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Fashion Show

Wanderlust – AIA Fashion Show

Last December, the Intern Army and I photographed a fashion show put on by the fashion & retail management program of the Art Institute of Atlanta.

This is the third fashion show for AIA that I’ve photographed, so I’ll just let the Interns talk about this one:

Well, the fashion shows I’ve been a part of have all been pretty minimalist. However, this show by the Fashion and Retail Management seniors was a bold and darkly whimsical production.  It opened with a fairly chilling scene involving a straight jacket and then moved into a showcase of lusciously textured and colorful fabrics (and later, audio from Boardwalk Empire punctuated by confetti). – BrittanyW

Me being a lover of shoes and all things that glitter, I was very excited to learn that we would be shooting a fashion show.  I have a special relationship with clothing.  Friends joke that I am they worst shopping buddy in the world.  I can spend hours in a store and leave with only one item.  It takes me a long time to select clothing to buy because I truly have to love it before it comes home with me.  The irony is that I am not trendy and I don’t have a particular style.  I just like what I like.  So getting to shoot a fashion show was a first in my book and something that I couldn’t wait to do. – Sonya

As an intern for Mark and Leah you find that it challenges you in ways you wouldn’t expect. You’re challenged as an artist. You’re challenged by your equipment or lack-there-of. You’re challenged by limits and expectations that are set upon you. Most of all you’re challenged by yourself. The most horrific and monstrous dragons you will face in your life, be it in personal or professional work, will be the ones you created. In a way that makes these challenges all the more terrifying upon facing them…and all the more exhilarating once defeated. – Carrie

Luckily, we were not on that side of things for the Art Institute of Atlanta’s Wanderlust show [and no such thing occurred], but amongst only a handful of the many photographers present, we did have our own set of frustrations: lighting misfires, physical obstructions, confinement, timing, and did I mention lighting misfires? – Niki

There were a ton – A TON – of photographers at this event.  Not only were there 9 of us representing, there were a bunch of Art Institute of Atlanta photogs and a number of other companies and independent artists, as well!  One very kind – and possibly naive – soul had brought a ring flash that seemed to operate both by trigger and optically, because every single one of us were setting off that flash.  HUZZAH again.  When my camera didn’t make the flash go off, I got a big orange circle down the middle of the runway, usually cutting off models’ heads and legs.  When it did, it was pretty awesome.  So I ended up just shooting, shooting, shooting and making sure the rest of my settings were ready for when I could catch this flash.  I basically piggybacked the whole night. – Raven

I was sort of blown away by how quickly the event happened — that being a good thing. For me, my favorite measure of how much I enjoy something is how quickly time passes when you are engaged in what you are doing. Photography is way up there. I love doing it and have been somewhat frantically been brainstorming about how I can make it my full time vocation in life. Somehow with LeahAndMark I feel I am on the right path… – Brett

The objective of this particular show was for the students in the Fashion and Retail Management program to put together and execute a live fashion event.  So, how did everything turn out this chilly, first evening of December from this photographer’s perspective??   Answer: I found it to be one of the smoothest, most professional, and well-executed events I have ever been too…at least on the student’s side. – Laura

Atlanta. Photographers. Photography. Internship. Fashion. Show. Photos.

Menswear Fashion Show


(I know his fly is open – but about 1/3 of the guys had open flys – so many that I wasn’t sure if it was an artistic choice or if they really just kept forgetting to zip it up.)

Click Here to view the Preview Gallery. Click.

It’s been a while since I’ve shot a fashion show of any kind – so I figured why not – and I signed up to shoot this one. Different from the other three I’ve shot, this one was menswear. Now, I’ll admit – I’m not really that good at shooting fashion shows. Sure I’ve gotten better since I started, but I continue to have the same problem – I get bored with my shots.

Because fashion shows are kind of like event photography but then they’re actually not really event photography. It’s kind of like event-potraiture.

So ideally – once you find the spot and shot where you get the best coverage of the clothing/model – you’re kind of supposed to just stick with that, or else you’ll miss something.

I tend to miss a lot. Mostly because I’m trying to get a different shot  each time – but they keep moving!

At this show I wasn’t too worried though since most of the photographers were corralled in a small area at the end of the runway. I say most since there were a few who were out in the middle of the audience getting a different angle on things. While that might seem like an awesome position – if it were me, I would have my same problem – all of my shots would be from one vantage point and it would be the same shot over and over again.

But it’s still an opportunity to shoot so you work with what you have – and if you know anything about me, you know that I almost always bring along my extra lights and set up. These days I’m pretty much the only person bringing my off camera flashes to events and that’s kind of fun. I do get raised eyebrows from half of the other photographers when they see me set up THREE flashes on light stands around the room, especially when they mostly stick with their on camera flash + diffuser… and I’m still shooting with my D40 + kit lens.

Remember – my whole thing is simply to get a different looking shot from everyone else – because I can. Well – and because it’s fun.

But what about being ‘true’ to the event and what I’m capturing? Well – my camera is not a xerox machine that simply ‘copies’ real life (yeah – I stole that from somewhere.)


