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Models off-duty


Ever wanted to be a fashion photographer? Gareth Cattermole knows how to get the perfect shot.

The staff photographer for Getty Images has covered the shows at London Fashion Week for ten years - but it's his more candid, unguarded photos of the models and the mayhem backstage that show the real Fashion Week. We asked him to delve into his archive and share some of his favourite fashion photography, and explain how he captured each moment.

This image was taken backstage at London Fashion Week before the Gavin Douglas Autumn/Winter 2007 show. Models relax in different ways before they start rehearsals if they arrive early enough. There was a lot of madness going on around her, but she just sat down amongst the clothes hangers on the end of the table to have a few minutes to herself. I like to shoot the models very naturally and shot this from quite far away, using a long lens, so I could stay hidden and capture her completely relaxed and unaware.

Model Agyness Deyn (C) rehearses before the House of Holland show at Quaglino's as part of London Fashion Week Autumn/ Winter 2009. Some models don’t like shots during rehearsals but Agyness is always great to shoot - she has a very unique look and is quite happy to be photographed. As the girls start the run through it’s a great time to get some reportage style shots and with a big-name model like Agyness in the show, I’ll jump at any opportunity to shoot something a bit different. To get this shot, I was sitting on the floor trying to stay as inconspicuous as possible, but she spotted me and started laughing so I caught a little smile from her.

Taken during Caroline Charles at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2009, I shot this at the end of the show as the models gathered at the end of the catwalk and the lights went down. Lighting can really make or break a show and the more creative the lighting the better the pictures. Getty Images give me the freedom to shoot how I want and create something from the shows, rather than just capture images showcasing the different looks on each model.

A model waits backstage before Julien Macdonald London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter.

This reportage style shot shows a model waiting to have her hair done and the lighting provides quite a movie set feel. Once again, I shot this on a long lens keep a natural feel to the image. Working backstage is quite tough; it’s busy and noisy with very little room to work. It is all about finding little areas of space to shoot from, which usually means spending most of the day on the floor!

This image depicts models preparing for the Strenesse fashion show during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, and was shot on the catwalk using a wide angle as the models walk towards me. I love to shoot rehearsals; the images offer a different perspective, showing the preparation that goes into the final polished show. The models with their hair still half done and in their own clothes gives a human side to them, showing they are normal girls too despite being the envy of many.

Models walk down the catwalk before the Kinder Aggugini Fashion show at London Fashion Week.

This image, shot on a wide lens on the catwalk as the models rehearse, was used by a promotion with Canon last year. I like this style of image as it’s not your typical lookbook imagery which everyone associates with fashion photography - I find these shots much more interesting and a lot more challenging. Finding new and creative ways of shooting London Fashion Week is always hard - every angle has been covered by every photographer, so it’s a real challenge to come up with new ideas, angles and ways of creating interesting images. Backstage involves a lot of hanging around searching for that shot, so lying on the floor, setting remote cameras up and trial and error are all part of creating something special and unique.

For further information or to view a portfolio of work, visit: globalassignment.gettyimages.com/gareth-cattermole/



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