Written by Fleur Withagen and Romy Caverlé
Residents in Notting Hill want tourists to stop making Instagram pictures in front of their door steps. According to the residents, they make a lot of noise and don’t show any respect for the residents. For example, they open the gates in their front yard without asking and they don’t just make one picture: these influencers organise whole photoshoots, with sometimes even multiple outfits, in front of their doors and spend a lot of time to create the perfect shot. Therefore, the residents are done being annoyed by this Instagram trend and are now asking people to stop using their houses as a backdrop for their Instagram feed.
Bright colours and pastel shades are typical of the streets of Notting Hill in the centre of London. The early days of spring arrived, which means the whole neighbourhood in is surrounded by blossom trees in classic soft white and pink glows. Characteristic Victorian architecture is a feature for the district. The charismatic, beautifully coloured houses come with charming front yards after which you enter the stairs to the just as photographic and brightly coloured front doors.
A touristy group of girls are laughing together and seem to enjoy their precious time in the city. The girls start to figure out a pose with the coloured houses shining on the background. They all have dark thick hair which first need to be fixed to create the best instagrammable picture. They smile, the picture is taken and they all run to the photographer to approve the picture to go online.
One of the residents is Lily (34). She steps out of her front door, closes her gate and starts her daily afternoon walk with her little, hairy dog. She lives in a pink coloured house next to Portobello Road: “It’s less busy during the week but in the weekends it’s flooded with influencers and tourists who are showing no respect to the residents.” According to Lily, the amount of influencers and also the disturbance got worse since the growing popularity of Instagram: “In the weekend, there are a lot of residents who put notes on their gates with the message to stay away from their houses and to stop making pictures.” The thin walls ensure that the residents have to listen along with the photo shoots, whether they want it or not: “The noise and the unrespectful behaviour is very annoying. My neighbours and I are sometimes quite done with living in this street which almost seems to be taken over by the influencers. Nevertheless, I think we also have to accept it because we are the ones that chose to live in one of London’s most instagrammable streets. Although, I feel like the municipality must take responsibility to take measures to give us back our residential enjoyment.”
Notting Hill is full of architectural eye-catchers which are no longer unnoticed by tourists, who learned about Notting Hill for the first time due to the iconic movie from 1999 with the famous Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. The neighbourhood is beloved because of the picturesque houses that are very photogenic, which nowadays means ‘Instagram-worthy’. People all over the world are coming to Notting Hill to make a picture for Instagram. Most people can call themselves ‘influencers’, because they will post it on their Instagram account to promote for various brands.
Caspar (52), a German man, and his friend are making pictures in front of the coloured terraced houses. Just for private use, he says. Shamelessly, he strikes various poses and leans casually against one of the houses. When we tell him about the annoyances of the residents, he made his opinion clear: “If you live here in one of the coloured houses and you’re complaining about the tourists, you just have to move.”
The trendiness of Portobello Road explains the fact why millennials are so attracted to make pictures in this neighbourhood. Nevertheless, it seems like the growing popularity of the district has its advantages and disadvantages. But above all, the residents are getting sick of unrespectful influencers and want the municipality to take measures because they’re starting to lose their residential enjoyment.