10 PROFESSIONAL COUNCILS FOR SHOOTING MODES SHOW
Shooting models on the catwalk is a skill that some take for granted, but few photographers do the job as well as they can. But your job at a fashion show is to somehow make perfect photographs, while being in a crowd with other photographers, having thrashed like sardines in a bank, in a dark corner of a very hostile environment, where most things are beyond your control.
Before we begin, remember that the purpose of the podium photography is to provide a constant set of high-quality images for designers or publications in the media covering an event in the fashion world. Quality!
We now turn to specific ten tips (arbitrary order of importance).
1. Bring your telephoto lens
To capture the catwalk, you need a sufficiently high shutter speed to lock the moving models at the right moment in their step (tip number 6), and also to minimize any blurring from holding the camera with almost one hand among all the photographers. A light lens will allow you to open the aperture to f / 4 or f / 2.8. It should be open enough to hold the full-length model and most of the catwalk in focus.
2. Remove in manual mode
Even at the best exhibitions in the world, the lighting is not completely evenly from one end of the podium to the other. And sometimes it is done intentionally. In any case, you depend on the lighting designer (or sometimes on its lack). This is a problem with automatic camera shooting modes, and if you rely on them, you may find that the settings vary significantly from snapshot to snapshot, which leads to a lot of extra work in post-processing to achieve uniformity. One of the main reasons why it is recommended to shoot in manual mode is the need for the integrity of all images.
In order to configure the camera for a fashion show, you can start by setting the shutter speed based on a rule of thumb for the focal length during manual shooting. Using a 70-200 mm lens, set the speed somewhere to 1/200. Image stabilization is likely to slow down your shooting, but do not take into account such “troubles.” Next, you need the diaphragm to be used around f / 2.8 – f / 4 to visually separate the background and the model. You can start with ISO 400 and raise it only if there is not enough light (read: the light sucks!).
The best lighting on the podium, which can be found, allows you to shoot with a shutter speed of 1/200 at f / 4 ISO 200, but most of the shows are not so generous with the light. However, if the lighting is decent, you can shoot at 1/125 f / 2.8 ISO 800. If you need more light, you will have no choice but to increase the ISO.
3. Come to the location in advance.
Until you are one of the photographers hired by the designer, or you don’t have support from an organization like Getty, you’ll have to come early to take a normal place to shoot. The fight for the best places at the end of the podium is tough. Time is your friend!
As soon as you win your place, do your best to protect it. The best way is permanent security, but if you need to leave, try to leave some clear indicative sign, such as a camera case, a piece of tape with a name or, even better, just leave an assistant or friend take your place for reliability.
Fortunately, most photographers generally respect other space requirements, but as the time approaches, the show often becomes very crowded.
How early is this the most “in advance”? Depending on the quality and profile of the show, it is recommended to arrive 30 minutes (up to an hour) before the scheduled start. The local designer will probably take less time, but Victoria’s Secret is much more. You will notice that there are always photographers trying to squeeze at the end, which are usually welcomed by the moans and grunts of those who came earlier. These latecomers are often forced to shoot from extreme angles, sometimes resulting in more viewers at the show in the frame than the podium itself.
So where is the best place? A good option would be to center the podium as close as possible to its surface. For a non-raised podium, this means on the floor, yes.
4. Leave the flash in your camera bag.
A fashion show is not a place to use flash. Yes, yes, in films only flashes and blink at the end of the podium, however …
Let’s start with the most important thing: shooting at a fashion show is usually not a solo exercise, which means you are not the only person taking photos. If each person adjusts his exposure manually, depending on the ambient light, then everyone can safely shoot the same object at the same time without interfering with each other. Peace and harmony at the end of the podium!