During the 1930s Hoppé increasingly went out in the streets looking for people to photograph. The results were often published in photo-stories featured in picture-led magazines, such as Weekly Illustrated. Fascinated by Britain’s growing cultural diversity, he travelled throughout London and beyond, photographing people of different ethnic origins and in a variety of occupations.
In the East End of London he befriended a Chinese shopkeeper named Wu Kang, who helped him gain access to local bars and restaurants. Nevertheless, he sometimes found it necessary to use a hidden camera – typically a Kodak Brownie wrapped in brown paper with a small hole cut for the lens. This enabled him to photograph British daily life with remarkable spontaneity, whether on public transit or inside the local pub.
“Like a well-cut gem London has a thousand facets and in all of them is a picture”
The Image of London