“The job was helped greatly by the excitement backstage with the models clearly all loving being involved.”

Ever since April when Victoria’s Secret announced that London would be staging their world famous fashion show, photographers in the city have been abuzz with talk and excitement. And with good reason – the show was to feature over forty of the world’s finest models, parading the catwalk in lingerie alongside some of the biggest music artists around including Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.

I was lucky enough to gain backstage and show access, but it meant being fully prepared for a long day. I arrived on site at Earl’s Court at 10am and finished editing at 4am.

I was given a specific time slot to shoot hair and makeup so I really wanted to maximise my time backstage and quickly cover as much of the atmosphere as possible. On one camera body, I chose to use a 24-70mm lens with a ring flash and on a second body, an 85mm 1.4 lens to shoot with available light. The combination worked well as I was able to get posed shots of the models using the ring flash and more natural atmosphere shots with the 85mm lens.

The job was helped greatly by the excitement backstage with the models clearly all loving being involved.

After a quick edit, it was onto the fashion show. Victoria’s Secret stage two identical shows – one at 4pm and the other at 8pm, to ensure they cover all angles for the TV broadcast.

I shot the first of them and took along a 300mm 2.8 lens, 70-200mm 2.8 lens and a 24-70mm 2.8 lens. With the catwalk and performances lasting 45 minutes there was loads to capture so I needed to keep plenty of memory cards handy.

During the show there’s barely time to draw breath. For the assignment, I had to focus on the music performances, ‘Angels’ Candice Swanepoel and Doutzen Kroes wearing the iconic wings, Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima in their fantasy bras as well as details of the constant stream of models and wider atmosphere shots.

There were also unpredictable key moments, such as Ariana Grande getting accidentally whacked by the wing of model Elsa Hoskwith, which went on to get a lot of coverage.

After the show it was onto a long edit through the night, trying to name every model on the catwalk, not that you would find me complaining…

Sam’s Kit:


See more images from the Victoria’s Secret catwalk show