Review On London Fashion Weekend

So today I was lucky enough to go to the London Fashion Weekend. As cliché as it sounds, it honestly was the best experience of my life. I have never been so nervous, yet excited over something before! The longer we had to wait for the audience to arrive and for the catwalk models to appear, the more anxious I was. 

Luckily, the team from Canon (who organised this trip for us) gave us a rough idea of what settings to put our cameras on. For me this was quite a relief! Although a part of me felt this would have been a good chance to get to know my settings and experience with my shots, this could have stopped me from getting as good photographs. They recommended us to use F5.6, ISO 800 (at least) and a shutter speed of 1/125th (at least). In the end I found for my camera (Nikon D750) it was best to have my settings on F5.6, ISO 1000 and a shutter speed of 1/400th.

The day was based up of three catwalk shows; two were trends and the other one was designer by Peter Pilotto. I thought to myself before the event, I wanted to try and stand in different areas of the photographers pit for each show, to try and gain a variety of shots. It turned out that both trends shows were exactly the same. At first I was a bit disappointed we weren't going to see most clothes and get different images. However, I soon realised this was a good thing because I knew what to expect this time and hopefully would succeed in getting the image I may have failed at first time round. Fortunately, I had moved positions in the photographers pit for the second show, so I was able to try and capture a better angle for these photographs. Looking back at my first shoot, it was nowhere near as good as the second, so I took this one as a learning curve for the rest of the shows.

When we arrived to Saatchi Gallery, the catwalk for this event was not what I was expecting. When I did research prior to this, I drew this image up in my head of the runway being on a stage and the audience being a lot further away from the catwalk. I had no idea what to expect of the photographers pit. However, I was pleasantly suprised when there was a stage for us to stand on because I was worried taller people would be in my way and restricting my shoots. Luckily this meant that some of us could sit on the stairs if we wanted to or on the floor (which is where I managed to get for two of the catwalk shows). 

A part of me wished that they had orgainsied the audience to be a bit further away from the catwalk, as some of their bags/items were in shot. This was particularly annoyingly when you’ve got the perfect photograph of the model’s walk and everything is in focus, to then see a bag strap on the walkway. At times, I did feel some shots I took with the audience in worked well (partially the landscape ones), but when taking some portrait ones, I thought it did make some of my images look armature(ish). 

During this experience I noticed that some of the models were more comfortable than others. For example, some models would do ‘the pause’ and ensure that they looked deep into the camera before turning, which enabled us as photographers to get ‘the shot’. Whilst other models didn't appear to be as relaxed and couldn’t wait to turn back round. In a way, this helped me understand that all models are different and you have to keep an eye out for their particular pattern. For instance, if you knew model was going to turn round quick at the end of the catwalk, then it would be best to start shooting further down the runway to try and get a good shot of their walk.

This event really made me appreciate how quick you have to be as a photographer to get the 'perfect' shot because you don’t have as much time as you anticipate. The catwalk models walk so fast, you have to make sure that their strut/position is 'on point' (I found concentrating to the beat of the music helped) as well as keeping on eye on them going to blink. I’m not going to lie to took me quite a while to get into the swing of things and some of my images have turned out blurry and not quite ‘perfect’; however, I do feel I managed to capture some good ones.

Overall, this opportunity gave me a taste of what it could be like to be a professional photographer and I loved embracing the challenge. Despite having to fight over your place in the photographers pit, the increasing nerves as you wait and having a numb bum sitting in the same place for a good hour, it will definitely be an experience I will never forget and am so thankful for. I feel this has given me the confident boost I needed and I truly hope an event like this arises again.


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