I loved being there so much and met some fabulous people. But what is it really like in the photographer’s pit?
The photographer’s pit is a complete contrast to the wonderfully glamorous catwalk. It’s a small area at the end of the catwalk with an array of step ladders, tripods and super-sized camera equipment. And photographers of course, lots of photographers keen to get the shots.
Luckily for me, I managed to secure a great place on both occasions. To be honest though, I’m not very tall so they could probably see right over my head anyway. Once you’re in your place there you can not move at all. Just in case you should, heaven forbid accidentally nudge the guy next to you and he misses the shot. That would be a disaster or even potential lawsuit. So, I didn’t move a muscle apart from clicking the shutter, lots of times. By turning up there I doubled the number of female photographers in the photographer’s pit.
The first time I shot Issa London. A label embraced by some of the most glamorous women in the world including The Duchess of Cambridge, Madonna and Beyoncé.
It was a fabulous show. I was sitting at the very front on the catwalk floor for this one, being still for over an hour was tricky. I’m not very good at sitting still, I much prefer to move around and see things from different angles. The last time I remember ever having to sit still on the floor for this long was at school assembly and that was a very long time ago. So the next time I chose a better standing place.
In February 2013 they asked me back and I was shooting Alice by Temperley London. Alice Temperley is another top label, dressing Royalty and red carpet celebrities. They specialise in meticulous detail and embellishments which is great for photographers. I was standing right in the middle at the front, perfect.
When a confident model turns and swirls a dress or looks in the right direction there is a noisy symphony of camera clicks. Some of the less experienced models sometimes get a much quieter reception. I always take lots of their pictures in an attempt to slightly reduce the awkward silence.
Back stage at London Fashion Week I loved the handwritten sign telling models – “Life is a Party – Smile Be Happy Be You”. To me this is what it was all about. All the models were styled beautifully but the ones that got the most noisy camera clicks were those who looked confident and seemed to be enjoying the show.