I've always wanted to do a shoot in London's China Town. The ethnic shops and Chinese signs amid the Western urban setting truly appealed to me as a background for some bright coloured and sexy but elegant party dresses. Of course being Asian also helps things blend in!
I was looking for a good photographer to make this happen though. Too many I know are great for rural outdoors photography but an urban setting especially in London is a different ballgame. Enter Phil Moran. He found me on Model Mayhem and I noticed a lot of his work is centered on "urban" fashion which I found very catching. We corresponded for a while, and he seemed a friendly and easy-going person and also really sweet by always complimenting my work. After waiting for the warmer weather to arrive and a good weekend we could both agree on, we decided to aim for Sunday 16 May 2010.
Up and early, we met up at Leicester Square tube station at 9am before the crowds kicked in for their dimsum lunch. First stop was Chinatown. Needing to change to my dress, we found a discreet alleyway with all the rubbish dumpsters. I got into this beautiful sexy black/white polka dotted halterneck dress with a pink middle designed and custom-made by my Dutch-Afghani friend, Farzana Warasta. Phil had the ingenious idea to snap a few images against the brickwall of the alleyway buildings which looked really effective. Then I teetered in my heels to the middle of Chinatown. There were quite a few people on the street already, mainly shopkeepers getting ready to open their shops, and a handful of pedestrians who came to stop and admire with curiousity while we practically monopolised a section of the main street. Not a problem for me. I'm able to switch off and do my business. Hey, it's not like I'm wearing something skimpy like a bikini , let alone being nude!!
We then decided to have a coffee break at a nearby Nero's to look through the images so far in the viewfinder. I loved them! Very pleased with the results... I love it when togs make me appear tall and leggy in pictures. He sure knows what he's doing! It was now off to the loo and change into another one of Farzana's hot number, a hot and cute strapless red mini-dress! This time, we walked over to Soho, known as London's seedy red-light district. How awesome is that, wearing a red dress in a red-light district! We found a small alleyway where there were signs saying "Sex Shops" and deliberately got me posing in front of that but with me looking completely oblivious to it.
Finally we found a place with a green shutter and thought it would be a nice texture for a background especially as it contrasts well with the red dress. After a few good snaps, we didn't realise that we were taking pictures in front of a school. It turned out to be Sunday School, and we got told off by the headmaster who said "it wasn't appropriate because there are children" despite me being fully clothed though my skirt may be a tad short...!! Nevertheless we managed to nail a few good images at the scene so we just left. As it was getting colder and starting to rain, we decided to call it a day.
I was very pleased with the outcome of the shoot, and the day turned out to be so much fun! Phil was just as I expected from his correspondences. Friendly, easy-going, polite and professional. We agreed to shoot again another time and I very much look forward to that. Thank you Phil!