So I just shot a crazy hectic and exciting event on the 29th. The wonderful Aileen Benson organized a runway show at Vinalia's in Downtown Crossing for the Children's Trust Fund. The show was called "Leap into Spring Fashion" and I was asked to shoot the event. Now, when Aileen asks if I want to shoot something, I usually just automatically agree to it, and unfortunately I didn't read the details. I thought it was just going to be a runway event and then photographing people for with some of her male models from Tonn Model Management for a $5 donation to CTF. Well, it turned out that didn't really happen as it was so hectic, but also I failed to remember that there were actually three runway acts, and it involved photographing all of the models wearing the designs in between the events.
All I can say is this: RTFM! (Read the ____ Manual!), ie, read what people send you! Luckily I had brought my friend and and trusty photographer Carlton SooHoo who helped me with lighting and shooting and even running down the street to Macy's to get a sheet for our makeshift "backdrop". Yeah, yeah, you can see the creases, but that's what Photoshop will be used for. The funny thing is that Aileen sent off one of the guys to find a steamer but the guy disappeared and apparently got lost or something. Nevertheless, the show had to begin.
One of the original reasons why I wanted an extra person was that I wanted to do something different in terms of small-venue runway photos. They always look the same to me, and my theory is that it's because there's horrible lighting, and the photographer ends up using on-board flash (real big runway events usually don't have flash because photographers are far away with telephoto lenses). What I thought of was backlighting.... having some light coming from behind the model standing at the end of the runway. So I had Carlton standing near the steps to the runway and when the model arrived at the end and my flash unit tripped Carlton's flash unit behind the model, the result was a runway photo with some nice back-lighting and depth.
Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one using flash. I hadn't counted on everyone else whipping out their Sureshots and blazing the models with flash (usually there are rules against that!) but sure enough within just a few minutes, Carlton's SB-800 had gone on the fritz. Ouch. So there goes that idea... at least not with using Pocket Wizards. Next time, definitely use Pocket Wizards.
As I mentioned, in between the runway shows, we photographed the models wearing the designs. My favorites were of Fiona wearing this piece from Nirva. I don't know, I just like these shots. I always tend to like imperfect shots. Snapshot DIY look.... dark and dusky "'70s" look... Polaroid look. I dig it. Anyway, Nirva was actually one of the designers at the Gamble Mansion shoot last year. It was nice to see her again.
After the event, Aileen made me take pictures of her doing the twist while wearing one of JP Amolat's (Pinkblue Hollywood) designs. After about 40 photos, we finally agreed this one was the best. She also probably burned 500 calories doing it. Modeling is hard work.
Lastly, we had a special guest: Jacqueline Bruno, Miss Massachusetts. She was great, posing with lots of people including some of the models and us.
To see all the photos of the runway event, the models, the designers, and some behind-the-scenes pictures, visit my Smugmug page.