The Photographers' Pit - Tighter Than Moshing!
I enjoy paying attention to things that other people aren't covering. Particularly, what happens behind the stage - all the unglamorous work that goes into these productions. Today, I managed to snag a few photos of the photographers in action.
I seem to have this weird fascination with the photographers' pit - I really can't explain it. Definitely some admiration mixed in, as these guys allow the fashion sites, blogs, and papers to plaster their pages with money shots. They aren't the TV crews in the lobby or on the floor doing celebrity interviews or 'spot the fashionista.' If you stand or sit near the pit during the shows, you can actually hear the constant staccato 'click click click' throughout the show - even with the music blasting.
It's amazing how quickly they can get in and out with all their stuff. Certainly, they're pros, but nonetheless, they have their heavy duty camera, a stand, a laptop, and sometimes a step ladder to get better angles.
As far as I can tell, their days are pretty simply mapped out. The professional photographers get passes that allow them to get in and out of shows before the general public. Typically, they seem to head into shows about half an hour before seating opens up to set up their equipment and guard their spots. As soon as the last model walks off the stage and the designer does his/her walk out from backstage to receive the applause, they're packing and getting out of the room quickly. If they have a show right after another, they pack up and are crossing over to the next tent room. Wherever I wind up stationed in the room, when I pass by the pit leaving, most of the photographers are gone. When I'm being herding out to the lobby, I often hear the security guards guiding them over to the next entrance and telling them to line up outside the doors.
Some of the more enterprising photographers snag an empty seat or stand way in the back to get a differently angled shot than the crowd in the pit. The second picture shows a model being photographed by both the pit and a photographer sitting near me.
When they're done for the day, they wind up sending their photographs via laptop and wireless to their editors and call it a day. Typically, you see a ton of them hanging around, having a drink, and maybe even taking some shots of the audience. The MAC and IMG lounges in the lobby were particular favorites of theirs, as they offered plenty of space and seating.
Anyway, here goes a synopsis of the photos. The first is the set up for the Michon Schur show in the Salon tonight. If you look above the photographers, you can see the set up for the lights before they start megawatting the runway. The second photo is during the Dragana Ognjenovic show, another smaller designer, in the Showroom. The model is at the foot of the runway, just about to pause in her pose. Third shot - going back to Michon Schur, this is the pit in action, with the lights up and cameras aimed. It's not surprising that most of the models can't see a thing when they step out.
I've been meaning to get the fourth photo all week, but never managed to till today because of the crowds. The more reputable or important photographers get their own taped off 'box' in the pit. I'm more than positive that watching the pit during a shoot would be incredibly interesting. Just in case you were wondering, the photographers do get some help as they do have a set of steps inside.
The last shot is during the Anna Sui show in the huge Tent room. This show was packed, hot, and crazy. The pit was a sardine tin! I swear, when the models were at the foot of the runway, there was almost a surge forward by the cameras.
Although I have to offer a disclaimer - the next few days of posts won't have anything to do with petite fashion - I hope that readers will find the coverage interesting and informative anyway!