A Word From the Experts: London Fashion Week - a Photographer’s Insight

Today the extremely glamorous and high energy London Fashion Week comes to a close and we say goodbye to another year of amazing talent.

London Fashion Week is an extremely prestigious event which happens twice a year, which marks and celebrates the world wide talent in the fashion industry. From designers to models and hair and makeup artists, London Fashion Week is a seriously glam and photogenic celebration of all things beautiful.

Raccoon London’s photographers were able to attend and photograph this year's celebration, commissioned to document the festivities and shows. As events photographers our crew is able to attend many high class and luxurious parties and celebrations, but here in this exclusive blog post we are going to discuss what sets photographing at London Fashion Week aside from other events our photographers are usually accustomed to shooting.

Credit: Sam

Credit: Sam

This year Raccoon London photographer Dai was hired by Studio Output to document an interactive light and sound display for a Farfetch Party. We asked Dai some questions regarding his experience.

 

What was the highlight of shooting this interactive light & sound display?

“It was a really high energy environment with lots of celebrities. We shot an array of different people dancing inside the installation across the duration of the evening. The installation consisted of a pressure sensitive floor which was hooked up to lights and speakers using WeConnect technology, this is turn triggered a music and light show depending on where people were standing, it was a very interactive experience for the guests of the party.”

 

In your opinion, what set this experience aside from previous shoots you were commissioned at London Fashion Week?

“I think this experience was probably the most immersive and interactive, I think most parties follow a more conventional formula. These guys were definitely doing something that was more surprising for the guests upon arrival, I saw a lot of people coming into the party and instantly interacting with the installation which I feel definitely connected with the brand”

 

What advice would you give to a photographer who might shoot something similar to this in the future?

“I think the best thing you can do as a photographer is to be prepared, you never really know what going to happen at London Fashion Week. In terms of this event it was technically quite challenging, because we were in a very busy environment with a lot of noise and a lot of people. So I always try and understand what the technical challenges are going to be, so I can focus purely on shooting, being creative and capturing the mood and the people. Focusing 100% of my energy on preparation would be my advice.”

Credit: Helen & Alice Archer

Credit: Helen & Alice Archer

This year Raccoon London photographer Helen was hired by Alice Archer to shoot a presentation of a spring and summer 2017 collection and also to shoot a lookbook. The event took place in the beautiful Reading Rooms we asked Helen about her experience.

 

Tell us more about your shoot this year?

“This year I shot a presentation and a look book for Alice Archer. Using one model we shot all of the different ‘looks’ against a simple backdrop that will be used as a selling tool. The presentation is when all of the buyers and press come to have a look at the clothes and all of the looks.”

 

In your opinion what sets London Fashion Week aside from other events that you have photographed?

“London Fashion Week is extremely creative, it’s fast paced and very glamourous. You’re able to work with incredible models in beautiful clothes and very often in unusual and striking venues.”

 

What advice would you give to a photographer who wanted to shoot at London fashion week

“Go with the flow, don’t be too hung up on time schedules and just understand that the shoots will happen but time is a serious constraint compared to a normal shoot.”  

 

What was the most exciting aspect of this Fashion Week Show

“It’s a very different genre of photography, it’s extremely interesting to work in the fashion world. You’re working with very talented designers who are extremely creative, you have access to very high end models which provides great images for your portfolio”.

Credit: Iona

Credit: Iona

This year Raccoon London Photographer Iona Wolff was commissioned by Interview US Magazine, who have worked with Iona many times before and have even commissioned Iona to shoot at men’s fashion week. We interviewed Iona on her experience this year to find out more.

 

How did you find this years Fashion Week Festival Iona?

Great but stressful, the commission confirmations come in last minute and you sometimes have restricted access such as only being allowed to shoot beauty, then there is a good chance you’ll be asked to leave when the models are changing into their first looks. However sometimes you’ll get full access and might have an opportunity to shoot the riser shots which give you an opportunity to get onto the catwalk, however I prefer to be backstage. Beauty shots can be quite limiting as the models are still looking very natural, beauty shots consist of details about the models such as the hair and nails and close up shots of the face shot with a ring flash. Being backstage gives me a chance to shoot candid reportage style photography, however it can be quite nerve wracking being backstage, high stress and it can all go by quite quickly”

 

What were your personal highlights of this year's London Fashion Week?

“I’ll be honest, after two years shooting it, the novelty has worn off. But I must admit the first time shot London Fashion Week I was blown away, by things such as Georgia May Jagger modelling in the first show that I shot and I was really starstruck to see her and to be able to take a photo of her. Being able to work with the top models, top makeup artists and the best designers all completely up close is amazing. However if the collections aren’t up your street, then I sometimes start to lose interest somewhat and instead focus my attention on capturing beautiful portraits of the models. Shooting backstage gives me the chance to take some amazing portraits of the models, as they are completely relaxed and I get to direct them how I want to. You can almost carry out mini shoots if you get the right lighting and the right backdrops, it’s incredible, you can really build up a nice portfolio of great models.”

 

In your opinion, what sets London Fashion Week aside from other events you have shot?

“It’s glamorous! It’s not corporate, it’s as far away from corporate as you can want and it is really exciting, with all of the talent and excitement it has a really good atmosphere surrounding it. It is intense!”

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer who wanted to shoot London Fashion Week?

“Having a thick skin is essential, you will get shoved about, it will be quite challenging and the stress involved is huge. Understandably the organisers are going through their process, making sure the models are ready and are on time sometimes means you as a photographer can get quite caught up in it. Actually this is one of the most important things to bear in mind, that you shouldn’t get completely sucked in, but grab every opportunity that you are able to, there are all sorts of incredible shots to be had.

Credit: Iona

Credit: Iona

 

This Year Raccoon London Photographer Max was commissioned by Swarovski to document a jewellery stand at London Fashion Week. We asked Max some questions about his experience at this years Fashion Week.

 

Why were you commissioned to shoot the Jewellery stand at this years Fashion Week festival?

“Swarovski commissioned me to shoot at London Fashion Week, the shoot was to basically document their promotional stand. They had a jewellery collection and a number of different design collaborations with other jewellers, they had a really beautiful chic stand which showed off these designs. My role as a photographer was to make the jewellery look as beautiful and and well presented as possible, this is something I really enjoyed doing and I think I did the job really well.”

 

What was the most exciting aspect about shooting at London Fashion Week?

“I think for me, the most exciting aspect about shooting at London Fashion Week was having the opportunity to work in a really fast paced environment. It’s a really special and unique experience, it’s a massive cultural event in the London calendar and being able to work with a high quality brand like Swarovski and see the beautiful products that they make was really exciting. From a photographic point of view, you’re able to have a comprehensive range to the images and produce wide variety of shots that provide context to the activity, such as close up details of the jewellery that most people walking past wouldn’t notice. This is where I feel photography can be really powerful and great for clients, especially those who want their products to stand out.”

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring photographer wanting to shoot London Fashion Week?

“This was actually my first time shooting at London Fashion Week and I hadn’t actually factored in how tight security would be. There are extremely vigilant security guards on all of the doors doing their job, which added 15 minutes onto getting into the festivities. I would definitely allow myself more time than I usually would in order to get my pass and to be organised.