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Manchester fashion photography: combining feminine chic with city views

Manchester cityscapes and other views of Manchester are heavily featured on this site. A less prominent though important theme is fashion photography. In early 2008 I decided to bring the two together in my first Manchester fashion shoot.

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.

in front of B of the Bang sculpture

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.

Helping me out on the first shoot were:

Model Briony Rose, from Blackpool, student of fashion technology at Manchester University. See also Model Mayhem

Make-up artist Roxana, of Irish and Iranian parentage, currently a student at City College, Moston north Manchester. To find out more please contact Bazzor via ModelMayhem.

Assistant photographer Bazzor, alias Barry of Irish and English parents, ex-student on the A Level Photography course Moston north Manchester.

I can recommend all three as excellent and highly professional people to work with.

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!

You are looking at a page on the legacy site of Aidan O'Rourke Photographer, Videomaker, Coach in Languages and Photography. This is an archived page and is no longer updated. Some information may now be out of date / inaccurate. Please go to the home page www.aidan.co.uk for up to date information. Thank you, Aidan O'Rourke

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