5 Tips for Shooting New York Fashion Week

Ah Fashion week, the notorious fashion industry event where designers and brands show off their latest collection on the runway to buyers and the media.

Twice a year I find myself marveling over the gorgeous collections that designers create behind the computer screen, but this year I managed to be a part of the action.

Southwest Airlines came through AGAIN for your girl and I snatched a round-trip for $260 to the concrete jungle that is New York City.

Lucky for me, one of my besties from high school lives in the city so I was able to crash at her place for the four days I spent there.

I made sure to do a bit of research before stepping into the world of street style photography and it definitely helped me make the most of my time there.

The final photos may be glamorous but the process to get them isn’t always as glamorous. As a newcomer, shooting only on Saturday and Monday of Fashion Week ended up working out great for me.

While both days involved a lot of time waiting in the freezing cold in between shows, it was so worth it once the action started.

I managed to get a front row spot for when the Proenza Schouler show let out and it was absolutely nuts.

Seasoned photographers were running across the street, jumping in front of cars, and stopping models and notable attendees in their tracks for photos.

Although my fingers were numb, that didn’t stop me from finding my place in a crowd of hungry photographers to get my own shots, which are pretty amazing if I do say so myself. (See all my NYFW pics here)

Throughout this whole experience I learned a lot about shooting street style and live events that I’m more than happy to share with anyone who wants to try doing the same thing.

Here are my 5 tips!

1. Use your favorite lens

This may go as a no brainer, but it’s a lot easier to frame shots really fast if you’re comfortable with the lens you’re working with.

I stuck with my trusty Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 and as always it didn’t fail me. Since it’s a fixed lens I knew the exact space I was working with and was able to get crisp photos even when the subject was continuously moving.

2. Follow the action

A lot of the other photographers were shooting for publications so this wasn’t their first rodeo. They knew who was who and weren’t afraid to ask for photos even if the attendees and models seemed reluctant.

Whenever I saw a group of photographers flock to one person I made sure to follow suite, get my few shots, and then look for the next crowd or sprinting photographer.

3. Don’t waste time looking through photos.

Precious moments can happen in the blink of an eye so you always have to be ready to get the shot. I found that it was much easier to stay on the ball when I wasn’t stopping to see how my images turned out.

Take a few test shots before hand to check the lighting, adjust, and then just click, click, click away.

If you shot in RAW (which you should be) then you’ll be able to fix the exposure on any of your images in Lightroom during post.

Check out this shot I got of Alexa Chung by being ready at juuuust the right time.

4. Search for names through social media tags

I noticed that quite a few photographers would take the extra time to converse with the models and attendees to find out their names and social media handles.

Instead quickly say your thanks and search for your next subject, so you can get as many pictures of different people as possible.

It was pretty simple to find almost all of the people I photographed by looking the New York Fashion Week hashtag, as well as the venue location tags on Instagram.

5. Take a photo of anyone that crosses your path

As I’ve stated above, I’m a newcomer so I couldn’t put names to faces except for a few bloggers I previously followed on social media.

Don’t let that stop you and take a shot of everyone, you never know who it might end up being. Plus, it adds diversity to your portfolio.

This ended up being Sarah Harris, the Fashion Features Director at British Vogue.

Be sure to check out all my photos from New York Fashion Week and let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!

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