“Babe. Those shoes don’t look comfortable. You can’t move in them. Practical…think practical. You need to be able to move quickly.” “What do you mean,” I said. “These shoes are just fine. I’m not running a race.” Little did I know…my husband was so right.
You see, the last few years, I’ve attended fashion week as an editor for my style site, Sleepless in Sequins. My role when attending shows or events, calls for me to dress the part. Naturally, I spend time in advance, planning and styling my looks for the events I attend during the week. More often than not, I spend my time writing about the brands I review. I’m rarely behind the lens.
This season, however, I decided to take on a different role for a change, enrolling myself in a crash course for street style photography, taught by my very own hubby, and master street style photographer, Grant Friedman.
Not to blow his cover, or give you sneak peek into his creative mind, but behind each one of his captivating photos is an epic adventure. There are days when he comes home dripping from the scorching summer heat, early spring mornings when he’s drenched from the pouring down rain, and then there’s the winter, his favorite time to shoot, when he looks more like a snowman than my husband. Several layers of clothing, trash bags around his camera, his glasses fogged, face frozen, and icicles hanging from his nose…all to get the shot.
I laugh in his face, each and every time. So, this particular fashion week, we made a pact. I braved the streets with him, lugged the heavy camera as my accessory for the day, strapped it over my shoulder, and gave it my best shot (pun intended). Trust me when I tell you it’s a jungle out there.
As models, celebs, and editors stomped the pavement in their sassy stilettos in route to the Victoria Beckham show, I scurried down the sidewalks, bolting across streets, just to get a shot of the action. I was competing with a pack of photographers, mostly male, and much faster than me.
I see my husband out of the corner of my eye, as he high fives another photographer. “Hey man! How’ve you been?” It like a secret society. They roam the streets together. They’re comrades, but at the end of the day, they compete for the shot. I notice many photographers dress in black t-shirts, camera gear and backpacks strapped across their bodies, and of course…the comfortable sneakers. Quite opposite of the little, red dress and brilliant heels I chose to wear. They chat it up about camera bodies, lenses, and their latest photo shoots. Mid sentence they bolt, as they spy the long legs of a woman with pumps, emerging from a shiny, black car. They scatter like a pack of wolves, ready to pounce to get the perfect shot.
I’ve never seen my husband run so fast in my entire life. He knows where to stand, what angle to shoot, how to compose the shot, and he does this simultaneously. He makes it look easy, and the photos…flawless.
I felt like a girl, playing tag with the boys that day. I ran, but they ran faster. I scrambled to focus the “blinky dot” as I called it (actually called the focus point). I found the greatest challenge being combining each aspect of the process, to seamlessly capture the moment. Seeing the photo as it came to life, bolting to catch the action, composing the picture, and focusing the camera to make it happen. I left with my knees black from the pavement, as I tried to capture detail shots, of fancy boots and colorful pumps I saw crossing the street. My perfect blonde curls turned into a frizzy, hot mess from the action that afternoon.
We headed home and I was wiped out. I’ve fairly certain I got nothing, I thought. That was incredibly challenging. Much easier to attend the shows, sit there looking pretty, instead of working for it. To my surprise, I did get some great shots. I learned a lot, and it forced me to trust my gut. Scratch that…my eyes did the work. I found that my creative eye, helped me to see the photos. My small frame, made it easy to squeeze between those photographers, to get the shot. My little feet got stepped on and squashed, but my soul wasn’t crushed.
At the end of the day, I fought with the pack, I conquered the streets, in a little red dress, and heels on my feet.