Shooting backstage at London Fashion Week is like capturing stolen moments, in a short space of time you need to get the key shots that showcase the beauty look, as well as the mood of the collection at the peak before the designer finally gets to reveal their take on the forthcoming season, here are some tips and tricks to shooting backstage at London Fashion Week with some shots from LCF #MA13, Carlotta Actis Barone, and Eudon Choi AW13
1. Always assume backstage will have terrible lighting
The catwalk pictures are the money shots so of course it will be well-lit in order for photographers to get the best shot, the backstage area however is a whole different story. A lens that can shoot in low light is imperative, sometimes you are lucky if the room has windows ( before you even go in just set your white balance to tungsten to adjust for all the dressing tabe lightbulbs) and all is dandy but the reality of the backstage area is to expect the worst, and go from there.
B. Move B*tch, get out the way, get out the way b*tch, get out the way!
Backstage is an organised chaos of models, hair make up, hair, photographers, videographers, PR, the production team interns dressers, and the hangers-on, so when a PR says there is limited space, and they can’t accommodate you for backstage access it is not code for, “you are not important enough for backstage” it is code for, I really don’t want another bitch taking up space, making the room even more like an oven. It is a fine line between staying out of the way as others need to do their job to get the show on the road, and stealing the shots because you also have a job to do as well. Pick your moments, Have the camera up, have your eyes constantly roving, and don’t always try to aim for the perfect shot as you may miss something. What I mean is taking forever to line up a tableaux because one of the many bitches in the confined space will walk past (which is unavoidable) and your perfect picture is left behind a perfect blur, be quick, take more snaps than necessary.
5.Mix it up a little
I am still probably guilty of this myself , but don’t rely too much on the side on shots, think about the angles get low if need be, get the over the shoulders your readers want to feel if they were there, this is behind the scenes so get the all the hub not just the pretty poses, some of the best behind the scenes are when the model doesn’t realise anyone is watching. If you do want the full look don’t be scared to ask a model to look to the camera, she knows how it works, so you will be surprised of the ones who are all surly and tired turn on a gorgeous face just for you, no one will ever know that prior she was picking her nose..
6. Be careful what you instagram
Yes we all want to instagram that we are so important because we were able to grab that coveted space behind the scenes, but please don’t be that douche that instagrams all the clothes before the show starts. Fine, show the beauty maybe even a close close up detail as a little teaser to the fabric, but the catwalk is the reveal so don’t take that away from the Designer.
Check out more backstage action at London Collection: Mens