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A Backstage Look At Fashion Week 2017

Fashion Week always comes and goes in a blur. This season, I worked with brands and publications to cover backstage and behind the scenes content. The conditions of venues are always tricky, from lighting and space to move and shoot in, so you have to show up prepared for anything.

I shot with my α7R II paired with the 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master and the 55mm f/1.8 (you can see more about my gear in this What’s In My Bag article). The 24-70mm was the best lens for most shows as the backstage areas were ridiculously tight and keeping the lens at 24mm created the illusion of distance and space when in reality I was probably inches from the subjects.

In terms of lighting, I personally try and stay away from using flash as much as possible. Instead I used the tricky lighting to my advantage to try and create an interesting image out of what we had. Keeping my gear at a minimum kept me nimble while shooting, and I was able to capture some really interesting shots this season.

Sony α7R II, Sony 24-70mm f.2.8 GM at 38mm. 1/60-sec., f/4.0, ISO 320
I caught this moment right before Bella Hadid opened the show at Prabal Gurung. The backstage area was ridiculously hectic, so here she is trying to hear what a show runner is saying from a few feet away.

Sony α7R II, Sony 24-70mm f.2.8 GM at 24mm. 1/60-sec., f/4.5, ISO 320
Models lining up before walking the runway at Prabal Gurung. It’s pandemonium backstage, but here a model finds time to send a quick text before the show.

Sony α7R II, Sony 24-70mm f.2.8 GM at 70mm. 1/80-sec, f/4.0, ISO 320
Here’s an example of the strong and harsh lighting that was backstage. The shadows cast on her face gave her a statuesque vibe -- creating the illusion that this was taking place at a museum rather than a fashion show.

 

Sony α7R II, Sony 24-70mm f.2.8 GM at 70mm. 1/80-sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000
I love the versatility of the 24-70mm G Master lens, as it allows me to grab great beauty details without needing to get too close to my subject.

Sony α7R II, Sony 24-70mm f.2.8 GM at 24mm. 1/60-sec, f/2.8, ISO 500
The hair and makeup area was so crowded that many models had to get both done at the same station. I was able to capture the full scene with the 24-70mm f/2.8.

Sony α7R II, Sony 24-70mm f.2.8 GM at 70mm. 1/80-sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000
I love to keep the aperture wide on beauty detail shots to keep the focus on the model. You would never guess the craziness that was happening only a few inches away, but here, you’re able to pay close attention to the amount of detail that’s put forward by the hair and makeup teams.

Sony α7R II, Sony 55mm f/1.8. 1/500-sec, f/1.8, ISO 100
Capturing street style is at times more challenging than shooting shows themselves! There are a ton of photographers vying for the same shots and angles. When shooting street styles I look for interesting textures, patterns, and color, all of which are shown in this outfit and sidewalk scene.

Sony α7R II, Sony 55mm f/1.8. 1/200-sec, f/4.5, ISO 500
I put my α7R II to the test on the first day of Fashion Week to shoot street style in blizzard-like conditions. It was extremely windy and cold, but I was still able to grab this shot in full detail and focus.

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