Candid street photograph of a fashionable girl in London, England

Mystery London girl Helps Me wins London Street fashion 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 taken up the West End of London during the Olympic torch relay. It ended up fitting a London street fashion competition I then saw on

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. The late evening sun gives nice long shadows and backlight. It also bounces off windows and shiny building façades, so you get fleeting reflector / flash-type illumination of people’s faces with the sun behind them. You get them late afternoon / early evening. The trick is just to 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 meant I had time to get the focus right. Added bonus she was also pretty and stylishly dressed.

A couple of days later I saw on Facebook an 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 it’s the first time I’ve won anything for my photography.

Looking at it 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 smartphones 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. The 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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