Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a catwalk photographer?
I had never wondered such a thing, but i ended up doing it once.
It was one of those times when a friend says, " hey, i've got this gig, we get paid, we should do it."
So she and i find ourselves in this hangar-like construction in Pall Mall in 1997. We don't have a clue what we're doing, but there's this chalked 'map' on the floor and it has the names of some major publications kind of drawn into a weird shape. The words HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHERS appear in the centre of this glyph.
We're way too early, but slowly photographers begin to arrive and position themselves at the end of the runway. They all know each other and they're talking about the previous show by Hussein Chalayan where the models appeared in full length black veils getting progressively shorter down the line until the final model had only her face covered.
We look kind of awkward, as the bunch assemble themselves around us into this amazing pyramid, where they're all kind of balancing on top of each other and supporting each others huge lenses. An older Italian guy starts shouting at me, "No, no,no! Not a tripod! It's a monopod! Not tripod, no!" I smile and look apologetic, then ask a really tall guy in front of me with big hair if he would mind moving to the left a bit. He gives me a look i can't decipher.
When the show starts, we just make it up as we go along (although we did have a plan to make sure we backed each other up and didn't miss anything). Towards the end we are staring down our lenses at Helena Christensen- she's obviously the star of the show because she waits at the end of the runway for longer than the other models did. I get some really good pictures of her, and then it's all over. The tower dis-assembles and the words HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHERS have been scrubbed out.