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7 Pro Tips for Runway Photography

Sparkling Light on the Fashion Show Stage

Photo © Arselan Ganin

For those of you who have a passion in photography and are interested in the fashion world, have dreams of photographing fashion week events, then becoming a runway photographer is the right choice. Why not? It is the profession that will take you in front of the stage of a fashion show, standing between the splendor of the stage light, keep up with the latest developments in fashion designer works and immortalize it into a beautiful photographic work. Of course, being able to do that isn't as easy as imagining it. Real conditions in the field are not as easy as reading a theory, requires a lot of practice, practice and practice!

For sharable tips on how to do runway photography, I briefly interviewed Arselan Ganin, one of the best runway photographers from Jakarta, Indonesia who had 12 years of experience in runway photography world. He also has experience as an official photographer from various fashion shows, such as Indonesia Fashion Week, Jakarta Fashion & Food Festival, Islamic Fashion Festival, Iwan Tirta Private Collection 2018 and other fashion show events during his career as a runway photographer.

Then, wondering how to do runway photography? Here are the tips:  

1. Come early for strategic location.

Photo © Arselan Ganin

There will be many photographers, especially at the big fashion shows that involve many famous fashion designers. The official photographer should be in the center, places that are usually marked and can't be disturbed. So you have to come early, make sure you get a position where you can see the stage clearly and get permission from the event organizer.

2. Equipment and Camera Settings

Photo © Arselan Ganin

Use a DSLR or Mirrorless camera at least 18 mp. Because in runway photography, photographers are very dependent on the power of lighting on the stage. Usually photographers use ISO 800 above. By using a good camera it will reduce the grain image results because using ISO is quite high. For the lens, use a telephoto lens 70-200 mm or more, because the distance between the photographer and the object (model) is quite far. 

You can use a monopod to reduce camera shake which can result in a less focus or blur image. Setting the camera's white balance according to the color temperature of the lighting used on the stage. You also have to set the camera's focus which can follow the motion of the model (Ai servo). A minimum shutter speed camera of 1/250 can capture objects (models) that are moving so the image remains sharp. Aperture adapted to conditions on the stage.  

3. Read Press Release

Photo © Arselan Ganin

Reading a press release of event also important to do by a runway photographer. A press release as a complete information of the works of fashion designers who will walk on the stage of the fashion show. You can prepare the camera settings for the color of the clothes that will come out.

4. Don't lose the moment.

Photo © Arselan Ganin

The aim of runway photography is to show the beauty of works of fashion designers and as media publications for event organizers, of course with the best image quality. So you as a runway photographer must be able to capture moments that are running fast, moments that can't be repeated and sometimes fashion designers also come out only briefly at the end. 

It's better to start taking picture if the object (model) is in the range of the lens. Take a picture of the object (model) that is running in order to get the atmosphere of a fashion show. Make sure their foot goes to touch the floor, front foot flat on the floor, arms at the side or softly swinging, eyes open and straight ahead. Take a picture of several frames from each model so later good image quality can be selected, and don't forget to take a picture of the back because fashion designers also put a lot of details on the back of their works. It's also important to take pictures when fashion designer names appear on the backstage screen. Don't lose the moment and stay focused!

5. Portrait or Landscape

Photo © Arselan Ganin

Take photos vertically or horizontally, adjusting to your needs. Lots of interests at a fashion show event. Besides the works of fashion designers, there are also sponsors who work with them. Such as shoes, hats and accessories sponsors. You must know what you are doing and for whose interests.When the model runs alone, it's better to take photos vertically to show the whole works. If models come out together or the last moment when the fashion designer comes out and stands between their works, take photos horizontally. Just make sure you give space above the model's head and under the model's legs, and the photo background of the fashion show is still visible.

6. Don't use flash.

Photo © Arselan Ganin

The use of flash in a fashion show event is indeed prohibited. So don't be a destroyer of other photographer pictures. Stay where you have chosen and do your job! 

7. Other Important Objects at a Fashion Show

Photo © Arselan Ganin

In addition to the works of fashion designers as the main object, invited guests and important figures who came also had a big influence on a fashion show. Taking photos of them can show the grandeur of an event. So, you need to pay attention to guests who come to the event.

Welcome to the Show

Photo © Arselan Ganin

Those are seven important tips that you should know if you want to become a professional runway photographer. Still interested? Then, welcome to the show!

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