London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week: A Photographer's Perspective
I have a special surprise for you today! A guest blog post by fashion photographer Gareth Gregg of SunshineLens photography.  Gareth recently had the opportunity to work at London Fashion Week.  I was so thrilled for him and asked if he take some time to share some of his wonderful photography with you all.   He has graciously obliged and has taken a unique perspective and shared his experience as a photographer at LFW.

I hope you enjoy the sweet surprise and a great lead up to Bristol Fashion Week post which I will share with you at the end of the month!

Without further adieu I leave you with Gareth.

-- Bonnie Rose

London Fashion week consists of two 5 day events each year that showcase collections by some of the world’s foremost designers.  It is one of 4 fashion week events that run one after the other.  For me I was just shooting London as do most. But for some they shoot the whole season leading to some very tired and grouchy photographers! 

My brief for LFW AW13 (we work a season ahead) was to work within the Courtyard space in Somerset House. Somerset house is a beautiful building which I guess you could term as being the main building for LFW.  Within its large courtyard they erect a temporary building which houses the main Catwalk along with backstage and the Photographers media lounge. Within Somerset house itself you have various exhibitions, coffee shops, as well as other rooms for smaller catwalk shows. 
Working within the courtyard space is prime spot and where most of the main shows exist. It is also fantastic for 'Street Style' photography. For this part of the fashion show the photographers brief is almost as important as shooting the shows themselves. It is either candid or posed and is an element of shooting catwalk that I love. I will show you a few of these shots later on.

For kick off im going to show you some pics from the Felder Felder show. I love this show as the clothes are stylish and elegant.  The models were awesome, which of course gave way to some great shots:

I took these shots at the top of a three step ladder right at the back of the pit. As it is very high and you can shoot down upon the models, it is a cool angle to get some really awesome shots. At the end of the day though you are standing at the top of a step ladder which gets a touch tiresome.  Seeing as I am a touch on the clumsy side, I could so see myself being launched into a sea of photographers. The following days I ended up placing myself much closer to the front.  Almost on the floor it is a bit more chilled and I prefered the shots. Just personal preference. Here are a few shots from the Issa show of which I adored:

Here are some shots from the Jasper Conran Show. This was also awesome. They have laid a red plastic covering along the catwalk which gave a wicked effect:

When  people ask about what it is like to shoot at London Fashion Week I talk about the dynamics between the photographers. Everyone gets on so well and makes the effort to talk to each other. However nothing gets in the way of the need to get a good shot.  Quite often photographers will stand in the way of your camera. It happens all the time and you really have to be prepared to have an argument to hold your place! Funny thing is that all the time you hear this going on but nearly always it ends with everyone laughing a little and giving way to each other so we can all get our jobs done. 

With the following sets of shots, which are from the David Nova show, I managed to get an absolute prime spot for shooting. As said before fashion week runs from Friday to Tuesday.  On Thursday the photographers can go in and mark up their spaces. This gives you an opptortunity to lock in a space in the pit. It is essentially a square on the floor in the photographers area with your name on it.  If your name is there and you arrive to find someone else is in your spot, you can ask them to move. It is a gentleman's agreement between photographers.  It is not like if they refuse to move you can go grab security.  But it is just simply what you do. I did not have a space marked up but its rare that everyone is there at the same time.  You can nearly always get a spot to shoot during the shows. As I was saying though, with the David Nova show, I saw the spot and grabbed it.  As you can see from the shots I am pleased that I kept it!

I love it when they really do up the catwalk set. Look at the following shots and you will see what I mean. The blue strip lights at the back really shine off the catwalk and reflect giving a wonderful effect. I loved this show by Osman:

I mentioned earlier about Street Style photography. This is basically shooting well dressed people over fashion week.  It is really important and as a photographer I love it.  It gives you the chance to indulge in street photography without someone moaning at you because you have taken their picture. All these people want to be snapped.  Best of all you can stop them in the street and get advise their posing to get the shot.

I really cannot wait till next year. Although I had the full pass some of the larger shows you still have to gain approval from the designers PR agency.  Come September I will make sure I get some emails sent off, to get a pass and shoot some of the really big designers. 

Big thank you to Bonnie for asking me to guest blog for her website! 

- Gareth Gregg

*Images with courtesy of Fashionbite
** Connect with Gareth at SunshineLens Photography.
***I do not own these images. If you have any questions please contact either of the above parties. 

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