Now that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has officially come to a close I felt it the most appropriate time to reflect on my experience.
For as many years as I can remember I’ve wanted to attend Fashion Week but as a college student with little money, I was never able. My dream was just to be in the midst of everything and be a part of the pit of photographers at the once in a lifetime shows. Not until recently I gave the thought of attending the coveted week-long of fashion and personal style serious thought. I purchased my flight in early August with no real accommodations for lodging or access to shows. However, God had a different plan. As I began thinking and speaking life into the trip opportunities began to fall from the sky… right into my lap.
First, as a new worker with Sandbox Studio (a company that provides fashion photography for various brands) I was granted the chance to meet the CEO, Joe Barrett. Over drinks at a company outing I expressed to him that I was planning to visit NYC for Fashion Week. Not expecting anything more than a “Great!” “What do you plan to do while you’re up there?”, I was shocked when he offered to let me stay in the Brooklyn studio space. Sandbox has two studios in California, New York and one in Portland and Memphis. Being that lodging for even a visitor of the city is expensive I quickly took him up on the offer. Next, it was time to network my ass off in hopes of seeing a show or two. After few hours of research and a helpful 3-part YouTube video I began sending out e-mails to PR contacts for every show that would be showing in the timeframe I was in NY. I honestly didn’t think I would hear back from anyone. However, I received multiple invites. What excited me the most if that one invite offered me full access to shoot backstage and runway.
My dreams of being a pit photographer was about to come true.
I knew in order to fully commemorate my experience and live up to my potential as a great photographer I needed better equipment than what I already owned. I turned to LensRentals, a local company that allows photographers to rent cameras, lenses and everything else in between. My shopping cart included a Canon 5D Mark II, a 7-200mm 2.8, a 35mm 1.4 and multiple accessories. The total to rent those items put me well over $400 and though I had the money I had no intentions of emptying my account before I made it to the Big Apple. With the encouragement of my coworkers I went out on a limb and asked my manager if I could borrow photo equipment from the studio in order to save money. Not only did he say yes, he offered to let me borrow a Canon 1DX instead (a camera three times better than the one I requested).
Everything was falling into place and I couldn’t be more excited and thankful.
I arrived in New York via LaGuardia on Wednesday afternoon.
- I shot backstage and runway photography for Fashion Palette @ Pier 59 Studios.
- Attended the SALLY LAPOINTE SS14 runway show @ Highline Stages.
- Met and took a photo with supermodel Selita Ebanks and creator of Fashion Bomb Daily Claire Sulmers.
- Filmed to be included in the NY Times’ fashion week coverage.
- Photographed for Italian Cosmopolitan’s October Issue.
- Attended GQ x Dockers event in SoHo.
- Attended the RUFFIAN SS14 runway show @ Lincoln Center.
- Photographed by street style photographers.
- Sunglasses filmed to be included in a NYFW video about cool eyewear.
- Attended and sat front row at the KATYA LEONOVICH runway show @ Lincoln Center.
- Attended New FNO networking event.
- Attended StreetEtiquette’s SLUMFLOWER event. —This was the highlight of my entire trip. These brothers, in conjunction with other individuals I met there are such an inspiration to me.
All in all my experience at NYFW for the first time was more than I could’ve imagined or dreamed of. I am extremely grateful for the blessings that were bestowed upon me before and during my stay. I’m already planning to attend the shows in February. Brrr. Check out some of my favorite photos from backstage and runway below.