SHOOT STREET STYLE AT NYFW
This past September marked my third season shooting street style at New York Fashion Week. You can read all about my first experience here. I received a lot of questions on shooting street style during Fashion Week, and I decided to compile a little guide here, based on my experience.
What is New York Fashion Week Exactly?
Fashion Week happens in four major cities, internationally two times a year. Official fashion weeks are held in New York, London, Milan and Paris in Spring and Fall. Emerging and Established Designers showcase their new collections during these weeks. These designs set the tone for what will be on-trend for the upcoming season, and are usually an opportunity for fashion buyers to request what items they want to purchase for sale in popular retail outlets.
Fashion week always brings out the who's-who in fashion. From celebrities, top fashion editors and fashion bloggers. Typically, they are rocking unreleased designs from top designers, in an effort to bring press/showcase the direction of new trends. A lot of the attendees are dressed incredibly for the shows, and major publications all over the world, hire photo contributors to capture their looks, otherwise known as street style, for content for their online or print publications. See sites such as WhoWhatWear, StyleCaster, Refinery29, and NY Time's The Cut.
Are you a photo contributor, if not, what's the point of going to Fashion Week?/ Why would I want to go?
I can't speak to why you should go, but I can talk a bit about why I go. I love high-end fashion and style, and one day I do aspire to be a photo-contributor to a major online publication for Fashion Month. At the time, I felt my portfolio was void of any work that would appeal to high-end fashion photo editors, (who typically are in charge of hiring contributors), so I decided to do research on fashion week so that I could use the experience to add to my portfolio. If you're into high-end fashion, but feel like you aren't able to capture the type of looks you'd like to with your current clientele or don't have the budget to create conceptual shoots with higher-ed fashion, fashion week is a great way to get some high-quality content for your portfolio.
What equipment should I bring?
I always carry my Canon 6D, and a 24-70mm lens. If you follow me on instagram, you know I lost my camera when I arrived this past season (she has since been found). I rented a Canon 5D Mark III, and it was amazing. But regardless of if you're Team Nikon or Canon, I totally suggest a good quality camera. A think a good zoom lens or a fixed lens that will give you a wider shot works best. I saw a lot of people shooting with an 85mm lens and 70-200mm lenses. I suggest zoom lenses only because it means you can more versatility in distance. Your subject could be a few feet away, and with a fixed lens, you may not get a good shot, unless they were a bit closer to you. But it's honestly your preference. Jut get out there and start shooting!
How do you know when to go and where to go?
The internet is my best friend. My first year, I found a youtube video that described what's it was like to shoot street style during fashion week. For a long time, I thought you could only shoot, if you were invited/hired to do so. WRONG. Honestly, anyone with a camera can do it! However, you can't shoot an actual fashion show without the proper credentials or invitation.
The dates for each Fashion Week are always listed online, months in advance. The two sites I use the most are NYFW.com and FashionWeekOnline.com to see the dates, and also to view the list of designers who will be showcasing their new collections. The locations of these shows are also typically listed unless it's an exclusive event, and they don't want too much press. I love following fashion, so I follow tons of designers and bloggers and am pretty in the loop on top designers, etc. So I sort of instinctively know what shows will yield the best looks/sightings.
How do you get into a fashion show?
To be honest, it can be a little difficult to get into a show if you don't know anyone. If you're an influencer, and have relationships with designers or PR agencies, you may receive emails with invites. I typically work with bloggers, stylists and make-up artists, and if they get tickets and cant attend, they will forward them along to me, if they know I'll be in-town. These are usually shows for emerging designers, as well-known/established designers have a very exclusive lists of guests.
How do you capture top celebrities and bloggers?
My first season, I was honestly just obsessed with capturing my favorite celebs and bloggers. So I stalked all the shows I thought they would attend. I then added the shows to my iCal, so I could plan my day. If a Cushnie Et Ochs show started at 3pm, I would arrive around 2:30 to capture people walking in, and stay until about 20 minutes after to capture them leaving the show. This is pretty much what you see on major sites. The style seen as people are entering and leaving shows.
How do you get these celebrities/bloggers to repost your work?
I've honestly been so fortunate to have reposts of my photographs from some of my favorite bloggers and fashion editors. My only tip here, is time and good captures. Everyday there is a new show, so if you wait until the next day to post a photo you took, honestly, no one really cares anymore. As soon as my shoot day was over, I would go home, edit, upload and tag my favorite images. Luckily, they were seen and liked, and I would get contacted to send them the high-res file in exchange for a photo credit. This was great for me, as I still have a very small following, so exposing myself to someone's 4 million follower-audience, always gives me a nice follower boost!
I hope these little tips help anyone who's ever had an interest in shoot street style at New York Fashion Week! Next year, I'm plotting to expand and get to London and Paris Fashion Week's, plus finally becoming a photo contribute for next season's NYFW! Wish me luck!