Layla (Stranger #10/100), London Brick Lane

This is Layla, who kindly agreed to become Stranger #10 in my ongoing 100 Strangers Project. This is another where thanks are due to Xtarsy for his help holding and aiming a 110cm gold reflector.

We’d been chatting to some girls taking street portraits themselves for a photo journalism course, just off Brick Lane. As I was spending a day asking others for their portraits, it seemed a suitable “karma recharge” to let others take mine. As we finished, I saw Layla’s awesome red hair and cool leather jacket and rushed up to Brick Lane to say “hi”. She was rocking a seriously high impact look, yet was the friendliest person ever.

We walked twenty paces off the side road to some street art (it’s a fox design I’ve seen on Whitecross Street too, over in Islington*) for a punchy background and shot a few frames with the gold reflector. Thinking about it, maybe it’d have been better to try using it as a diffuser – there was really too much light, as shown by some of the blown highlights behind Layla’s amazing hair. That bar of white is a little distracting too.

Anyway – learning points aside, I’m still really pleased with the outcome. Proper Shoreditch style and a chat with a fantastic person.

Thanks Layla – hope you like your picture and are having a superb weekend!

*A little while on, a little better educated, I understand this is work by a street artist called Malarky.

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