The Spice Girls, Bangkok 1996. L to R: Geri Halliwell, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown, and Victoria Adams (later Victoria Beckham)

Harry Borden photographed the Spice girls on four occasions and this is his favourite Spice Girls image. Harry explains: “The location for the shoot was a half-built tower block in the centre of Bangkok, chosen because their record company’s offices were on a lower floor of the building. After shooting a number of pictures on the roof, we came down to the office and they sat down, exhausted by the heat. I immediately saw that this scene would make a much better picture than the others I’d taken. So I quickly asked them to hold their positions and shot a few frames, using my Fujifilm 6×7 rangefinder, with Kodak Tri-X film.”

“There’s a wonderful line going through it, partly because of the way they are touching or linking arms, and the interplay between the two pairs of girls looks very natural. I also like the variation in light; Geri, on the left, is lit like a figure from a Renaissance painting, while Victoria on the other side of the frame is backlit. The fact that Geri is looking slightly distant is also appropriate; she was older and more worldly than the others and went on to leave the group in 1998. The picture only came about because I was alive to the situation and didn’t switch off – and shows that sometimes magic happens when you’re not trying too hard. A print is now in the permanent collection of The National Portrait Gallery.”

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