). The great thing was that the job made me realise what I wanted to do in life: photography was fascinated me. I stayed on for four years and then got a job in James Selby's in house studio - that involved taking a lot of portraits of significant moments - engagements, graduations and christenings. That gave me confidence with people; clients automatically assume you know what you doing when you get them to pose!"
"Eventually I was invited to join a group of wedding videographers, working on the stills portfolios. That gave me the chance to go freelance as a photographer, and I took it."
We met Yip in the local ceramic workshop which he helps his partner to run. "I love ceramics – the fact that you can start with a lump of earth, potters clay, a really simple material and then you can mould it to absolutely anything."
"Working with clay is something that appeals to everybody; we've got people coming for workshops who are in their 60s and 70s, painting classes for after-school clubs and even babies can get involved by having their hand and footprints printed onto clay."
Right on cue, two children burst in, eager to start their afterschool class. We leave Yip patiently answering a thousand questions and helping them to start work.
Yip Chan's photography was on display at Absolute Print on Junction Road during the ArtwayArchway event on 24 - 26th June. Ceramic Circle also offered two workshops during the event on 24 and 25 June. Yip also provided the photography for the Archway Festival on 18 June.
For more details on Ceramic Circle including their Archway card offers go to http://www.archwaylondon.com/businesses/ceramic-circle