So, New York Fashion Week is upon the city. The streets are filled with models! Paradise! Or, a MESS! A whole lot of fashion events/parties and miscellaneous soirees will keep the city buzzin' for the week. While I'm not huge fan of all things fashion, I guess I can appreciate the energy that comes along with it all. As a photographer, I suppose there's are tons of opportunities to shoot a lot of random, interesting and beautiful people. I have been invited to a few shows/events. I haven't decided if I'll strictly be a spectator or if I'll do the press thing and lug my camera with me. I have a shoot on Saturday and will more than likely be preoccupied with that for next few days.
I had the opportunity to shoot a few shows about 2 years ago. Was my first time and I can say, quite the learning experience. First thing I learned is that IT"S A MADD HOUSE! Runway shows are loaded with photographers all jockeying for position and it gets BRUTAL! Not to mention the random other people waving their smartphones and tablets to take shots as well. So, I figured I'd share some of my quick tips for anyone else planning to enter the madness with their cameras. 1.) Whatever show(s) you're invited to or plan to sneak into, get there EARLY and stake out your spot. Preferably, at the end of the runway to capture the models as they come down and toward you. 2.) Bring a monopod so as to steady your camera and rest a bit when not shooting. 3.) DO NOT use FLASH! Most of the photographers at the bigger, more prestigious shows know this. It's the smaller shows or less organized shows that may present a problem. Guys wanting to whip out their gear and attach speedlights with dozens of different diffusers and such. Problem is, all of those flashes going off around one another RUINS shots. So, skip the flash. This means you'll need to shoot at pretty high ISO like 1200 +. If you're shooting with the higher end dslrs (Nikon d800, Canon 5dMKIII etc. ) this really is not an issue. Clean images can still be had at ridiculously high ranges. 4.) Lenses- I'd go with a 70-200 allowing you to zoom far down the runway and a 24-70 for some wider, close up shots. Having two cameras would obviously be great. As for settings, beside the high ISO, a fast shutter speed to capture the models in motion would be best. As for f stops, aperture settings wide as 2.8 up to 5.6 should be be fine . Or, go with shutter priority and let the camera set the aperture. 5.) Batteries and memory cards! I guess this is relative to how much time you plan on spending at a show and how much you want to shoot. But either way, one can never have too many spare batteries and memory cards. Finally, and probably most important, I'd say have fun and just be mindful and respectful of your fellow photographers and videographers. Watch where you're standing, be mindful of the people around you and try not to get in the way of their shots. If you have any other advice for myself or others who may be planning to enter the wild, feel free to leave comments below. All the BEST to you all! -- CW