This was my first attempt at a fashion show, and other than what I'd seen on TV I didn't really know what to expect at a big-name show. Turns out it was lots of fun, but quite difficult work and gave relatively little chance for self expression. We took our places in the photographer's box at the end of the runway, but there was little choice in where to stand and no chance to move around for different angles during the show. We weren't able to get the best spots raised up at runway height, so were constantly shooting upwards at the models, which isn't ideal! Sven and I actually got into both of the two shows that night and were in early for a perfect spot the second show, only to be shifted by the official photographer making room for some guests..
Two separate 'sets' were used - firstly a plain runway, and secondly with a white tent lowered into the central junction. The first set is shown below briefly, but most photos I liked were from the set with the tent, which gave a plain background I could use to frame the models inside from the end of the runway. Overall, I wasn't too excited with my photos, it was certainly hard to get much variety in the shots since I couldn't move around, mostly used the one lens, and of course couldn't reposition or pose the models! Still, I tried what I could to create some variety.
Unfortunately I can't comment much on the fashion itself - you best find another type of blog for that :) It seems to me that shooting runway shows is not really about photography at all, and entirely about the fashion, which is as it should be I suppose. If you were shooting this professionally, you would probably make your selections and basic edits within say 30 minutes after the show and upload them directly to your client - the point of the photos is really a record of the fashion, rather than anything artistic in it's own right. Still, it was fun to try, and I'd happily give it a go another time.
Technically, it was quite challenging keeping the models in focus and in frame with the 85mm prime lens I used, as it wanted to shoot it near wide-open (f/2 ish) to try and blur out the background as much as possible, which doesn't leave much tolerance to get the focus in the right place unfortunately. With models standing at the end of the runway the lens was a little long and put their faces outside of the autofocus sensor area, meaning I had to focus and recompose at speed a lot - but this is nothing that buying a new lens couldn't fix next time ;) Most people were shooting 70-200mm zooms, which would have been perfect for the end of the runway at 70mm, and also a good chance for headshots or other variations that I couldn't manage