I went to a fashion show the other day. A fashion show with a catwalk and models and flashing cameras and women craning their necks to get a better view – BlackBerrys in one hand, Chanel 2.11s in the other. True, it wasn’t Burberry or Prada – it was a local charity affair – but it still had the same buzz of excitement that is felt (I expect) at the London shows. There was the anticipation of outfits to come, the collective intake of breath when a pair of truly high heels teetered their way down the catwalk, a fixed smile on the face of the wearer with just the slightest traces of excruciating pain and absolute terror visible on their otherwise flawless face.

I viewed the show from two angles simultaneously: between the hilarity of watching middle-aged middle-class women air kiss each other whilst exclaiming “Dahhhhhling I haven’t seen you for an absolute age” (although maybe I’m exaggerating a little – being northerners not everyone was quite so, well, you know what I mean), and the sheer thrill of marking out my territory in the photographers area before snapping away for the entire show – my new Canon 600d flashing for all it was worth – I felt both out-of-place and completely at home.

At one point the models began posing directly at my lens – clearly mistaking me for one of the real press photographers when in fact I was only there to have a play around with my snazzy new camera and try to figure out what setting I should be taking catwalk photographs on(!) – and at that moment I felt so elated, as if, even for a moment, I was a real photographer taking photos at a real show. Of course I wasn’t – but it certainly felt like it for about ten seconds. I don’t suppose anyone goes from being a keen amateur photographer to being signed for Vogue editorials overnight – it’s all about practise and making a name for yourself in the business. I don’t even know whether I want to become a photographer; I know I definitely want to write and be a “cultural critic” as one of my teachers put it the other day, but I suppose photography and journalism go hand in hand so who knows?

One thing that is definitely true, however, is that I absolutely love my new camera. It has really inspired me to shoot more often, which is perhaps the reason why on a four-day school trip I took over six-hundred photographs! I haven’t progressed to street style yet, mostly landscape scenery and natural shots of friends, but when I do I’ll be sure to look for inspiration from several of my favourite bloggers: Jill of Street Style: Pics By Polka Dot, David of The Nyanzi Report and Dvora of Fashionistable. On a final note, I have chosen to include these images of the show, purely of shoes, as the first of what I hope will become a steady stream of images to document my photographic journey. Some are blurred, out of focus or simply bad shots – but they are my first, and hopefully not my last, attempt.


5 thoughts on “Catwalk

  1. Oh Alexandra, I am so honoured and chuffed to bits – and humbled, actually. These photos are so beautiful. And here’s the scary part, but this is what I love – this is why I’m still blogging: my husband left really early to go fishing, and I’ve been up, and for some reason, I started editing shots from a show.. I’ll just have to show you, because when I do my next post, it will be a homage back to you!

    I know what you mean about that buzz. I first got into shooting ‘ordinary’ people on the street – and because I didn’t like to be intrusive, I didn’t normally shoot people. More like landscapes, still lives, self portraits with a timer. When I started shooting people, I realised it was about the interaction. It is no different, in a way, than commenting on someone’s blog: it’s a personal exchange of something – it’s intimate in some ways, without being pervy. And when you shoot professional models, they know how to connect with a camera – if they’re good at your job.

    So I’m really happy for you that you had that first experience! These are so evocative, and atmospheric, and I can’t wait to show you what I was choosing, without having seen yours first: I swear!

    btw I had to laugh when you wrote you come to my blog to get cheered up, because my Thanksgiving post was decidedly.. crabby. Not upbeat. But it made me happy!

    Thanks for a lovely post, and as always, for your support. xox

  2. I remember the thrill of my first catwalk show at LFW – the sheer atmosphere and theatricality of such an event, whether in a village hall or Somerset house, is hard to replicate. I thought at one point in the past that I might end up being one of those models striding down the catwalk. With a much-changed set of aspirations, I would much rather be where you were – with my camera, taking photos. I’m glad that you enjoyed yourself and that your lovely new camera yielded great results! Wishing you many hours of happy shutter-clicking.

  3. I echo the words of both Jill and Roz and want to say thank you so much for the lovely comment about my work. You have started your journey that is the most important part. How wonderful that the model stopped for you. Weather you got the shot or not you now know how it feels. When shooting catwalk I change the white balance to either the bulb or the K setting. I then work on the images colour wise in post. Next camera setting is the speed – it is important to stop the model to get it you need to increase your ASA or ISO (this is the same thing). So 800 up usually. F-stop try if possible for F8 if your ASA/ISO allows you. Hope this helps. Great 1st day out. Look forward to seeing you move forward from here. Xxxx

  4. I love that the photos are all shoes. The third one is fascinating to look at with the blurred blue and motion lines. What is your new camera? I am asking for a NIKON DSLR when I graduate (in a year and a half haha).

    And yes. The socks!!! Need.

  5. I hope you get to LFW one day, there is nothing quite like it at all. Even if you don’t go to any shows you can get the best street style and really learn from everyone there. Having seen Jill, David and Dvora in action they are all excellent at what they do and the same three helped me out loads over LFW when trying to figure out my new camera – said camera didn’t make it through the whole week and died! I now have a Nikon D3100 which I am obsessed with. It is so exciting having a new toy isn’t it! If people thought I was annoying before snapping away all the time, I must be ten times worse now! I never thought photography would enrapture me quite how much it has, I was always the historian, the writer, the stylist but now I am really enjoying it, hence the new obsession with street style on my blog. xxx

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