Freedom of Movement 13 - Bratislava.
Andrea likes to travel a lot. Not having to worry about visas or changing money is something that simplifies this greatly - just buy a ticket and go.
I meet Andrea through a fellow Slovak, Linda (whose family I photographed in Luxembourg). I have asked Andrea to suggest a place to meet - and potentially make the portrait - in a place that has some meaning to her or is emblematic of the country or city. We meet in Bratislava at Hodžovo námestie, outside the presidential palace, as that’s where she and her friends used to hang out when they were at school.
What’s immediately apparent is that it’s not the best place ever for a photoshoot, so we try the gardens behind the palace. They’re better, and there are some interesting sculptures (Maria Terezia, the last of the Habsburgs, on a horse, looking a lot like Queen Victoria. Surely a coincidence?) but again, there is a problem: it’s way too windy. In fact it would be dangerous to put up a light stand and a light. So, we decide to move on, perhaps to find a calmer spot (there were none) or something more striking.
And striking it was: The Blue Church. It’s a church, and it’s so blue it doesn’t look real.
It’s not a hugely important building for Andrea, but it is a good landmark, it’s incredibly photogenic, and it’s opposite what was once the maternity hospital in which she was born.
In fact, apart from the wind, which was doing its best to tear the scaffolding off the former hospital opposite, it’s perfect.
I went for the option of hand-holding the light while sitting on the ground. We both felt that doing the shoot quickly would be safer and more comfortable, and would allow us to get indoors for a coffee and something to eat.