London Fashion Week* is like that one friend you only visit twice a year, and yet you both still remain close at heart. Every time you see each other, you make an effort to keep old traditions alive, whilst also thirsting for new endeavors together.
* Or Paris / Milan / New York Fashion Week for that matter
“Look who it is!”
At those reunions, your friend could be wearing vastly different outfits each time, but you would still be able to spot them from afar. Likewise, if you were walking past a show venue during LFW, you would not miss it. It’s all unmistakable — from the psyched crowd to the eagle-eyed bloggers / photojournalists, and from the burned-out security guards to the slightly bemused onlookers. Oh, and there would be drivers blasting their horns within a 50-foot radius too, but then maybe that’s just central London every day for you.
Photographing London Fashion Week is a lot about what I would call “strategic positioning” — even more so if you are shooting catwalk shows from the photographers pit. And as soon as you step inside a show building with a pass, the atmosphere *can* feel a little elitist at times. That’s why some photojournalists actually prefer soaking up the liveliness outdoor, doing street style photography around the venue’s perimeter. So definitely no need to beat yourself up if you don’t have an “in” this time around.
This year I am scheduled to be covering several catwalk shows for commissioned purposes. But for the sake of this photo project, I will mainly focus on scouting around for quirky street styles.
(No) Need for Speed
Capturing LFW is also a lot about speed, street photography or otherwise. Who knows, Lady Gaga could potentially be jumping out of that next limo, only to be surrounded by 20 bodyguards immediately. You would only have a very slim window of capturing her, if at all.
Sometimes this need for speed can easily lead to one going into shutter-happy mode, which can then spiral into a daunting prospect of having to pick out — say — only 20 of the best images from literally thousands of shots. If I’m completely honest, I really don’t enjoy this sort of somewhat mindless photo selection process much.
Making Every Shot Count
I wanted to break out of this vicious cycle. For this project, I have vowed to make every shot count. What better way to achieve that while having some old-school fun?
This is what I am trying out with my dear “friend” at this year’s “reunion”: I am shooting street style with my newly acquired Fujifilm instax Wide 300 instant film camera!
Alpha Lambda Beta Alumni
Speaking of reunion, here’s a funny anecdote I thought I would share:
I didn’t even realize it at the time, but when I began organizing my system of photos and model release forms later, I noticed that I had scouted a Kathy Li Photography “alumnus” again by chance.
Alba (photo below) had apparently already been featured in one of my freelance, commissioned projects from late 2014.
I mean, the British Capital is definitely not small, but I have a feeling that my “alumni chapter” is going to grow as I keep doing what I do. :)
On Day 1, we also bumped into a “recurring star” of London Fashion Week.
More Photos for Your Enjoyment
Without further ado, let’s start rolling.
More to come over the next couple of days.
Also, more photos from Day 1 will be featured on sister site People in London soon.