At the end of my internship and the very beginning of fall, Leandra proposed that I take one for the team and get trampled by street style photographers — otherwise known as having the time of my life as a clothing paparazzo during New York Fashion Week.
I’ve never “officially” done this before, so on my first, fast approach to Milk Studios my mind began to race: “Everyone knows that I shouldn’t be here and they probably all think my outfit is ugly and I look like an idiot for trying too hard and/or not trying hard enough and I’m probably bothering all of the models and editors and someone is going to push me over and I’m going to flash everyone whyyy did I wear a dress?!”
But once I paused and started looking around, my only concern was what everyone else was wearing. I had to get out of my busy head to keep my style antennae on high alert.
Spotting the outfits was easy — there were tons. Everyone looked cool and unique and seemed to offer something that would work for a picture. It was editing the pictures post snap-flurry-madness and during the spare minutes of quiet (while the actual shows were happening) that caused an emotional roller coaster. I’d go from the moment of mentally capturing a picture: “Ohohohohohohooooooh. I like her outfit. Release the shutter. CLICK THE BUTTON,” to reviewing the shot and wondering WHY that stupid person in the neon shirt had to walk directly in front of me, mid-click.
Sometimes I’d question my taste in style, because some outfits didn’t look as good in the images between my hands as they did on the bodies mid-rush to a show.
The most satisfying moments, though — the realizations of “Wow, I am actually doing this!” — were when what I saw in real life appeared in the picture exactly as I saw it when the person walked or rushed by; when the beautiful details and the creativity everyone put into presenting themselves (or how ridiculous they looked in 91 degree heat) were perfectly framed amongst the chaos.
And sometimes, there would be an amazing surprise from randomly pointing and shooting the camera without looking through the viewfinder. My art history addled brain would tell you this is a celebration of the inherent chance in photography (blah blah blah), but really it’s closer to desperation for SOMETHING to turn out.
What mattered most when I found a beautiful shot on the screen, though — intentional or accidental or whatever — was the giddy grin and bubbly feeling that kept me running to the next show like a maniac in a dress, even though my feet were numb.