Candid street photograph of a fashionable girl in London, England

Mystery girl wins London fashion look photography competition

candid street portrait
“who’s that girl halfway to heaven?’

Can you help find this unknown girl who sums up the
London Look, According To Judges From The National
Portrait Gallery And The Horniman Museum?

This candid street portrait was took up the West End of London during the Olympic torch relay. It’s a good example of a street photography technique, find a pool of reflected light and then patiently wait for someone interesting to walk into it. Late evening sun gives nice long shadows and back light. It also bounces off windows and shiny building façades, so you get fleeting reflector / flash type illumination of peoples faces with the sun behind them. You get them late afternoon / early evening. The trick is just find a good spot to take pictures and hope for something to happen. Hopefully before the pool of the light disappears as the sun is moving and so is the reflected light. I got lucky in that she was distracted by her phone, so walking slowly, which meant I had time to get the focus right. Added bonus she was also pretty and stylishly dressed.

Couple of days later I saw on Facebook a online competition being run by the and the Horniman Museum. They were looking for images that summed up “The London Look”. This image fitted the brief so I entered it. A couple of weeks later, much to my surprise, it was a joint winner. Always nice to be appreciated and its the first time I’ve won anything for my photography.

Looking at now after some time has passed I think it’s one of the best street photographs I’ve taken. This is mainly down to the light, but it needed the fashionably attractive woman, lost in her own private world of email, Twitter or Facebook, oblivious to their surroundings to create that Zeitgeist image.  It’s a scene we all see every day in the city, but it only started happening in the last 4 – 5 years as smart phones took over our social communications.

I thought it would be a bit of fun to try and find out who this mysterious girl is so I can send her a print. No luck so far on that front. Photograph was taken on Duncannon St opposite the bar Halfway To Heaven, near Charing Cross Station about 6.30 on the 26th July 2012 on the Olympic Torch Day through central London. If you come across this post and you think you know her please get in touch?

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