Photographers' Blog

Catwalks for all sizes

By Nacho Doce

Three days after photographing the svelte models at the upscale Sao Paulo Fashion Week, I found myself in the crowded backstage of the Miss Brazil Plus-Size beauty pageant, a contrast in every aspect from body size to the organization’s budget and the cost of each dress.

Backstage the overweight models pushed their own dress-filled suitcases with no assistants to help them, very different from the Fashion Week models, each of whom had two or three people dressing, preening, and supervising them.

Television channels filming Miss Plus-Size were offering the stream to reality shows, while at Fashion Week the transmission was to a more serious audience, focusing on present and future stars in the fashion world.

Not once did any of the Plus-Size models react against being photographed, showing no shame for their big dresses. I found their self-esteem wonderful.

Although fascinated by the contrast of the two events, I was also impressed by one similarity. All the women, the slender ones and the overweight ones, paraded with the same nervousness and dignity past the spectators. The morning after the pageant, Miss Brazil Plus-Size was hospitalized for the stress of competing, the demanding rehearsals and lack of a proper diet, all of which sound very familiar in the fashion world.

Lisbon Fashion Week: A frivolous affair?

While covering Lisbon Fashion Week, photographer Rafa Marchante spoke with fashion designers, models, photographers and journalists, asking them if they thought the fashion world was frivolous.

Seen on the fashion scene

By Allison Joyce

Held twice yearly in February and September, New York Fashion Week features designers from all over the world, displaying their creations on the runways. A small venue of tents pops up in Lincoln Center to house the crowd of celebrities, designers and models who descend upon the city. The event also draws its own share of notable and outrageous personalities, fashionistas, and those who come just to be seen on the scene.

I am now into my fourth year of covering the event and have started to recognize a group of colorful, sassy characters who come to Fashion Week each year. Some are former models, some are bloggers, and others seem to be famous just for their outlandish outfits or feline sidekicks. A few of them stand out because they are decked out in the same colorful suits, ostentatious hair styles and eye catching accessories year after year, appearing in the lobby or on the pavilion like clockwork. Most of them seem to be there for the same reasons, to network and be part of the scene.

While most New Yorkers are sitting at their desks or following their daily routines on a Monday morning, ten blocks away, an entirely different scene is unfolding. Backstage, there is a flurry of hairspray, lipstick, clothes, shoes and champagne. On the runway, Anna Wintour is perched on her front row seat next to Nicki Minaj, watching the show to the boom of house music. Meanwhile, out front in the lobby, Janet Finkel is walking her cat, Natasha, while Cognac Wellerlane struts by, coiffed in her beehive.

Photographers should always be ready

After six long days covering fashion shows in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the best opportunity to produce a nice shot happened on the last day, at the last show: a model tripped over at the beginning of the show.

A model falls down while she presents a creation from Cavalera's collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week Winter 2011 in Sao Paulo, February 2, 2011. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

During Cavalera’s show at Sao Paulo Fashion Week, models were made to walk through a big puddle of water while artificial rain fell, so the floor was very slippery. When the show began, I concentrated on shooting all the models as there was a big chance that somebody would fall. Indeed, it happened! When the fourth model came towards the end of the soaked catwalk, the poor girl slipped, very close to the photographers pit, but quickly smiled and got back on her feet. The photographers’ reactions was funny because when a model trips they shout and celebrate the fall as an opportunity to make a good picture. The public, on the other hand, applaud in support of the model.

I was using a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV with a 70-200mm lens, ISO 500, f4 and shutter speed of 1/320. I shot 24 frames from the beginning until the end of the fall.

Dark side of Japan’s pet boom

Approximately one and a half million unwanted dogs have been put to death in public animal management centers across Japan in the last ten years.

It was a very surprising figure for me as I had only been covering Japan’s colorful and luxurious pet boom, so I decided to shed some light on the dark side of the industry.

(View the full text story here)

After more than a year of seeking permission, I was finally given the go-ahead to shoot an animal management center in Tokushima and I went on a 745 mile (1,200 km) long journey from Tokyo with my DSRL camera for shooting still and video.

Fashion Week, New York

Models, tall models, skinny models, Russian models, French models…sounds exotic? Yeah, not so much. Covering fashion week in New York sounds like a pretty glamorous assignment but it could hardly be further from it.

Shooting fashion week has more in common with running a marathon than it does running a sprint. There are 8 days, some 75 shows in the tents, dozens more off site, plus preparation photos. We shoot the models backstage and the designers getting ready, we shoot the front row celebrities arriving and we shoot the show from the pit.

The pit could also be called the pit of despair. Imagine taking 200 photographers with all their requisite gear, cameras, laptops, ladders, monopods, boxes and cases, putting them in a space that realistically 50 photographers could work comfortably in. Throw in 14 hour days, little regard for hygiene and an open bar in the evening and you have a recipe for a sociological experiment gone awry.

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