I really love wedding photography, but I do enjoy getting the chance to try out other genres. So I was rather excited when I received an invitation from Canon to photograph two catwalk shows at London Fashion Weekend 2015. This takes place at Somerset House in a large marquee set up in the courtyard. They have two different types of catwalk show, Trends and Designer. The Trends show summarises the fashions for 2015, these being grouped into hyper florals, shimmer and shine, monochrome and seventies style. The Designer show for my session featured the latest collection from Fyodor Golan.
For the Trends show I grabbed the prime spot in the photographers’ pit, right at the front and dead centre. I was then fixed to that spot for the show, just like the audience the photographers aren’t allowed to move around. There was a break between the two catwalk shows, so I took the opportunity to move for a different view point for Fyodor Golan’s collection.
I really enjoyed my evening in the pit, but am very happy to return to my day job of photographing weddings. There is an overlap of skills, but some big differences too. The technical camera skills required are pretty much the same, but there’s no need to even think about lighting. Some clever lighting technicians have done that all for you. That, combined with the restrictions on movement does limit the creative options massively compared with wedding photography. Also I love building the relationship with my couples and then having that connection to the subjects in my images. That certainly isn’t a part of catwalk photography. Getting the timing of the shot right is essential for both, but rather than waiting for that laugh, smile or moment of eye contact, here it’s synching with the steps of the model. Listen carefully and you hear the chatter of camera shutters closing with each step as the model’s foot hits the floor. My hat goes off to the guys and girls that photograph the catwalk shows for their living. It’s certainly full on trying to get that full length and half length shot of each outfit while fitting in some images of details like the shoes and bags. At the same time you’re trying to keep an eye out for the creative shot that is going to give you something different from those being taken by the mass of photographers around you. Then imagine having to fit in six shows in a day, busily selecting images, post processing and uploading to your agency in the gaps in between. Don’t think I’m claiming to have it easy though, shooting for a full day at a wedding is very intense too, just very, very different.
Many thanks to Canon for calling me up to give it a try!
London Fashion Weekend