Fashion Week may be over, but the excitement over the Fall 2012 collections is just beginning, as the styles presented in the past week filter down to the masses (expect to see lots of leather as well as oxblood-colored styles!). We spoke to photographer Natalia Yeromina—whose Fashion Week photographs since September 2009 can be seen at Shutterstock—about the capturing the clothes, keeping calm in the chaos, and, of course, what kind of camera she uses.
How do you deal with the scrum of photographers? You know, I was thinking about it, I must enjoy it, or I wouldn’t be there. Time spent in the photographer crowd is what you make of it and I try not to stand in the way of circumstances. I like to learn about people, find out what they are about, most of them are very talented, driven, interesting people, and I enjoy the opportunity to be in their company, to learn about them, their work, their passion,instead of fighting over an inch of space. Even though placement discussions are unavoidable when excitement is high and all you can do is try to be realistic and respectful.
Also, once you know who plays which role, it‘s easier to do the right thing. Fashion Week is a big, beautiful event, put together by teams of people who work together, and photographers are no different. All you can do, is try to enjoy it as it is, instead of making it into something you wish it was. And yes, it can be a challenge and at the same time it can be great.
What do you notice/try to capture when you photograph fashion/models/clothing? Originality and aesthetics. Yes, it’s not so much about trying to capture something specific—instead, you can’t help but to notice an original and proportional design. When one hits the runway, all of a sudden it becomes impossible to take eyes off of it and as if time stills and all moves in a slow motion, and that’s when I can‘t stop pressing the button. Usually all cameras on the riser begin to buzz when a beautiful look is on the runway. (Sometimes I wonder if they were to put noise level indicators for all the shutters clicking at once, it would probably be a good indicator of which outfits are most successful!)
No matter the personal taste, the people who want the photos always come first. It’s not about what I like, it’s about what others want and my job is to shoot as much as possible to give others the most comprehensive and descriptive selection of photos that works for them.
What kind of fashion do you like? Sexy, artistic, feminine, with a little bit of spunk, organic, non-toxic. I love simplicity of proportionate cuts, symmetry, outfits that complement feminine curves instead of competing with the natural body shape. I also love a subdued classy sensuality even when a woman wears pants, understated elegance I am not a fan of embellishments, even though they can be fun and are great for evening wear.
What have been your favorite collections in recent memory? I loved A Detacher and enjoyed Kaelen. I loved FW 2012 Calvin Klein collection, it was breathtaking in it’s simplicity and clarity. The form was so polished that even through the masculine black, it exuded femininity. Vera Wang, Chado Ralph Rucci and Carolina Herrera are always on top of my list. My eyes are at peace when I photograph their collections. I love the mastery of elegance and artistry in a look. But also something that steps away from the norm and has a unique signature. With Ralph Rucci’s work, I would feel confident to dress with my eyes closed. Vera Wang and Carolia Herrera make you feel like a woman with every outfit.
Street style photographs have become more popular—do you have any favorite sites? Yes, I like The Sartorialist. With the rise of the internet, fashion is no longer centralized, it’s become personal. We are people watchers and the internet gives us windows into lives of people all around the world. While studio sets only recreate the reality, street fashion allows to observe real people and different lifestyles—when complemented with beautiful photography, it is visual poetry.
Bill Cunningham by Natasha Yeromina
Have you seen Bill Cunningham New York [the documentary about the NY Times' style photographer] yet? No, unfortunately I missed seeing the movie by a day and have been waiting for a chance to watch it. A photo I took of him and Rosina Rucci (above) at Ralph Rucci’s SS2012 collection presentation is most representative of what I can possibly think of him. Bill has a consummate knowledge of fashion, and he seems to be the epitome of a fashion photographer.
I’ve heard him speak of street fashion vs. runway fashion and say that street fashion is his love. To me, they are parts of one kaleidoscope, where the designers input the colored glass and pebbles and people turn the mirrored tube. Perhaps, in some way, street fashion is bigger than the designer creations because it acquires a life of its own when transformed from the visions of few into millions of interpretations of others. On the other hand, street fashion is only possible because of the designers’ talent. I think Bill had probably seen so much colored glass and pebbles, that his skill can only lead him to seek out the unique beauty in patterns created by life.
What kind of camera and equipment to do you use? Canon, I am an avid Canon shooter, love everything about it. I use the lightest pro L lenses I can carry and a full-sensor camera body. Canon 1D line is excellent for fast-paced work, the camera is a breeze, it’s amazing what one can do with it. Of course, Canon is about to release the 1DX, which will combine the capabilities of 1D and 1Ds lines, and I can only imagine what it will be like!