Working with Jide Alajika

I was introduced to Jide about two months ago through a mutual friend of ours, as I was looking for a Nigerian wedding photographer. We started chatting over skype and instantly connected. Jide is a very easy person to talk to. I felt I had known him for ages even though we had never met. Initially, I had just wanted to pick his brains on how to best tap into the wedding market but then he suggested we create a campaign around my bridal prints. At that time, all I had were exactly that, just prints, no actual bridesmaids garments and when I told him that, he literally told me, that was my problem to sort out. Part of me, was like hmmm but the other was, I like this guy, he challenges me to get my act together. He told me he would be in London end of April for a few days and we could shoot then. This gave me 1 month to design a print and 2 bridesmaids garments. Not much time but when under pressure, I work best. I got my thinking hat on and started working with what we had. It was a busy month alongside our other projects but everything was ready in time, only then to have to cancel the date due to unforseen circumstances. Luckily, Jide was understanding and still able to fit me in on another day – literally the day he was going to be arriving back from Nigeria. I was very nervous about this but decided to go with it.

17th April, a gorgeous day for a picture perfect bridesmaids campaign shot. Now my only concern was, would everyone show up?
Models – Mulan and Elsabel, Mua – Karen & Hair – Regina were all onboard.

I was thrilled to get a whatsapp message from Jide to say he had arrived safely, was heading home and then heading straight to ours. Phew!! Now, my only other question was, would we get on? We had never met. Then the door bell rang and it was Jide. He was so professional – very different to his cheeky self on skype! Ooops Jide, had to add that 🙂

For the direction of the shoot, I wanted a documentary (and who better to work with than Jide) rather than just images of bridesmaids posing. I wanted to create a story of what bridesmaids get up to before the lead up to the wedding. It’s always about the brides, so we wanted to flip it around and tell the story of Eki bridesmaids having fun.

Once I had briefed the models on what to act out, they were such naturals. Jide just got into his element and took charge, so there was very little work for me to do!! Love shoots like this.

Regina created this edgy hairstyle with Karen’s to die for make up! Model – Mulan 
Love it how Jide got down to work 
These girls literally had men turning heads on the high street of London. It was hilarious to see their partners give them a nudge. I even saw one man trip. 
Behind the scene images
This was our other gorgeous model – Elsabel
Thanks to Karen Salandy (MUA) 
Thanks to Regina Meessen (Hair)
And last but not least, thanks to the very talented Jide 😛 !!
Final images will be posted soon
Eki Orleans
Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, the award winning designer, is the creative force behind the high-end London-based fashion-label Eki Orleans. Born in Germany, raised in Nigeria and educated in London, her design aesthetic has been strongly influenced by this diverse mix of cultures. She draws inspiration from all of her cultural experiences, most notably, however, from her West African heritage.
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