Monday, 11 February 2008

Model behaviour at Fashion Week

I had another opportunity today to photograph backstage at Ashley Isham's show at London Fashion Week, (yes, its a twice yearly affair) and the venue was the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden again. Last evening, the BAFTAs were held at the Opera House main theatre but his show was to take place in one of the smaller rehearsal halls below deck.

For this event, I used my Canon 1D Mk2 with a 24-105 lens with Image Stabiliser. I tend not to use flash where possible, preferring available light. This reminds me of a quote one famous photographer said. He shoots in available light, yeah, whatever light that is available to him. The backstage was bathed with strong natural light from huge windows so that was great, and it had great ceiling height so the whole area was perfect for grabbing casual shots of the models being prepared from head to toe without flashlight.

In cramp situations like this, where there are literally 3 - 4 people 'working' on each model (there are about 18 models, plus dressers, assistants, PR consultants and ushers) you tend to get in people's way and it could upset stylists or make-up artists who are delicately 'priming' their sitters, so it pays to be discreet, smile and nod a lot (not unlike in a wedding shoot) to gain their respect and assistance so that you can float around, in and out of their hair. They have a job to do and so do you, so a little understanding is important.

You also have to be nimble at your feet, darting in and out of tight spaces to get THE shot, looking at new angles and most of all, avoid copying 'other' fellow photographers on site!

One of my favourite images from today is the one below of the empty dressing table. The models were called to do a rehearsal about 30 minutes before the show started, so the backstage area was devoid of people and I noticed these dressing tables looking rather sad but with evidence of recent activity. I think I might enlarge this photograph.


Zawi said...

A photographer is indeed a glamourous job provided you are an established one which will let you in into the makeup room. I guess only a selected few will get the privilege to do so and you are the privileged few.
Are they any beautiful without the make up?

svllee said...

Hello Zawi, yes, you are right, only a few photographes are allowed backstage, these are mainly doing editorial pages for magazines etc. Models are just normal people, they are usually around 18 - 25 and just look very normal without the make-up and hair prep. However, they have a very 'natural' beauty about them, that's why they are chosen in the first place. Don't worry, they also have zits and eyebags! Believe me, oh. and they love their mobile phones..too.

Kak Teh said...

steven, I couldnt make it and had to give it a miss. Also am tired of taking pix with my miserable small camera. I always end up with models half turned or just nothing at all.

svllee said...

Hi Kak Teh, welcome back ! Yes, that's the problem with small digital cameras. they have a lag of about 1/2 second from pressing the shutter to actually capturing the image, and in fashion, its a long time. However, you can use so anticipation, pressing the shutter before you see the seen, its may be hit n miss, but probably more hit than miss!

Alvin Lim said...

whoa, canon eos 1d. my dad has a 10d...he trying to get 5d..but quite expensive for someone who isnt working anymore. :(

mm covent garden got opera house? haha. din know that.

everyone loves their mobiles phones ;)