Yesterday I took a trip into town to do a shoot from the photographers pit for London Fashion Weekend with the Canon Pro team at Somerset House. How I came to be there? Well, that was down to my husband Luke pushing me to put my name forward for Wex Photographic’s ‘Call for Canon Photographers‘. Getting notification that I made it through made my day, but was also a bit unnerving. This of course would be taking me right out of my photographic comfort zone. I rarely do portraiture let alone ‘fashion’ photography. My range is pretty much nature and some urban and conceptual work, so this was going to be a rapid learning curve.
Other than my Prime (50mm), I didn’t have a lens fit for this type of job. Our first plan was to hire one, but once we had factored in the cost, courier etc, it was a lot, and it was our opinion that hiring a lens was ‘dead money’. So, then my Motherinlaw stepped in, and told she would buy me the lens I had wanted for aaaages, and to do as I was told!! (bless you Iris). So, I ordered the Sigma 18 – 125mm, a long lens but also a good ‘walk about lens’ too. I figured, as a long as I was pretty close, this would do the job nicely, and because I am clumsy these days, I also ordered a Hoya Pro Digital UV filter (safety filter).
Then, ‘What are you going to wear’ everyone asked me, and ‘something comfortable’ was my reply. Having been a fashion/textile student I remembered the ‘photographers pit’ well from having attended London Fashion Week in the past, and knew that space and comfort wasn’t going to be an option.
Additionally, a friend of mine by the name of Jon Mo had also got through, so we had arranged to meet up close by and have lunch first. We made our way to the designated meet at Aldwych One at 3.00pm, and needless to say, we cut it fine! There were over 60 of us all together at this gig. We were given a talk on best practice, tips, and optimum camera settings by the Canon Crew. Once we had all been issued with passes, we made our way to Somerset House. We were all led straight into the show marquee to the photographers pit, and at this point you pretty much had to stake out your place quickly as you could.
We were shooting two shows (same collection) from the Catwalk Trend show. This was a collection featuring pieces from various designers based around a theme, Pretty in Pink, Back to Nature, Victoriana etc. For the first show, I got a spot right at the front, to the left, sitting on the floor. I will admit right now, that whilst I had a great view, it was hard on my bones!! For the second show we all swapped around a bit, I managed to get a spot just to the left of the middle, second row and I stood. Slightly further back, but a different angle.
It was hard work. Make no mistake. These models are moving at a fair pace to a beat, and the shows only last about 15/20 minutes max. One has to focus quickly, shooting on continuous, and for the good closeups, be ready for the best angle, because it’s fast gone. Oh, I should mention, props to Kevin from the Canon Pro Team who gave me excellent advice on getting the best out of my new Sigma lens with my EOS 550D. He showed me the best settings and was really helpful.
Once the two shows were over, we were ushered out faster than a cold wind. But I have to say, despite the stress and tension, I had a great time, met some really nice people and it was a blast. I will definitely go for it again if the opportunity comes up.
Oh yeah! The clothes…nearly forgot. So, what did I think of the collection? Well, despite that my interest and involvement in the fashion design industry is a thing of the distant past, I do still take an interest in couture. I liked many of the designs a lot. The outfits were elegant, stylish, understated and the majority were actually ‘wearable’ for couture. I particularly liked the contrast of textures that some of the pieces incorporated. One of my favourite outfits is the one below.
So, here are a small selection of the shots, the rest are on the Flickr Set. I took all together at the show 1,159 shots. What is in the Flickr set consists of my favourites, not necessarily the best shots, but the ones I like. I will be adding some more shots to the set and on here in a week or so, that feature close ups of the designs and patterns. Hope you like…