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.
I personally shot dozens of shows and filed hundreds of photos. The images after a few days begin to homogenize and making something different becomes a real challenge. As a photographer I am always trying to redefine my visual narrative and create interesting dynamic photos.
Enter my newest toy, the Sony DSC-T77. It is advertised at Sony’s thinnest camera and with a Zeiss lens it makes pretty impressive photos. Add to that the huge screen and the fact that it is totally silent, has an awesome macro mode, live screen for shooting off the hip, shoots in black and white with a wide exposure latitude and you have a powerful documentary tool.