Photographing London Fashion Week
Can you tell us a bit about your photography practice?
I started off studying graphic design but it wasn’t until I went travelling where I wanted to give photography a try. The change of direction led me to assisting several photographers including my uncle. After that I started to create my own work and in 2014 I curated my first exhibition at the Norwich Playhouse in partnership with The Big C Cancer Charity.
The experience of creating and putting together this exhibition fuelled my love for photography and I’ve not looked back since. I have worked on numerous collaborations and commissions at corporate events including London Fashion Week and worked for clients including Getty Images. Wherever possible I work with medium format 120 colour film.
Tell us about your recent work at London Fashion Week – how did it come about?
I have recently worked at London Fashion Week for Oneg Magazine based in Milan, Italy and a number of other magazines including French Fries and Pap Magazine. I have built up a working relationship with Oneg ever since I have started photographing at both London Fashion Week and Fashion Scout.
This experience came about through sheer persistence and that’s key; you have to contact PR agencies, companies, designers and magazines for these opportunities. It can be relentless at times with days or even weeks of emails with no replies. But do not let that put you off if you are reading this and want to get involved in some capacity.
I was fortunate enough during the course of the four days to get backstage access and it was a real buzz and eye opener to see what goes on behind the scenes during fashion week.
How did you find the experience of photographing at London Fashion Week? Were there any challenges or highlights?
Exhilarating and intense. These I would say sum up a weekend at London Fashion Week! The buzz about the place is incredible and if fashion and/or photography is your passion then an event like this is a must in my opinion. Photographing this type of event can be intense depending on the amount of shows you are scheduled in for- over time I have been able to know what my limits are.
Lighting is always something you have to battle with as a photographer, and as it can be difficult to tell what conditions will be like I try to be geared up for any situation. The post-production is another thing that can build up if you’re not careful so I learnt to try edit along the way to prevent a backlog building.
The highlights have to be experiencing these amazing garments and designer shows and combining that with my love for photography. Richard Malone, Matty Bovan and Pamm Hogg are just a few that stick out for me.
What have you learnt from working in the world of fashion photography?
Going straight into an event such as London Fashion Week can be daunting and I felt that when I turned up for my first catwalk show. But self-confidence and belief in your own ability are key to making it.
Technically I have developed so much since the first time I shot at London Fashion Week. Most importantly I’ve learnt to know my surroundings, get organised and never forget to charge my batteries or bring an extension cable.
Any emerging artist looking for experience, even if you are not particularly interested in fashion, should give it a try to understand the fast-paced environment and gain invaluable skills that can then be transferred to your own discipline.
Do you have any dream projects or clients you’d like to work with in the future?
Currently I am working on a project titled Grassroots. It feels like a dream combining two of my passions in life- football and photography. It has also taken me across the UK and I have met some remarkable people along the way which makes it all the better.
Within the fashion industry I would have to say Molly Goddard, Alexander McQueen and Iris Van Herpen would be right at the top of my list of designers that I would love to work for and collaborate with one day in the future.
See more of Michael’s work on his Instagram.