The photo above and below? Pretend there’s only one light source coming from where I’m standing. You wouldn’t have the extra highlights on his left and right sides, adding some dimension to an otherwise plain shot. Besides, it’s a fashion show – there should be a fair amount, if not extreme level of Glam.


Event-portraiture… that’s exactly what fashion shows are like.

Click Here to view the Preview Gallery. Click.

Lolita Fashion Show


NOTE: Any MODELS from the Lolita Fashion Show – Please SEND US your email address at Email(at) – Or LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS in the comments section below so that I can deliver your photos to you. THANK YOU.

CLICK for Gallery ONE

CLICK for Gallery TWO

(Note: These are not all of the photos – but they give you an idea of how the shoot went.)

CLICK for the RUNWAY Photos – Part One

CLICK for the RUNWAY Photos – Part Two

I had a really great time yesterday at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2009/ The Lolita Fashion Show. For those who don’t know, this is derived from Japanese Lolita fashion and not anything generally associated with the term ‘Lolita’ – a more generic and acceptable term would be Modern Victorian – and even then that’s not completely accurate.

One of the designers, Megan Maude had invited me to come shoot the fashion show – and then I asked if I could also set up and do a photo session with some of the models – since I can control the lighting a lot more that way. Out of the photographers that she had lined up for the show – I was the only one to show up. I’m really fortunate that the other photogs didn’t show – because then I was able to have a photo session with ALL of the models.

Since I’m apparently generally over Anime Conventions and found the hall Cosplay a little boring – I didn’t take photos of anyone else there. And there were some pretty great costumes – along with people cosplaying things that were cosplayed 10 years ago… not just from old shows – but characters that were overdone 6 years ago.

Something I’ve been working into my photo shoots lately is putting the models on a different level – usually up – and then of course sometimes I’ll get up on a ladder or chair. Once I entered the long hallway conference room where the models were getting hair, makeup, and wardrobe together – I saw the lit ceiling, and it’s two big chandeliers. Okay Look – when I arrived at the convention there were photographers everywhere – and a gabillion point and shoots. Some even had their backdrops and softboxes out. I also saw several Canon 5Ds and Pocket Wizards and some near $200 beauty dishes. There was a lot of serious gear there and the only thing I can do right now is look at my $80 ebay light kit, $30 flash triggers, my Nikon D40, and think to myself I would light that shot differently (the shots that I saw other people taking – not mine).

So at that point my main goal was to get some shots that were VERY DIFFERENT from anything anyone else was getting.


Once I saw the long lit ceiling with the chandeliers – I knew I had something. But I needed to get the models up higher so that I could have everything in the shot and at a good angle. Fortunately – the back of the room led right into the service hallway where they also housed all of their tables and chairs. I grabbed two tables and set them side by side as you can see in the photo above. Instant runway platform. Awesome. Now all I had to do was get the right settings to darken out the backgrounds and the rest of the room. If you look at the photos you can see the people in the back getting their hair and makeup done, and just standing around waiting. It wasn’t a perfect photo shoot setup – but it more than worked – and I could always fix it in post if I really wanted. The most important thing was that I was getting shots that no one else would have from the convention. Anyone can throw up an ugly muslin backdrop and start taking decent photos – but in my head I’m aiming for the shot that they’re not getting – just always trying to be different. Always.

I’m not going for anything revolutionary – just something that the other photogs at the same event, won’t have.

Now that I was getting really nice full body shots that captured the whole outfit – I went all out and decided to do headshot type stuff so I could capture the hair and makeup. Without a backdrop or a clean white wall – I had to use the convention room walls – which are foldable and usually an odd fabric texture. Whatever – it’s what I had to work with so we don’t run, we FLY with it.






This photo here was one of the first that I shot – after I got this one my pre-shoot nerves were immediately calmed down. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get any detail out of their HIGHLY detailed outfits. The black kind of blends too much in the middle of the dress here – but the bonnet and face and hair and white are all there – I have others where the dress is exposed more correctly. But you know – after I get those first few shots that ‘work’ – all of a sudden something in my head clicks and aw, It’s On Like Donkey Kong. Because anyone can shoot with enough flat light so you can see the detail in the dress – but can they light it in away that actually makes it look good or even interesting?

Something else I did was move the lighting for EVERY model. Sure they’re all in the same ball  park – but the light moves from side to side and changes height. I’m not Olan Mills and this isn’t your year book photo.


The back of this dress is… well just look at it!

Right now until my order for more radio triggers arrives – I’m just working with two off camera flashes. Although I think I would light this shot slightly differently now – what I have set up is my 285hv with a shoot-through umbrella – and then I have my even older Quantaray flash on a light stand aimed right at her face. I told her to close her eyes. But it’s kind of cool? Ha. Well – at least I got the back of the dress really well.

The last shot here is Megan Maude herself. She’s a designer based here in Atlanta and you can find her and her beautiful clothes at – she’s super nice and really easy to work with – I am very fortunate to have been given the chance to work with her and all of the other people that worked on this fashion show. Below are the links for the other designers.


CLICK for Gallery ONE

CLICK for Gallery TWO

CLICK for the RUNWAY Photos – Part One

CLICK for the RUNWAY Photos – Part Two