Fashion Show Photography Tips & Ideas

Shooting Runway Fashion Shows with Photo Examples

Runway Fashion shows are loved by many, including us. We think there’s not enough of them. Some of our favourite fashion shows photo examples below in the gallery, these have been really enjoyable to capture.

Runway Fashion Photography Basics

What is Fashion Runway Photography?

Fashion Runway Photography is the art of capturing models walking or strutting down a catwalk highlighting what there are wearing or carrying in a journalistic or documentary style.

Also asking what are the types of fashion photography is a fair question as these head terms can have many strands. One style that many people know of is Editorial Fashion photography.

Back in the day when all photos were printed, either in single prints or in hard copy magazines you’d see lots in this style.
Some Designers and Brands are focused on Street Fashion, others High Fashion. Catalogue Photography is a specific niche that’s made it big in the last 10 years for online shopping websites. Jewellery fashion is another type some photographers specialise in.

What’s the Difference between Runway, Catwalk or Pageant?

We refer to runway or a catwalk for modelling as one and the same. All have models usually strutting along an elevated narrow platform or designated path.

Sometimes not always elevated as you can see below. If the runway is very long or the event budget doesn’t allow for hiring the platform then it’s at ground level.

The first row of VIP seats are usually set further back. The benefit of this style of runway is that the costs are lower to run the event. Also a benefit are no stairs for models to navigate. One advantage is the length of the Runway / Catwalk can be very long. Fashion buyers, magazine editors, fashion bloggers can spread themselves out and get a greater vantage point.

Pageants, also have models walking back and forth but in this style it’s more about the person, their character, energy, smile, eye contact rather than about garments, jewellery and accessories.

There’s more personal style and elegance about them. Their everyday humaneness and usually they get to make a short speech about something they are passionate about. Modelling with a different purpose.

15 Photography Tips for Shooting a Fashion Runway Show

  • Respect official event photographer centre position
  • Have your selected lenses ready
  • Prime lenses are our first choice
  • Have more than one camera body if you can
  • Practice changing lenses fast without looking
  • Fast zoom lenses are ok with F2.8 aperture
  • Shoot in manual or AE mode
  • We prefer to use 1/400 minimum shutter speed
  • Take a single photo at a time
  • Watch for eye contact from the models
  • Include wide shots as well
  • Take fashion buyers and spectators photos
  • Capture close up photos of accessories
  • Close up photos of hair and make up
  • Process photos making sure the colours are represented accurately

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Detailed Fashion Show Photography Tips

Pre and During Show Tips

For beginner fashion show photographers, a few tips we can share is try to and get centre position in the photography pack. The Official Photographer usually has this spot, so if they are there, be respectful of their obligations to the client and designers.

Have an assortment of lenses, we prefer to use prime lenses. It’s an advantage to have more than one camera body with primes. We always carry two bodies each and a number of lenses at the ready. Be quick at changing lenses as they runway action is pretty fast. Very exciting. Or stick to zoom otherwise.

Shoot in manual mode, we prefer to use 1/400 minimum and with professional lenses f/2.8 upwards, you’ll get great sharp shots at most shows with a good lighting setup. The lighting is usually either very warm light, about 3000 lumen, tungsten or (not our favourite) LED spot lights that can have very defined peeks in the light band. Check the histogram with these and you’ll see the weird look they can give.

Photography Techniques for Runway Fashion

Fashion show photography techniques vary between photographers. Some use their cameras like rattle guns. No need to. Pick your shots and stick to the photography brief. It’s not the most amount of photos, it’s the best photos that get remembered.

Runway photos by the top photographers are obvious to the trained eye. To the casual observer they’ll just look good without knowing the technicalities of each shot.

Composition is always of prime consideration.

What is particular to fashion event show photos are that both feet should be near to making contact with the floor. No souls of shoes showing. Front on photos should have the one foot directly in front of the other. That will give the female models an accentuated hour glass figure.

Take shots to the rhythm of the music as the models will use the beat as cues for pacing their walk. The Models strut at the end of the runway will be different to when they strike a pose.

Experienced models will hold their look at the photographers, take photos of them looking straight into the lens, you’ve only got half a second. When they turn to head back. Remember to capture shots of the outfits, hair and accessories from the back.

Flash / Speed lights at Fashion Shows

Don’t use a flash, in Sydney using a speed-light / flash has always been a no no. Imagine what it’s like for the models to walk down the runway while having very directional spot lights right in their eyes multiplied by 20 photographers flashes going off. Not a good experience for them or for the spectators.

As mentioned already, catwalks are fairly bright with hopefully quality light so use a modern camera and adjust the ISO, aperture and shutter speed to suit. No flash photography required.

And certainly a lot easier to balance the colour light temperature (called kelvin). Remember, the designers would like to see their garments in photos represented in the correct shades of colour to match real life examples. Not various other hues.

