Coffee shops and cafés have become increasingly significant in our culture. They are no longer just a "fuelling station", a grab-and-go for a quick cuppa and a snack, but locations for meetings, offices for distance employees, in addition to their traditional use as gathering spots for friends.

Cafés also offer sanctuary to those of us who are on our own, a place to be among others even if our own lives are solitary. Sitting alone at a table, yet surrounded by people in the same café can give one a sense of belonging to a community, especially if it's a café that one regularly frequents. Yet, at the same time, it can also magnify one's feeling of loneliness: observing animated conversations and the general swirl of activity can highlight the feeling of being alone in the world.

Café Society explores both the social and solitary aspects of frequenting a neighbourhood shop. For this series I photographed from outside the café, looking in on the patrons. As a solitary photographer, it magnified my own sense of being part of, yet apart from café life.

Using Format