The activity behind the scenes at any show is compelling and yes, during fashion shows…we all want to see how it goes. Increasingly with the digital age, immediate “coverage” of the shows behind, on and who’s sitting at the runway is in high demand. Being a photographer at the shows has become a key position.
I got a chance to follow Getty Photographer Mark Von Holden at a show during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. The show, coincidentally, was one I had researched and wanted to check out. While the collection didn’t meet with my expectations, chatting with and shadowing Mark ended up being fab.
While I reviewed the few question prepped for my interviewee and as I waited backstage, I couldn’t help but notice that the # of photographers matched the number of models.
Mark arrived a little on the breathless side, getting up and downtown between shows is a challenge for us all during fashion week. He was awesomely low key and totally relaxed despite it all. I first asked him if this is all that he does? Shoot shows and events for Getty? Actually, he loves shooting beauty and sees that as his main medium in photography. His wife (Amy Sussman) has the same gig. In fact, they were both at Lincoln Center the night we connected. How cool.
With a landmark 20th season of shooting Fashion Week, the seasoned New York State born photographer (family is originally from Bronx/Queens), mentioned that what he looks for backstage, where his assignment started, were the “weird and funky moments”. I took this to mean the creative process back stage when moments before the show a designer decides to rip off one sleeve and a trend is born…at least, if I was a photographer, I would want that on camera.
Mark’s additional assignment for the evening was not being on the risers fighting for a good spot to place his camera with the Italians (according to our guy Mark, the Italians can be brutal in the photographer’s pit) but to shoot celebrities or anyone of note at the show. This was a show highlighting brand new designers, I didn’t anticipate any celebrities…in fact, and I wondered if the seats would be filled? When asked what he would do then? Mark replied that he would just shoot interesting people. We all know at shows that there are the attention folks that dress crazy so that they will get their photo taken. Mark and his colleagues don’t shoot them necessarily, but they will shoot editors, bloggers, and obvious stylish people with “good taste”.
The show as predicted, didn’t have very many interesting guests that I saw, but Mark managed to find some cool stylish types.
I am so happy I got to meet a fellow veteran of NY Fashion Week and while we have a slightly different artistic outcome of our inspiration at the shows, we do have the same job; To share what we see at, behind, and on the runway. It will be nice to have a new friend to wave at next season.
By the way, I think Mark is an even cooler guy since he used to break dance…his favorite dance move is the “Helicopter”. Nice. RL
Photography Credits |
Mark Von Holden “Screen Shot” | Mark Von Holden
Photographers and the end of Runway | APF Getty Images
Runway Show Attendees | Mark Von Holden