Shooting a fashion show is always a fun experience, but runway photography also takes a lot of time and commitment.
If you’re interested in trying runway photography, we have a few fashion photography tips to help you get started.
Before you dive straight into event photography, consider going to a fashion show and observe how it operates. That way, you’ll know what to do by the time you pick up a camera.
Some of the best events are student-run fashion shows at universities and colleges. Since they’re not commercial, the security is loose and the atmosphere is more casual.
That means you have more freedom to walk around and even talk to models and designers.
Apart from college fashion shows, there are also some locally owned fashion stores run that like to showcase their products at local events.
These types of affairs only happen once in a while. Keep your eyes peeled for any announcements online or even in newspapers. Who knows, you might get lucky to attend one.
Plenty of cities now also organize a “fashion week” at least twice a year. Find out if your area has one, and buy a ticket to attend it. Most of them feature international brands as well as local offerings.
These types of shows are perfect opportunities for you to see how a real fashion show looks like.
Make Sure You Can Bring a Camera to the Event
Since you’re still starting out, you won’t have the same access to the shows that professional photographers have.
That means that you may not even be able to bring your camera at all.
Different fashion shows have different rules when it comes to photography equipment.
Many big events often don’t allow spectators to bring cameras at all. Their reason is to keep their content exclusive.
But there are also some smaller shows allow certain types of cameras, and others even let you bring whatever you want. They do this because it’s basically free press for them.
Before you go, do your research and find out what you can and can’t bring. If the rules state that you can’t bring a telephoto lens, then don’t bring it. Otherwise, they won’t let you in at all.
If the event only lets people bring non-professional cameras, then bring a point-and-shoot camera that can zoom. Although it doesn’t always offer the best quality, it’s compact and a lot of shows prefer it over chunky DSLRs.
You can use it until you gain enough experience and finally be allowed in with professional equipment.
Choose the Correct Lens
The best lenses for fashion photography are telephotos. Why? Because they let you shoot up close even when you’re far away.
As mentioned, there are some shows that don’t allow you to bring a big lens at all if you’re a non-professional.
So what do you need to do if you can’t use a telephoto? Then try a small kit lens that lets you zoom in and out when shooting. That way, you have more freedom to shoot no matter where you are.
The only problem with kit lenses is that most of them can only go up to 70mm. In other words, it doesn’t have a lot of zooming power.
To overcome this issue, try to get a seat close to the catwalk. That way, you can still get beautiful runway photography shots of the outfits.
Apart from the focal length of your lens, you should also consider its maximum aperture size. In other words, find out how wide can your optics go.
It’s always preferable to choose a lens that can go up to f/1.8 or even f/1.4 because they’re perfect for low light photography. Options which have these aperture values are called fast lenses because they let in a lot of light.
As a result, they allow you to shoot with fast shutter speeds even when in a poorly lit environment.
Best Camera Settings for Fashion Photography
The best type of camera for fashion photography is the one that allows you to change the settings manually. That means, your device has to either be a DSLR or a mirrorless camera.
One of the most crucial DSLR settings for indoor low light you need to adjust is your ISO. Most catwalk events can be quite dark, so feel free to use any number between 500 to 800.
Doing so would allow you to shoot with higher shutter speed. However, if you go any higher than the values we mentioned, you’ll risk introducing image noise.
Choosing Aperture Priority lets your camera select the shutter speed automatically. That means you don’t have to fumble with other settings, anymore.