A Fashion Show at the Four Seasons

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

W by Worth Fashion Show – Austin, Texas

Here’s something different, for a change of pace. Last Friday, my photographer friend Mark invited me to shoot a fashion show with him. They had it at the top of the Four Seasons Residences in downtown Austin. The Residences, located next to the Four Seasons Hotel, is one of a new breed of high-end condominiums that’s become popular. I’ve shot fashion shows in the past and coupled with a spectacular view, I thought it might be a fun way to start the weekend.

Downtown Austin from the Four Seasons Residences  - Austin, Texas
Downtown Austin from the Four Seasons Residences  - Austin, Texas

As expected the view is spectacular. As I look at the sprouting towers, it’s obvious that Austin is no longer just a midsize college town. There’s probably a dozen or so significant buildings being built or in the planning stages. Austin continues to explode. Walking around on the 32rd floor of this swanky oasis, it’s hard to believe it’s that same place I move to, 23 years ago.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

I didn’t know what to expect so I casually brought my Canon 6D with a 70-200mm f4 IS for the runway show. I also packed my Fujifilm X100S for taking more intimate candids. The room was nicely scaled for the event but I found that even 70mm was a tad long. In retrospect my 24 – 105mm f4 would have worked better. I shot at an angle as 25 models presented the W by Worth Collection that was on display that night.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

I used a bounce flash for even illumination without that typical flash look. The fill and ambient mixed well and, set at ISO 3200, the image quality looked great with the 6D. Luckily this was indoors so that I could use indirect flash and luckier still it protected us from the torrential downpour mid-show.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

The cream walls and ceiling added a nice warmth for the bounce flash. Here’s an interesting comparison. I shot only one runway photo with the Fuji, in ambient light. That’s the photo on top with a 35mm point of view. Compare that with the warm bounce flash shot with the 6D at 78mm.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

More than the catwalk, what I really like is taking candids before and after the show. This type of shooting taps into the street photography aspects that I like. I used the X100S for these shots. A small unimposing camera but with high image quality.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

I also did cover shots, that documented the event. Little peripheral details that captures the flavor.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas
W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

Afterwards, I shot group portraits of the models and the guests.

W by Worth Fashion Show - Austin, Texas

I’ll spare you from endless stream of posing models but I wanted to highlight this photo. Unlike the super serious fashion shows with sickly and serious looking “pros” the models here are amateurs. You can tell because they are smiling, happy and they showed personality. Much better than the typical shows.

Downtown Austin from the Four Seasons Residences  - Austin, Texas

I’ll leave you with this moment that I caught before the show and before the rain — guests taking in the view with the ubiquitous smart phones. The tall tower to the left is the Austonian, probably the swankiest of the luxury condos in Austin. At 56 stories and 684 feet tall, it claims to be the tallest all-residentail building in North America west of the Mississippi. Proof that Austin is no longer a sleepy college town.


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