Where Are The Good Runway Photographers in Africa?

by Nana Tamakloe
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Africa is still thirsting for good runway photographers. The problem with most of the photographers is despite their talents in creating good images and playing around with photoshop and colors, most are still yet to grasp onto understanding fashion photography. Where most fall short is instead of looking for inspiration internationally, most of them just look at the one known photographer in their country and try to emulate everything he or she does and this extends to more than just runway photography.

Runway photography in Ghana and most of Africa is like looking at the behind-the-scenes shots of an action movie, you never know the angle or zoom aspect of the next image. You get a wide range of shots, even some focusing on the face of the model and forgetting the only reason the model is there is to exhibit the clothes they are supposed to be focused on.

It’s very simple, all photographers need to do at a fashion show is focus on one main point of the runway, preferably a point where the model will be in walking motion, find something to mark that point, and every time the model reaches this point, you snap as much as possible to get a variation of leg positions, of which afterwards you can select the best image from the lot, or try to match as many as possible.

After getting these shots at a study zoom length (or whatever it’s called) then you can fire away with your close-ups or alternative angles if needed. This way you allow your audience, viewers, clients, and/or designers to see a collection of runway images and focus on the garments in comparison. It makes it much easier for the eyes when one flips through these images.

Of all the fashion show pictures we have placed on FashionGHANA.com there is only one photographer who has provided a consistent good collection of runway images. It’s not the proudest thing to mention on my part, but in fact, anywhere in Africa, you see a good collection of runway images you will know it is them. This is a South African photographer by the name of Simon Deiner with the company by the name of SDR photography (www.sdr.co.za)

SDR is the only photographer I am aware of in Africa taking great runway shots in this manner. Simply for doing this, his work is one of the few runway photography work that gets published internationally, and he is also getting booked across the whole of southern Africa, Eastern Africa, and very soon Western Africa. That is ONE company raking runway photography money across the whole of Africa because photographers here do not ‘look’ outside the box for inspiration.

Fashion shows are not concerts, we do not need multiple angles of the figures on the runway, we are not trying to capture an atmosphere, we are not excited about the gap in the model’s teeth, we are looking for the next dress we want to buy or admire. It is already difficult as it is that in most cases there are all sorts of variations in the models on African runways, the least one can do is make it easy to analyze the fashion.

So if you are a runway photographer and you are shooting for a client/director who has not taught you this, or a designer showcasing, or a fashion show organiser, or even just an event organizer holding a fashion show segment be sure to demand a study capture of images from your photographers.

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1 comment

Joana B Designs July 16, 2013 - 8:45 pm

I was just speaking to a friend about this the other day. The runway features in magazines are always from the francophone countries because the photographers in the non francophone countries are all over the place.

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