The concept is simple: Introduce some cool young feminine chic into my familiar views of Manchester. For me, the city is a visually fascinating place full of endless possibilities. Why stay within the confines of a fashion studio using expensive props and backgrounds when you can use the city as the backdrop?
Actually, there are many reasons to use a studio, but for this project, the studio is the city, the familiar urban environment we live in every day.
But there's a further aspect I wanted to introduce, and that's the idea of contrasts. Most of the time, chic fashion models will be photographed against a chic backdrop. I wanted to juxtapose opposites, for example place a chic young fashion model next to a middle aged train spotter. That's something I've seen in classic mid-20th century fashion images.
There are many more juxtapositions and oppositiions I want to explore and I will be trying to bring disparate worlds together.
The idea came to me during a visit to Jutland Street, the steep cobbled street near Piccadilly Station, which I've photographed a few times. I had taken a group of female students there for a video interview, part of their coursework. I photographed two of them walking down Jutland St and was struck by what an excellent backdrop it would be for fashion photography.
The idea took hold and I began to visualise other locations around the city. I looked on the site Model Mayhem and within a couple of days I'd found a model who was interested in developing her portfolio. Friend Bazzor from North Manchester volunteered as assistant photographer, and he recommended Roxana as make-up artist.
A week after coming up with the idea, I was out in the city taking the photographs.
I intend to follow up with a variety of models and locations, adding a new element to the site and hopefully attracting a more diverse audience.
I have been interested in the history of fashion photography since 1991 when I saw the exhibition 'Fashion Photography since the Second World War'. I was so impressed with the photographs I saw that it switched me back onto photography. It was the spark that led to my career as a photographer writer, though ironically I have not done much fashion photography - until now!