Backstage Photos Tips

Backstage photography is also an essential part of the capturing fashion shows. Accredited photographers may also have access to this area. Being mindful of the sensitivities of being backstage is very important. You may inadvertently take photos of people in the background getting changed so always be careful when composing the main subject and what is happening behind them.

Take close up detail makeup shots, photos of their hair being prepared, including the skilled talent of makeup artists and hair creatives.

Include photos with the outfits’ designers perfecting their creations. All these types of shots should be included in your shot list. You can also try for wide room shots to capture the scale of the backstage area.

Fashion Photography Prices & Rates

Fashion show pricing & rates will vary just like any other high production event. Always best to get a quote after the photographer brief and shot list are created.

How many hours will the photographer be on location?

Are you hiring the photographer per hour or on half / full day rates. What level of post production is required for the files being delivered.

And also how far is the venue for the photographer to travel too. Generally, fashion show photography rates will be between $600 to $1440, this covers from a few short hours to a full 8 hour day on location.

Australian Fashion Council

For more information on Australian fashion head over to the Australian Fashion Council website and check out their upcoming list of fashion show events.

The Fashion Council of Australia focus is on the fashion supply chain to promote Australian Industry from students to major suppliers.

Specifically the Fashion Council is all about; Design and Innovation, Supply chain, ethical practice, nurturing local businesses and growing our exports.

One key activity of special interest are their Trade Events and Networking []. Australia once had a substantial thriving locally manufactured textile and fashion industry so it would be great to see the majority of our quality garments made locally again.

Fashion Photography Model on Runway

Runway Fashion Photography

Alternative Weddings Fashion Photography

The Australian Bridal Fashion Week was held at the Australian Technology Park in Eveleigh-Redfern which is close to the Sydney CBD.
We photographed the show over three days, the Wednesday night for Media and Opening, Friday which was for Media and Buyers, then on the Saturday for the public which no doubt included many brides and grooms.
We captured amazing designs on the 40-metre runway on all three days and photographed backstage and behind the scenes photos on the Friday and Saturday of the event.

Bridal Fashion Designers

Talented bridal designers including LUOM.O, Inbal Dror, Shane McConnell Couture, Catherine R Couture, Nomiki Glynatsis, some bridal classics like jewellery, couture, accessories, gowns, a few detailed shots below.
For the modern bride, there were plenty of alternate options just ripe for the alternative style bride to set their wedding plans up for an outdoor spring wedding.

Official Australian Bridal Fashion Week website is no longer available.

A few photo highlights from the event below.

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Fashion Runway Show Photo Gallery – Bridal Alternative Fashion

Pacific Runway Fashion

Runway photography always generates a sense of excitement and anticipation. Walking down to the prime location of Harbourside Darling Harbour Dockside Pavilion (now removed) for the Pacific Runway Fashion event did just that.

Watching the social media reports leading up to the show stating all seats had sold out certainly confirmed this would be a busy event.

This is reasonable large venue, large in the context of it holding about 1200 people over its 1100 sqm of floor space. What added a nice touch and cocoon the vibe was the opaque dome roof.

It was an over cast day in Sydney and unusually sultry for early spring in Sydney, the soft light hitting the dome roof provided ideal shooting light for our early access of 4pm to photograph some of the buzz backstage.

It was definitely buzzing and fairly warm in the make up, wardrobe and change areas. With many staff, make up, hair artist, costume designers and the few photographer who had access to all areas for preparations and rehearsals.

Runway Fashion Photography

Pacific Runway Fashion Event is Australia’s biggest platform for emerging and established artists, with international representatives from Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tonga, who joined the many local Pacific region heritage designers and artists.

The event started with a prayer, beautiful singing and then the addition of percussionist entertaining the guests.

Opening the runway show were the plus size designs followed by the emerging artists. This wrapped up the first session, the second show followed a short intermission where the established designers got to impress the dignitaries, VIP and guests.

A selection of photos from the main event and backstage below.

Runway Fashion Photo Gallery

International Runway

The Pacific International Runway and Pacific Trade Invest together with representatives from;

Samoa, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tonga.

Pacific International Runway Fashion brought the runway show this year to the luxurious venue of Star City Sydney.

Pacific International Runway says, on the evening they will launch a three year partnership with the Star City Sydney and a “surprise grand and exciting opportunity…”

An evening of fashion, Pacific culture and extraordinary creativity. This will bring the Star City Sydney Venue to a jaw-dropping halt.

With a sensational line-up of top Pacific designers including;
Hoerder Designs from Fiji, Cecelia’s Fashion from Samoa, Fiona Matutu from Cook Islands, and Bou Fashion from Tonga/NZ to name a few, says

Pacific International Runway Fashion

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