2015 Behind the Scenes
& Backstage Retrospective
New York, London, Paris, Berlin
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As the year winds down to a final close, I thought it would be cool to look back on the year and pick out some of my favourite shots. For this post, I went through my 2015 behind the scenes and backstage images and pulled the ones that stood out the most to me.
When I started shooting behind the scenes (BTS) in 2013, it was still super niche. Instagram had blown up to the height of its popularity and had really infiltrated Fashion Week, but as brands and magazines were still figuring out to do with it, the platform was largely still in the hands of bloggers. This meant that the appetite built on fashion exposure was limited to the runway and looks on the street.
When I started shooting backstage, it was solely as an answer to the increased amount of competition I was seeing from fellow photographers shooting street style. There was a ton of money to be made, but I wasn’t making any of it, and participating in the fashion season was costing me a fortune. I figured it really did me no good to continue shooting what everyone else shot, even if I genuinely loved it. One of my colleagues, Adam Katz Sinding showed me a photo he’d taken that season backstage at a show of a male model in the distance pulling on his shirt. The model’s arms were both up in a perfect V, he was standing half in the shadows. Adam had rendered the photo in black in white. At this point in my young career, it was the most brilliant image I’d ever seen from Fashion Week. The idea of shooting fashion, but as true documentary immediately appealed to me–I’ve written at length how I originally wanted to shoot music documentary–so this was the same thing, but fashion.
I asked a few designers if I could shoot images backstage for my blog. It wasn’t crazy back then, so many of them said yes, including Lacoste and Carolina Herrera, two brands I enjoy shooting for.
If you’d ask me what I love most about shooting behind the scenes, I could tell you about a few things, but really, I love the autonomy of it. Sometimes things are super casual and I have the time and ability to float around, but other times things are so crazy and hectic, and if the show is marquee (like Victoria’s Secret) I might only have fifteen or twenty minutes to collect as many quality images as I can. In either instance though, the creative license is entirely mine. I can photograph models as if they don’t know (or care) if I’m there, and other times I can see something and work to really frame the perfect portrait. In either event, all of the tools that I have as a photographer must be deployed for me come away with a collection that is both memorable and cool. Sometimes you really nail it and sometimes things go just OK — but every experience is a learning one.