A Photographer Prepping for New York Fashion Week
Love the shirt the model is wearing!

Love the shirt the model is wearing!

New York Fashion Week is here!

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been noticing many more ‘model types’ travelling through New York subways and streets. You just can’t avoid them and are almost instantly noticeable though not as obvious in New York. There are plenty of stylish, tall women in New York. But models working the show tend to go the extra mile in terms of looking good in public. If I had a small camera I could lug around, I would’ve taken some pics! And talking about pics…

I’ll be at the Nicole Miller show tomorrow doing some street-fashion photography outside the venue. Nothing officially unfortunately though I hope to get some pics published afterwards. But maybe you’d like to know how a photographer preps for something like this? I covered the show last season and definitely learned a few things!

You first need a schedule! There are several sites that can tell you the times and dates of the shows in addition to the venue addresses. You can get this information and much more at nyfw.com. Damn fine site and this year it looks like they are going to try extra hard to post videos of the shows live. You can download the schedule with this link: NYFW FW 2016 Schedule. I have my shows picked mostly by whom my favorite designers are. Yes I am a fashion photographer who knows a thing or two about fashion!

NYFW FW 2016 Schedule

NYFW FW 2016 Schedule

The next couple of things are weather and time. For the next few days, temperature is going to get much worse and by the weekend, temperature is supposed to be single digits. Which for street fashion, I think is really going to inhibit the fashion scene before and after shows. You can still dress up, but they’ll be all bundled up. That’s going to be a drag. But you never know. At Nicole Miller show, it’s going to be dark at the 6pm show time. That is going to lessen the opportunities. Tomorrow will be a test for scoping out the shows in the evening. I might not even go to evening shows depending on this…

There’s more prep and I haven’t even gotten to gear yet!

  • Business cards for networking. I was largely disappointed with the contacts I made at the last show. Mostly wannabe fashion bloggers who haven’t learned how to be professional yet. But, you never know who you’ll meet.
  • Something to write notes on. There are lots of things you might need to take notes for including contact information or fashion notes. I usually use my phone or tablet since I’ll have these anyway.
  • Snacks and water. You’d be surprised how hungry and thirsty you can get. It sucks to take images when you’re hungry or blood sugar level drops too low. Don’t discount hydration either.
  • If it were the September show, I wouldn’t worry much about this. But being in February, you better be nice and toasty. Dress in layers and have a cap and scarf ready. Gloves with the fingertips cut off are extra points!

Really, if you aren’t well prepped, the photography can suffer greatly. You won’t be concentrating on it. So be as prepped as you can be.

My Canon 50D with the Zeiss 50mm. My street fashion photography choice!

My Canon 50D with the Zeiss 50mm. My street fashion photography choice!

Gear. Really, this is the easy part…

  • Camera or two or three. This can vary widely because it depends on how you shoot. Me, I bring a camera with an 85mm lens and a spare body. That’s it. For street-fashion photography, I find that lens very good. Though I think a 50mm might be a little better as to not stand so far away or get more background. But some people aren’t used to being photographed and the standing-distance can work to my advantage. Though, I give off a good vibe and people are generally very comfortable around me!

Some people might have two different primes on two bodies, or have a DSLR and Rangefinder. So there are lots of different combinations. Unless you have specific reasons for more bodies, I think it’s over-compensation for lack of skill. Or even more of a reason: To look ‘professional’. I’ve always been treated as a professional by professionals and I am a minimalist. It’s attitude.

  • Accessories
    • Flashes. Some people use them for street photography. Some don’t. It’s just a preference.

      Blackrapid Double Strap for Cameras. Excellent all-day camera support. Image by B&H Photo.

      Blackrapid Double Strap for Cameras. Excellent all-day camera support. Image by B&H Photo.

    • Camera straps. Don’t underestimate this one. You can be out there for hours and using a bad camera strap can make the experience painful.
    • A great camera bag. Tricky. Usually depends on the amount of camera gear. I think backpacks are generally best. Small or large. But for me, I use a medium-sized sling-bag mostly because I can keep the weight down. Otherwise, the weight would kill my shoulder. And I’m not a pencil-neck either!
    • Phone/Tablet. In addition to the obvious, for doing the quick edit and posting onto social media.
  • Spares: Batteries, memory cards and certain gear. Do I have to go into this? Really?

Check out my updates on Instagram, Twitter and a full street fashion review on this blog! I will be quite busy!

I’m excited about all the shows! I only hope next time I can get into some of the shows in an official capacity and get some really fun shots! See you there!

About the author

Ricardo Gomez is a Fashion Photographer based in New York City.

  • Fashion: New York Fashion Week SS18 Wrap-Up
  • New York Fashion Week: How a Photographer Prepares
  • Photo Gear: The Switch to Mirrorless

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