If you have been in the photographing side of a runway show, you know that for you, the action is at the front of the runway. Not the front row but the very front of the runway. It gets really crowded here, with every other photographer trying to get the same thing as you. Great shots that sell! So how do you conquer runway photography without breaking your back or camera? We show you in detail below.
RunwayPhotography Tips #1
Position Yourself Right
Every other photographer is looking to get the best spot in the show. It, therefore, goes without saying that you ought to get there in time. Don’t just get there on time; be ready to test out a few spots before getting the right one. This not only ensures you get a great angle for taking shots, but it also keeps the whole process distraction free. If you can, try get to the spot before the event so that on the day of the show, your work will be just setting up. Probably defending your spot too.
Speaking of a great spot, the best is usually at the center of the runway while staying around twenty feet from the runway. However, every show comes with a different runway. A little scouting will definitely get you a vantage point.
Runway Photography Tips #2
How Is The Lighting?
As I said, every fashion show is different; the same goes for the lighting conditions. Some will have light too bight while others will be dim. This call for you to know your light settings and be ready to adjust them accordingly. For dimly lit areas, using flash will do
Additionally, check your white balance since you may need to change to either tungsten or indoor settings. Also, get ready o take some test shots to ensure you are doing it right. Just don’t focus too much on settings and miss the action.
Runway Photography Tips #3
Shoot Short Bursts
Ensure you set your camera’s shutter speed is high enough to capture the constant movement. Short bursts will also give you a chance to capture good garment flow as displayed by the models. Additionally, this will provide an opportunity to capture guys at the front without capturing blinking eyes. You will also find that there will always be an outstanding photo in one burst and therefore this will make sorting of the photos an easy task.
Runway Photography Tips #4
Back Button Focus
There are some cameras that may not allow for this. However, if your camera gives you the opportunity, it is advisable to use the back button for focusing in this case. This will enable independent and continuous focus as well as reduced delays between focus and capture. The possibility of having perfect shots for photos is therefore increased. If you have never used the back button focus, try taking some trial shots for practice. You will notice the difference once you get the hang of it.
Runway Photography Tips #5
Shoot In Manual Mode
This is advisable mainly because you will have to work with the lighting that is provided. Your camera’s auto modes will then have to face a big challenge of balancing the light without affecting the quality of the photos, especially when changing between different scenes. Consistency is, therefore, one of the major reasons why manual shooting is encouraged. In cases where the lighting of the show remains very poor, you might then have to push the ISO so you can have good photos. Keep in mind that sometimes you might be using long exposures. This paired with high ISO leads to noisy pictures.
Runway Photography Tips #6
It is important to note that in runway photography you will often be taking vertical shots. This is because you want to frame the model from head to toe. This is inclusive of hats if any are worn as well as shoes. It is therefore important to turn your camera sideways. Such photos will also be in a position to fit in magazines especially in cases where your target is the cover. Some of the cameras especially the DSLR have the option of vertical grip which makes it easy to operate your camera while in the vertical position.
Ensure that you have an extra battery just in case your battery runs out before the show ends.
Runway Photography Tips #7
Don’t Forget The Back
Most photographers tend to put more emphasis on capturing the front side of the models. You should take photos from both sides since most designers would like to figure out how their creations will flow from the back to the front and vice versa.
Time your shots with the strides of the model
It is easier to wait until the model strikes a pose when taking your photos but going for motion pictures adds spice to your shots. It is also important that you take your shots before the posing as some of the amateur photographers might want to use a flash which may blur your photos. Also, it is possible that the model will be close to your camera and therefore you may need to apply a shorter focal length when taking the photos. This may in return distort your photos.
Runway Photography Tips #8
Get Low And Opt For ISO Rather Than Flash
Another important tip is to always take your shots while in a low position. This is so that you do not distract other photographers by keeping a low profile. You will as well notice that keeping low will improve the quality of your images as it increases the height of the model. This will in return ensure that your images will have a stunning quality. Speaking of quality, try to adjust your ISO instead of using flash which often results in unnatural lighting.