‘The Prague Astronomical Clock (Prague Orloj) was one of the major attractions I was looking forward to seeing on our trip to the Czech Republic. Not just to see, to photograph too – so I styled and packed an ensemble that Kent and I could shoot as a fashion story, right there with that famous 15th century clock – one of the world’s oldest.’
‘Finally, the long anticipated day to see the amazing medieval clock arrived…
We were exploring Prague, the Old Town Square, we strolled onward towards that must-see horological marvel.., and suddenly, “Oh Noooooo!!!” What I was seeing was a construction site – fences barriers and scaffolding all around the Old Town Hall Tower and horror of horrors, in front of the historical astronomical clock too! I was deeply and bitterly disappointed by what I saw, and felt very sad about the shoot I had been planning in my head for so long. Which looking at what was in front of me – I certainly thought “it’s not going to happen”!’
‘”I had travelled all this way here to photograph that beautiful clock and all I could see was an ivory and yellow fence! How could this be!!!” Then, about a week later, after recovering from the shock of the way-too-new… I told Kent about my deep disappointment.
“What’s wrong with the fence?” He said as he seemed to think otherwise about the immensity and intransigence of the problem.’
‘Like many photographers who have a background in fine art, I’m quite interested in the everyday and the sometimes ugly aspects of city life; things like construction sites certainly fit the bill. At last this practice of making the ugly look good would help save the day. I pointed out to Vivienne that the white and yellow panelled fence was both clean and tall enough to crate a neutral if rather modern “studio backdrop” for a fashion and the clock shot; after all the clock was still clearly visible and the temporary structure was actually quite unique in its own way.’
‘I had imagined a full-body-length photograph with a clean background, which means no tourist at all behind or around me. To achieve that, we arrived in front of the Prague Astronomical Clock by 7AM to beat the overwhelming crowds that gathered during the day.’
‘After taking and showing me photographs the way I had asked for them to be taken; Kent then started doing some shots – the way he preferred it.
When I viewed these photos later on that day on our travel laptop; surprisingly, those three-quarter-length portraits with tourists behind me, turned out to be my very favourite photos of that shoot.
Kent had captured the energy, the movement – both me and the environment! I was very happy with these fashion portraits!’
‘There are plenty of early birds in Prague hoping to catch a clear shot of a historic sight! And to be honest although I enjoy shots of places that are not overrun with tourists; I also find them a bit of a cliché; you are NOT alone. Certainly not in 2018! So for me the challenge is to create a harmonious and interesting composition using all of the elements. In popular tourist spots that includes the people, yes other tourists are certainly one of the elements I try my darnedest to get into the picture in a way that works and yet does not detract from what we want to show.’
‘What I have learnt from this particular collaboration with Kent is that, we most likely carry our own “idea” into a shoot and that idea, sometimes becomes so big that it restricts our creativity and imagination. If I hadn’t listened to Kent and given the “fenced in clock” a go then I wouldn’t have this set of pictures, what I now think are pretty fabulous and truly unique fashion portraits to share.’
‘It certainly is about being creative and not having an idea so fixed that it actually stops you from being creative when the chips are down! That said we really were lucky, at the time of us going to press with this article I Googled the Prague astronomical clock and see the “clean and neutral” yellow and white fence has since been replaced with all white panels that are also now covered with picture and text information about the restoration work, and I think that may just be too distracting to allow for a good fashion shot.’
‘Of course, what it all comes down to is having an experienced photographer who knows what it takes to deliver beyond a client’s need. As I said to Kent on that day, “When you get behind a project you really do take it to a whole new level, one only a true photographer can see!”. So thank you Kent for talking me out of my misery, showing me a much bigger picture and really saving the day.’
‘Old clock new tricks? You better believe it!’
Outfit Of The Day
Amber Sceats earrings
Alain Manoukian collar neck wrap
custom made belt
Bodyfit opaque tights
Urban Soul ankle boots