About two months ago, I was all worried about being chosen to cover Mercedes Benz Fashion week. I mean, I was all nervous & checking my email constantly like I was waiting on a SSI check to come in the mail.
Now all of that is a not so distant memory. I went, I saw, I rocked that bitch out & I have the images to prove it.
I’m the last one to blow my own horn (if I could I would :->) but I have to say that I am really proud of myself & the coverage that I helped provide my friends at The NYLA Report.
We went hard on the social media front via Twitter & Facebook, which was totally exciting. I always enjoy sharing my experiences with my friends, fans, supports etc no matter what I’m doing great or small. And all of the feedback that I got back has been great.
Now that I have this one Mercedes Benz Fashion Week experience under my belt, I am feeling more confident about myself as a photographer who enjoys freelance assignment work. I really feel like, if I need to break away & just do this I could.
Maybe I’m feeling this way because my images are on par with other images from the events with very little difference. I’m basing my comparison on things that I saw from fashion.com, Wire, Getty etc. Maybe them bitches need to hire me on staff. Just saying.
With all this said, the next time that I cover MBFW & there will be a next time, I will be better prepared with my own set of facts that will ensure my success.
I now know:
– You should get access to the shows be requesting it from the designer’s PR team. This is important regardless of being IMG approved media. Riser access is granted based on A & B level photographers. A level photogs are approved by the PR firms & they get in first to claim a space. B level are let in after the A photgs are set up & its every man for himself. All space is first come first serve.
– In addition to requesting riser access to shoot a runway show, you should mos def request backstage access. You may not get it, but if you do, it’s a total benefit because you get better coverage and can tell a more complete story.
– Whenever possible, make a face-to-face connection with whomever approved your access. Then follow up with them via email linking them to your photos or other coverage. It’s all about relationship building.
– You MUST have a fast lens to get the money shots! Anything short of a 70-200mm f/2.8 is a waste of time! During my time at MBFW, I shot with a 300mm f/2.8 & it was everything but in some cases, I wished it was more like a 200-300mm f/2.8 (which doesn’t exist). Go hard or keep your bitch ass at home.
– Having a war chest of memory cards is a lifesaver!
– Dump your cards between shows if possible & if you are super bad, tag them & pop them into folders organized by show via Lightroom.
– A battery grip is a MUST. Those extra fps are totally necessary
– Don’t dare bring a tripod into the riser unless you are doing video, otherwise have a mono pod on deck!
– In situations where you need to get taller have a folding step stool (commonly referred to as a turtle) nearby. I didn’t have one this time around & was fortunate enough be near selfless photogs who helped me out.
– Have a ton of business cards on deck for networking. Introduce yourself to other photogs in the pit. If you get back stage access, don’t be afraid to interact with stylists, hell the designer if they are approachable, etc. Be seen, be remembered & be heard quietly.
– If you are balling, forget running around with a turtle & get yourself a 1510 Pelican Case. Not only can you use a Pelican case to stand on (holds up to 300lbs), it holds EVERYTHING that you need to carry around. At the end of each day my shoulders were soar from carrying around my Kata KT D-3N1-20 Sling/Backpack. I love that thing & it holds a ton but after 3 hours of working with it… And I’m happy to say that Suite Suzy got me a Pelican for my bday. Score!
– Have a roll of tape & Sharpie on hand at all times. You never know when you will get the change to mark a space in the riser. The tape can also be used for bedroom activities after a show if that’s what you’re into. Just saying!
– Wear underwear or be caught out there like this asshole.
– Don’t make many hard plans & keep a fairly flexible schedule because shit happens. I had made tons of plans & most of them got shifted around like crazy.
– In case of an emergency, know where all of the nearby camera shops are. B&H, J&R, Adorama, FotoCare, 42nd St Photo, Calumet…
– Film developed in a pinch, can be done at Manhattan Color Lab. They are not that nice there but they are on the A game!
– Be friendly because you never how you can make someone’s day better. Point: There was a young photog from Toronto shooting with a Nikon camera & he had a very short lens. I offered him my 70-200mm f/2.8 to shot the show & he gladly accepted (who wouldn’t). It was his 1st time doing this type of work. After all was said & done, he thanked me for the offer & told me I was his new best friend. I was just happy to help. Besides, I wasn’t using it & other photogs had helped me out along the way.