Shot! Fifteen out of 15: Fashion
When you take as many photos as I do, the ones that tend to stand out are those that have something a little different about them, those that for some reason or another are out of the ordinary.
Usually, one sees a photo in isolation, left to judge it only by what information is contained within the frame. But photos are more than just a moment in time. In most cases the end result is governed by the circumstances presented to the photographer, meaning there’s often an untold story behind them, one that can make them even more interesting than just being another nice picture.
Choosing just fifteen from each of my key subject areas was never going to be easy and some personal favourites never made the cut.
These then are the stories behind fifteen of my favourite fashion images from 2015.
Anna Zeller: Taken at the Barbican in London. Anna was standing within a large public artwork, part of which is out of focus in the foreground. The contrast between the sharp and fuzzy makes the shot interesting, as do the textures of her knitted scarf and fur collar.
Luce Ansell: Taken on one of the stands at the Brighton Tattoo Convention where the light is rubbish and usually so are the backgrounds. By positioning her in front of an American flag and closing in on her face, I ended up with an authentic-looking vintage shot which, given the circumstances, I was well-pleased with.
Paloma Faith: I’ve included this one of Paloma here rather than in music, because it was taken whilst she was introducing a political speaker at her Brighton Centre concert. She came on stage just to say a few words, before changing into another outfit for her show. This was taken from the back of the venue. I like it because it looks like a runway shot.
Jade Allison: Another one taken at the Brighton Tattoo Convention. As soon as I spotted her, I knew I had to get this girl’s portrait. To be honest, the hardest part was finding a plain backdrop to put her against, once I had the two of them together, it was just about getting the right expression. It was no surprise that Jade turned out to be a model, but even so, this image required a lot of work in post to get it to look the way it does. So, so pleased with how it turned out.
HollySiz: Holly is a French singer, actress and model. I saw her play a gig in Brighton during the Great Escape and afterwards asked if I could take a few portraits. Although you’d never know it, we did this one outside the venue between two parked trucks. There’s definitely a touch of the Marilyn’s about this sasst shot and what I love most about it is how her hand is pushing up her eyebrow.
Jenny Pacey: To be honest, when I asked to take her photo I didn’t know who she was. I found out later she is a fitness celebrity as well as, I think, being a former Gladiator. The shot was taken on Ladies Day at Glorious Goodwood. The backdrop is part of a huge wall of red carnations. That stunning hat, which is what this image is all about, is by Ilda Di Vico.
Jazz Thomas: A live action display celebrating the Swinging Sixties at the Goodwood Revival. There were lots of models in different outfits posing for anyone with a camera, but Jade stood out to me as she was the only one wearing an outfit that matched the red, white and blue of the roundel. The angle it’s taken from is what makes it an interesting image.
Ella Kennedy: Of all the models at the Swinging Sixties display, Ella was the one I photographed the most. There was something special about her that is perfectly captured in this high contrast shot: she looks like she belongs in the 60s!
Jessica Wilde: I love this shot of Canadian model Jessica Wilde. Looking at it, you’d never know it was taken at the London Tattoo Convention, but it was. Jessica was signing posters (she has lots of tattoos, but you’d never know from this portrait) and as soon as I saw her I knew I wanted to shoot her. The problem was everywhere around her the background was either of people or posters. I spotted a gap between two posters and asked her to stand there. I took two frames, they were both great, but her expression on this one edged it. You’d never know it wasn’t taken in a studio. Sometimes, a picture gives the impression it’s something that it isn’t. And it’s only because I’ve told you, that you now know!
Glyn Tyson: Before you can get a great portrait, you need a great subject. I spent ages at the London Tattoo Convention looking for one before I even took a single picture. This was my first shot of the day. Glyn stood out from the crowd and I stopped him and asked if he’d mind having his photo taken. I’d already scouted a wall nearby that would make a good backdrop, so took him there and rattled off some frames. It turned out he was a model. It just proves that to take good pictures of someone, first you need to find someone good to take pictures of!
BFW15: I’ve shot the Zeitgeist show at Brighton Fashion Week for a few years now and was pleased that 2015 saw it return to the Gothic splendour of All Saints Church in Hove. As you’ll see from the shots below, I tend to go very tight into the model’s face, but this was one time when I went wide open and included the church’s vaulted roof. Unlike virtually all of the other photographers who were standing on a raised platform, I chose to shoot lying down on the floor!
Fanny Holst: Fanny Holst is the name of the designer, not the model (whose name I don’t know) I like this one because she looks like a mannequin. It’s not your typical runway shot.
KellyDawn Riot 1: I loved KellyDawn’s designs — she was the only designer at BFW15 whose outfits were all made from the same fabric, a hand-drawn floral and bird illustration. As you can see, like the model, it was very photogenic.
KellyDawnRiot 2: Catwalk shows are as much about the models as they are the clothes. Some have more attitude than others, some just can work it that bit better when they’re in front of the cameras. This guy was great to shoot because he really worked those few seconds at the end of the runway that make all the difference.
Isaac Raymond: At 17, Isaac Raymond was the enfant terrible of BFW15. The designer with the most outlandish designs, many featuring bizarrely exaggerated shoulders and medieval themes. He was also the only designer to model his own clothes on the runway. It’s certainly a very different look. And that’s before you even noticed his blacked out hands!
Behind the image: All these images were shot handheld with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and either the 12–40 2.8 Pro or the 75 1.8 lens using available light only, and the camera’s built-in digital zoom.
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