At close range
A photographer’s sidewalk view of the style surrounding fashion shows.
I remember the first time I walked up the steps of New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center a decade ago, armed with a new camera and zoom lens I bought just for the occasion. I expected nothing but that a friend of mine thought it would be a good impetus for my growing love of collecting portraits of strangers on the street.
It was terrifying: The people hanging around the shows were better dressed than anyone I’d stopped in the street for weeks before, and there was a cool energy in the air, as if I just walked into a party already out of my league.
I spent the day at a distance from everyone, and when I returned home that evening to review my photos, a feeling of disappointment overwhelmed me. Thought the zoom lens would let me get close but ended up being a crutch for shyness.
I decided to go back with a small plastic 35mm lens. It’s cheap, but it’s a lens I’ve used for portraits and it will require me to interact with people for the photo.
When I arrived the next day, the time was unbelievable. As I passed the fountain in the middle of the courtyard, a performance must have just happened, and I found myself swimming against the tumultuous stream of people in the opposite direction. It all happened so fast, I had no choice but to pick up my camera and get going.
As I sat down later that evening and loaded the photos into my computer, I was delighted to have singer Solange Knowles, the first portrait I focused on.
About three years ago, I abandoned the traditional style of street photography to return to the genre of street photography that excited me when I first started: wider perspective, greater depth of field, but important Especially posing as little as possible.
That’s a discipline I get from browsing party photos on the internet. Photos where people pose for the camera are almost always the least interesting ones. But I prefer a proper portrait. It will always be the cornerstone of my work.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/19/style/new-york-fashion-week-style.html New York Fashion Week Styles: Photography Catalog