Photographing Fashion Week Tutorial

During my stay in New York, I was invited to photograph the New York City Fashion Week for a couple of years in a row, which was a complex and exciting experience. Following this photographic adventure, I decided to share some tips and give you some suggestions on how to succeed and survive these kinds of events.

Fashion Week Tutorial:

The New York City Fashion Week is a huge fashion show presentation event which takes place twice a year in New York. It comprises of catwalks (runways), presentations, backstage insights and different kinds of shows and parties. To be assigned to cover such an event can mean different things and it’s important to agree on a shooting list and goals beforehand with your editor.

February 2013, New York Fashion Week. Trina Turk A/W 2013 collection. Photo by Giulia Bianchi.

February 2013, New York Fashion Week. Trina Turk A/W 2013 collection. Photo by Giulia Bianchi.

While some photographers  are expected to cover the clothes and other products presented, others are asked to create a story around the event or to show it from an unseen angle and new perspective.

Most of them are encouraged to pay special attention to celebrities attending the shows: actresses, singers, designers and other interesting characters.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ACCESS:

The fashion weeks are private events closed to the public and in order to attend them and take photographs you’ll need some of the following:

  • Press accreditation (Weekly): the editor must register the press team in order to give the photographer access to main lobby.

        !!! You still need tickets to get inside the shows, but you can queue to get stand-by seats for shows that are not fully booked.

12th February 2012, New York Fashion Week. Lobby, American Express Stand. Photo by Giulia Bianchi

12th February 2012, New York Fashion Week. Lobby, American Express Stand. Photo by Giulia Bianchi.

  • Pass (Weekly): You’ll hold a badge all the time that will get you inside every show. The price in the last edition was about £100.

        !!! For spin-off events hosted outside of the official venue, you must contact the PRs directly, as these are not part of your weekly pass.

        !!! You need special credentials to stay in the first row or to stay in front of the runway

  • Invitation by PR (for each show): The editor contacts the PR team of the fashion designers, and gets a ticket with your name and your role. The invitation is free.
    1. If it’s a catwalk: you do not have an official photographer place reserved for you in front of the runway. You’ll be standing among the public on the side of it. You must be sitting.
    2. If it’s a press presentation: you’ll not have early access like other official photographers. You’ll enter later with the crowd of journalists and bloggers. !!! It will be much more difficult to get clean tidy shots of clothes and models.