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October 21, 2013

Event photography How to fashion show with an edge

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Written by: Lawrence

Were you asked to photograph an event or capturing an event for a stock agency?

Well, if it’s your first time at event photography, I’ll show you how I photographed a recent fashion show event called Fashion Minga. Event photography can be tough but with the proper planning and preparation , it can be an enjoyable photographing opportunity.

So what is Fashion Minga? Fashion Minga isn’t your typical fashion show. Think of Fashion Minga a concert fashion show. It’s a fashion show with a twist of entertainment. So you surely get the glitz and glam of a fashion show with celebrities in presence left and right via the red carpet.

Ok now let’s get to the breakdown on how I photographed Fashion Minga.  As you can probably tell, Fashion Minga isn’t your typical fashion show event photography shoot.

Therefore, I had to take into account a few factors detailed below before prepping for Fashion Minga. I’ve detailed the gear and steps it took to allow me to photograph the event.


  • Research event – Identify current online presence of event and take notes on how to better capture the event and keep in line with the brand of the event.
  • Online location scout exercise – Google search the venue and locate images taken at event and identify the best angles and position to capture the fashion show and performances.




  1.  CAMERA MESSENGER BAG – Carry all gear without bringing too much attention. The Thinktank Photo Restrospective 30 was my bag of choice. The bag is a bigger version of the Thinktank photo retrospective 5 I reviewed here:
  2. DSLR WITH DUAL CARD SLOT – To ensure that you have a backup of images during the shoot.
  3. TELEPHOTO LENS – Flexibility for close ups (Red carpet and Performances)
  4. FLASH – Overpower or supplement the house lights to minimize shadows. (Red carpet and Performances)
  5. EXTERNAL FLASH BATTER PACK – Extends flash life and also improves recycle time.
  6. EYE-FI MOBI CARD –This allows you to instantly send the images to your mobile device for immediate review of photos.
  7. GARY FONG COLLAPSIBLE SNOOT – Provides a concentrated directional light for more controlled lighting. (Red carpet and Performances)
  8. CTO GEL –Match house lights and spotlights (Red carpet and Performances)
  9. POCKETWIZARD FLEX TT5 REMOTE FLASH TRIGGERS – Create dynamic images with dimension via off camera. Any flash trigger would do. Although, if you want the ability to change the flash settings remotely, then you will need to invest in the Pocketwizard Flex TT5s with the pocketwizard AC3 which allows for remote flash adjustments if you don’t have another master flash on camera. This was invaluable for situations where the light was many feet away from me in between crowds of people. I was able to within the matter of seconds increase or decrease my light depending on the situation as the stage light continued to change as each designer and performance had a different stage lighting scheme.
  10. MONONPOD – Add stability for camera and also as a light stick to hold the flash at high heights upwards of 10-15 feet with the assistance of a lighting assistant.
  11. MANFROTTO BALLHEAD – This is key was this will allow you to adjust the direction of the flash without moving the monopod.
  12. MANFROTTO SUPERCLAMP – mount flash to a beam on the ceiling or any existing rails. I recommend using a Pocketwizard Flex system as your flash triggering device as you would be able to change the settings without moving from your spot, which is very important when confined in the press pits.
  13. SPIDERHOLSTER 1 CAMERA PRO SYSTEM – This allows me to holster my camera to the side of my hip which takes the strain away from shoulders if you had a typical shoulder strap.
  14. PEAK DESIGN CUFFSince I don’t have a strap on my camera as it’s holstered to my waist via the spiderholster, I needed a way to protect my camera when I lose my grip which is by attaching the camera to my wrist via the peak design cuff.
  15. 2-WAY RADIO WITH PUSH TO TALK HEADSET– Allows for communication across a loud room via the earpiece and microphone. Just think of the headset FBI or other federal agents use for communication.


  • First you will need to meter for the ambient light (stage lights etc)
  • If your shutter speed is less than 1/60 of a 2nd, then make sure your flash will completely illuminate the subject and have the camera setting to rear curtain sync. This will allow you to drag the shutter and keep the ambient light and freeze the subject.
  • If you don’t have enough flash power output to illuminate the entire subject, then you will need to adjust your aperture and ISO to allow for a shutter speed equal to or greater than you focal length.


  • If you are on the red carpet, it’s a given to take a picture of the entire subject from head to toe. If you are shooting for a media company, then you pretty much shoot to spec. If you are shooting for your portfolio or another reason without spec, then you can be creative and try to shoot some portraits. So compose your subject accordingly taking into consideration the harsh shadows produced by the stage lights and the logos of the event sponsors.




  • During the fashion show, if shooting to spec it is limited in the looks you are able to capture. Of course, you will need the full head to toe runway images, but then you could also get creative capturing the environment.




  • With full access privileges, you are able to not only photograph the fashion show at the press pit (front, and center positioning), but also anywhere you are legally permitted. I was able to capture this cool quick portrait of one of the models backstage as he was about to walk down the runway.FASHION-MINGA__LAP8301
  • Try to have a lighting assistant to hold the light either camera right or camera left 45 degrees of the subject. This will allow to provide more dimension to the models as they walk down the runway.




Below is a shotlist I used for reference specific to Fashion Minga 2013 at Exchange LA

Pre-red carpet


Red carpet


Pre-Fashion show


Fashion show runway




If you’d like to check out the rest of the Fashion Minga event coverage, then go to then click on Fashion Minga coverage post.

So I hope this was helpful and will make your next event coverage a little bit easier. I’d love hear how your shoot went and also if you have any feedback in addition to what I’ve detailed.

If you’re like me, you’d like to have an easy to buy breakdown of the gear used so I’ve detailed the gear in the Amazon widget below. Please help keep this information free to the photography community and support PhotographySILO buy purchasing your gear using our affliate/sponsored links.


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About the Author

Lawrence Atienza is a Jack of all Trades and Master of ALL. Whether it be in the realm of Advertising/Advertising operations with over 10+ years of experience to dabbling in the creative realm of photography and founding/writing for, Lawrence Atienza gives his all. You can find him on Google+,Twitter and the major social media outlets.