Event: The Blue Jacket Fashion Show

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A few weeks ago, I had a decision to make:

I could push to shoot a musician at a performance, or I can try to shoot a fashion show in New York.

Both were on the same night, so I had a decision to make.

The musician was Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie, whom I shot back in April in Asbury Park. The venue was cool – Old Swedes Church in South Philadelphia.

I used to live near Old Swedes in the early 1990’s. In fact, one warm, summer late Saturday afternoon, while services were going on, my dog, Mack, who was running around the grounds outside the church went INTO the church. I’m in the back stage-whispering “Mack…Mack…where are you?” trying to find him.

He eventually came out on his own.

Anyway, Adam was going to do a solo show (he’s from South Jersey and lives in Philly now) in the church and I thought it would be awesome to shoot it there. So, I crafted an email and sent it off to his record company/booking agent  asking for a media pass.

Days went by and I didn’t hear anything from them. Then the opportunity to shoot this fashion show came up. I either had to push the record company for an answer, or bail and try to see if I could shoot the fashion show – a new experience!

I decided not to bug the record company (I never did hear from them one way or the other) and instead contacted a colleague about the show. Full transparency: My day job company, Janssen, was a sponsor of the Blue Jacket Fashion Show as it helps promote awareness about Prostate Cancer and we have a strong scientific focus in oncology.

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Anyway, my request to shoot the fashion show was accepted with open arms. Even though they had a Getty photographer assigned to the Janssen team, the team was more than happy to get me credentialed in and give me full access. Having a second shooter could be beneficial (and, actually it was: I was able to turn around some shots right before and after the even that their social media team was able to get out there in near-real time.)

That said…I had no idea what to expect. In fact, I forgot it was even Fashion Week in New York until I got closer to Pier 59…and started to see some startling things.

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Seeing some of this, it all dawned on me Oh…riiiiight! It IS Fashion Week!

The Blue Jacket Fashion Show is a big part of Fashion Week and it’s for such a great cause. Many of the men in the fashion show have been affected by prostate cancer in some way  – either as patients themselves or having family members combating this disease.

So there I was, trying to look all suave and cool in my dark slacks, gray shirt, black tie, vest, and cap…. in the middle of all these fashion bloggers, Getty photographers, fashion designers, make-up artists, and models.

This ain’t the pit at the Stone Pony Summer Stage, that’s for sure.

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Backstage at the Blue Jacket Fashion Show

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I conferred with the Janssen team, and also their agency to get a shot list. Always get a shot list! Ask the organizers (or whomever hired you) what are the absolute “must get shots.” This helps you zero in rather than just shooting willy-nilly. Plus, when they come to are some point – and they will – and say “Did you get a shot of such-and-such by any chance?” you can say “Yes, I did! Here you go!”

My main focus here was to get shots of the Janssen people involved in this project, either in casual situations beforehand/afterwards, on the blue carpet (not red in this instance!), or on the runway. I had free reign to get what I could get, knowing too that a Getty guy had his job to do. So, while I tried to blend into the background, I always had to get my shots too.

I like this one, shot backstage, as I was chatting with Rick, a prostate cancer survivor and the head of a non-profit organization.

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He’s a Brit that now lives in Arizona and was having a great time with all this.

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On stage, he looked dapper, too.

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The runway shots were interesting. The “runway” was actually a square to walk around, between seating. All of the Getty and other fashion photographers had staked out their prime spots on the risers to get the shots they had to get, while I shoe-horned myself into a corner of the risers. Still, I got the shots I wanted.

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Fashion Model Alex Lundqvist

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Actor Billy Porter

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Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the New York City-based clothing store Barneys

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Can’t find this chap’s name but what a look!

But it wasn’t all men. This year, two women walked the runway too – Sonja Morgan and Countess LuAnn de Lesseps of The Real Housewives of New York.

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Countess LuAnn and Sonja Morgan

The capper of the evening was actor/comedian Mario Cantone, whom I know from his reoccurring role of Sex & The City. 

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Actor/Comedian Mario Cantone

He liked this shot enough to use it on his Instagram account. He found it after I tagged him in my InstaStory. Over 1,000 likes….some photo credit would have been nice, chum.

But he’s animated and funny and has a personal interest in prostate cancer. He’s also great friends with the emcee for the evening, comedian Judy Gold. They liked this shot, too.

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Overall, it was a fun experience, a great experience. While it would have been neat to shoot Adam in a church, this gave me great experience with something I had never done. There was a lot of ground to cover, a number of “must get” shots and then getting some shots for myself, too.

While I don’t think the runway is ultimately my thing, it was good to have the experience. I’m glad I reached out to do this.

Any questions about shooting this type of event? Drop ’em in the comments. Want to see more? Click this link for a full gallery.

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And, yes, Flo had to see some action too.

She’s such a ham.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018

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