This was my second trip to Jakarta and we were doing some live photoshoots as part of Jakarta Fashion Week. I love using fresh flowers in shoots so very early one morning my team headed off to the flower market. It’s not a place that tourists visit, so it was obvious to everyone that I was a foreigner – fortunately my assistants were very good negotiators plus one of them, Annya (in the grey t-shirt above) wants to be a florist and already knew many of the vendors. Nadia, my assistant in the white, is also a fashion designer but proved to have very good negotiating skills! No one in the market spoke any English, but everyone was very friendly and would have charged at least double if it wasn’t for my assistants!
My assistants had never used flowers in a shoot so they were quite excited about the pieces we were going to make. Many of the flowers, especially jasmine, are preordered and garlands are made specially for weddings. They’re kept in cold storage boxes with ice to keep them fresh. When we opened the jasmine flower boxes in the studio the scent was beautiful and overwhelming at times. I’m now desperate to buy some jasmine perfume just to feel the memory of the day.
There were also some amazing hand made garlands in green with red but they’re just used for funerals, on top of the coffin. It’s really important to understand and respect the culture you’re working in and what’s appropriate and how it can be interpreted.