Thomas E. Schmuki Photography

Phone: (954)439-1999 Email:

Miami Swim Week from a photographers perspective

Tom SchmukiComment

First of all let me say it is an honor and privilege to be invited to photograph a fashion show at the events I have participated in both this year and last year at Miami Swim Week.

This BLOG certainly only represents my perspective and no one else.  In fact, many of my photography peers may disagree entirely.  Let them BLOG on their opinion which I totally respect.

Photographing any fashion show is a unique experience for me.  Many shows have 10-20+ photographers and videographers attending and shooting the event.  This is a problem right out of the gate for me.  Why?  Let me explain.  

The photographers are elbow to elbow during the show, sometimes packed in like sardines.  We all try to respect each others space to allow the other photographers to get the shot.  The problem is there is not enough space to get the shot.  I mentioned to my peers before the show, “we all have the same goal, get beautiful pictures of the models, the fashion and the event, and to not have other photographers preventing you from making the happen."  During the show on Friday night, 3 times a tripod from a photographer behind me fell on me right during my shot.  He was appologetic, but come on!!!!

Lights, lights, give me more lights…. Many photographers including myself prefer to photograph these events with big beautiful lights to provide a pleasing beautiful result.  Picture this for a moment…  The model is going through her/his poses, pausing for each one. At that moment of pause the 20+ photographers all take a picture and fire their flashes.  I am really good and calculating the proper light to light up almost any situation. I am NOT good at either timing the shot when no other photographer is shooting or calculating 2-20 flashes hitting the model at the same time.  Result: OVEREXPOSED, BLOWN OUT pictures pose after pose.  There are only 3 solutions I can see to this problem.  One, no flashes allowed, which would be a shame, or two: limiting the number of photographers to a number that works.  I say 3-6 or so depending on the size of the event.  Solution #3 is to light up the venue appropriately so flash photography is not needed to create beautiful results.

After the previous shows I spoke to some of the models.  Even though I was within 15 feet of them when they were posing they could not see me whatsoever.  All they see is a bunch of bright flashing lights.  They can hardly find their way with all the lights going.  Heaven forbid if they were actually asked to perform a fancy dance routine or acrobatics.