► Fashion photography: Tips from London Fashion Week


• Some top tips for photographing fashion shows from the photographer’s pit:

- Make sure you get the settings right before you start snapping. It’ll be dark in the pit, and you’ll have little or no time to think about changing your settings. The last thing you’ll need is to be fiddling with buttons and miss a load of vital shots.

- Be prepared for overcrowding, but don’t be afraid to hold your own. Make sure you get to the photographer’s area early so you’ll be able to mark out your spot and ideally choose the optimum location.

- Aim for the centre of the pit as you’ll be able to get better eye contact with the models.

- Don’t be intimidated. Finding yourself in the packed press pit can be daunting, but you’ll forget all that once the show starts, the time will fly by and you’ll find it exciting.

- Make the most of your time in the pit – don’t assume you’ll have all the time in the world. 20 minutes might seem like a long time, but it really isn’t. Make every shot count.

- Look for celebrities and important fashion bods on the front row – many news outlets will want to see shots of celebs enjoying themselves (or better yet, looking grumpy).

- Try to get a different shot – it might sound obvious, but trying to get a different shot to the other photographers sat just inches away from you is the real challenge for fashion photographers. Look out for details, mishaps on the catwalk and unusual behaviour (such as models smiling!).

- Get the models to look at you – eye contact shots are real winners, so if you can’t get to the centre of the pit, try shouting to grab their attention. You might feel self conscious at first, but everyone will be doing it, and sometimes, it works.

- Think in black and white – if bright colours are lacking, don’t be afraid to convert your images to black and white. Big, blocky prints work better for black and white than fine intricate details, but converting can save an otherwise dull shot.

- If you’ve got time (or an extra body) don’t be afraid to use a wide angle lens to set the scene and get some great context shots.

• What settings should I use for shooting a fashion show?

- Take a white balance reading inside the venue to ensure there are no unusual colour casts.

- Use a wide enough aperture (around f/4) to keep the model sharp and throw the rest the scene out of focus (but make sure the clothes are still sharp!)

- Use a fast shutter speed and continuous high drive mode

- Shoot in RAW for the best results that will allow you tweak settings later on

- If it’s dark you may need to up the ISO, but keep it as low as possible to avoid grainy shots.

- Aim for a variety of different types of shot, single shots, models passing each other, all the models at the end of the show, models posing at the end of the catwalk and models walking.



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