My journey as a social documentary photographer started in April 2015. Whilst working part-time in the third sector, I came across a pay-as-you-feel café, something that I had never heard of before. In essence, the café intercepted waste or surplus food that was headed for a landfill, cooked it and fed clients on a pay-as-you-feel basis. I was blown away by the concept.

Wanting to delve further into the mechanics of it, I started to volunteer at the 'Saltaire Canteen' which fell under ‘The Real Junk Food Project’ umbrella – a UK wide network of pay-as-you-feel cafes that had started in Armley in late 2013. I eventually realized that nobody was documenting this ground breaking movement, that was potentially revolutionizing the way people perceived food waste and all that that implied. I approached the founder, Adam Smith, who gave me his blessing to document the cafes, and thus began a ten month exploration of over forty five cafes in the UK network.

This journey culminated in a successful exhibition in 2015/16. I ventured on a more expansive second tour of the UK in 2016, and shared these revised images as a highlighted feature of the Saltaire Arts Trail 2016.

These are some of the images that I captured from my time with The Real Junk Food Project.

Enjoy, Shy


Please note, all the images are copyright protected by Shy Burhan and no usage rights are implied or allowed without express permission of the above