The formidable street frenzy of New York Fashion Week is a heaven shrouded in attire, ranging from energized statements to a softer elegance. This season was my first time shooting something fashion-week-related, and in my head I was petrified of what could happen. The sheepish fiend awoken within my lungs and grasped my heart and pulled on it, all while stirring thoughts of failure and humiliation into the mix. The scene was utterly unfamiliar and almost too hard to bear.
The anxiety of not getting any satisfying shots was overwhelming, and when combined with the thought that I was the youngest -- and therefore, most inexperienced -- person, made me feel rather inferior. The sublime fashion and the models’ surreal beauty added to my feelings of apprehension. Too terrified to shoot anyone, and even more afraid to ask, I entered a state of shock, as I had never photographed anything of such nature. For almost an hour, all I did was pace the street and circle around the studio, seeing eye-catching outfits but taking no action. Missed opportunity after missed opportunity, I eventually felt sorry for myself and my lack of courage.
After some time aimlessly roaming around SoHo, the night took an unexpected turn. Outside of Spring Studios, Danny Lomas and the rest of the PAQ crew (a well known YouTube show that talks about streetwear and fashion) approached my friend, Sally Lynch, and asked to film and snap photos of her in her attire, describing her aesthetic as “dragon princess chic.” Seeing street photos taken right in front of me helped me realize that asking to take someone’s picture wasn’t the insurmountable obstacle I built it up to be. Yet still, there was some unexplainable fear inside of me that was blocking me from doing so.
Maybe ten minutes later in that same street alley, still in my woes of timidity, I look over my shoulder and see an enchanting goddess - the model Samirah Raheem. There was no way on Earth that I could miss taking a photo of her; I dissolved whatever fright that was scratching at my chest and asked if I could photograph of her. She was so kind and breathtakingly captivating to photograph that all my worries and concerns flew away as time passed. Her energy and charming aura gave me such a boost of confidence that I felt blessed for the rest of the night.
The following encounters came much easier after I realized that talking to adults in real life isn’t so scary, which resulted in numerous glamorous photos of people in their ensembles, waiting for the Jeremy Scott show to start. There was an endless array of striking looks, including singer-songwriter Allie X wearing an artpop-esque Jeremy Scott piece from the Spring/Summer 2019 Ready-To-Wear collection.
It’s ironic how close I was to ruining this opportunity for myself. This time last year, I had such a desire to enter the world of NYFW, and this year I actually got there. A whole new world of fashion photography is laid upon me only because I chose to plunge out of my comfort zone, instead of retreating into my shell. Some incredible experiences and memories were made; next season, I will not fear.
Annie Walton Doyle