Philadelphia

NYC FASHION WEEK FALL 2008 re: what’s it like outside the tents where the celebrities roll in?

I used to write about my celebrities on my celebrity blog Confessions of a Paparazzi but I put that to rest last month to focus on Philly Chit Chat, but I thought you might be interested to know the behind the scenes confessions of a celebrity photographer during fashion week.As the last of the summer sun settles on New York, fashion designers will present their spring 2009 collections at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, beginning on Friday in Bryant Park. The week will include America’s most recognized designers — Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein. It also will showcase the designers, such as Phillip Lim, Tracy Reese, and Tibi. Fashion Week is always the first Friday after Labor Day. (This is the front entrance, sometimes celebs will go through the front door, but most go through the stage door so they don’t have to hob nob with the regular folk who are quued in massive lines that to get through the doors)Below are “The Tents” that are Fashion Week in Bryant Park; a park about the size of the land Phila City Hall sits on. This is the back view or the Stage Door view. It is here where I will spend a lot of my time, when I am not inside shooting the front row, or even shooting the shows that I want to shoot just for fun. For fun I say, because my job is to photograph the celebrities wearing all the designer clothes.

This is 40th Street and the sidewalk entrance to the tents. These are my co-workers for the week. Some of them are good friends, most are decent people who love what they do, and some could care less about the person they just stepped on to get Tanya Harding’s lousy photo. (OK Tanya would never be invited to The Tents). They are waiting for the next SUV with the Olsen’s or Sophia Hill to pull up.
It has always perplexed me why the fashion show coordinators never put security gates in place to safely walk the celebrity to the “stage door”. Security gates would allow the celebrity safe entry, and would separate the press from the mobs of people that tend to gather when there’s a commotion. The bigger celebrity, the bigger the mess for all of us as you will see…
The celebrity has to walk about 300 feet from curb to door, in the begining of the week it isn’t so bad, but as word gets out to the tourist in Times Square, a few blocks away, this park becomes Time Square for the remainder of the week.
After navigating the park, the celebrity must then navigate the New Yorkers who turn their noses up at celebrities and then refuse to vacate the picnic tables and chairs that often block the entryway, because “Well they’re no better than us” (see Gawker Stalker).
Sometimes, the celebrity and models are often asked to sign autographs or pose for photos with fans, which is great for the fans, not so great for the photographers who know they only have a few spare seconds to get the photo they need for that day of that person.
We interrupt this entry to say that Kurt Cobain never goes out of style!!Here is Anne Hathaway and her convict boyfriend making their way to the stage door. Often I have to navigate around other photographers. Every year I promise to drop a human to do so, and every year I return to fashion week wondering if I am always running after these people, I must be eating to much at the buffet of life.
The press/media gets a list everyday that tells us who is going to show up. The celebrity is paid between $10,000 and $50,000 to make an appearance. They arrive either decked out in the designers duds, that had be sent to them earlier in the week, or they put on one of their outfits backstage.
Terri Hatcher wants to be photographed, she just wants the pandemonium to settle down so everyone can get a shot. Sadly this runway rarely has organization, but eventually things do calm down and we all can get a shot.

I am just in the wrong place, I am just not aggressive, but things usually work out for me. There are too many heads in the way for me to get the “Fashion Shot”
It’s on the rare occasion that a celebrity will get a police escort, but these men in blue were happy to give one to porn star Jenna Jameson. (This photo of mine appeared in Star magazine)JC Chasez waves hi. He’s wearing DVF and he want’s it to be published.
Rose McGowan
knows that if her fashion shot has a chance at getting in the glossies
she has to take off her coat even when it’s 30F out in February
Singer Jo-Jo. This shot was corrected in photoshop, but the lamp behind her and the brillant sunshine just spoiled the photo.
The top chef knows how to make an entrance leaving her coat in the car. Padma Lakshmi is known internationally as an actress, food expert, model and award-winning writer

Amy Smart in Herve Ledger which I photographed and it appeared in Us Magazine under the Cranberry Dresses segment. People always want to know how much I make on a shot like this, it’s not as much as people think, those days are over as the competition is tough and Amy Smart has her underwear on, get the picture, the more scandalous, the more you negate your values and conscience, you get the photo the public is willing to pay to see, then you make the money. If this was one of those photos, you don’t just make the big money on one sale, but repeated sales. As for Amy this was the only sale of this photo did I make.The designer and her mogul husband, Diane Von Furstenburg and media giant & rumor to be part of the velvet mafia, Barry Diller

Remember these fans, they are pushing 12 hrs of celebrity watching and her tiera is barely tarnished. Here the Paris Hilton wanabes pose with the Heatherette gang, Richie Rich and Traver RainsI’ve met some characters over the past 5 seasons including David Jr. who has really made strides in the entertainment field. I look forward to running into all my characters later this week, and catch up on where life has brought us. Me I’m exhausted, it’s time for a vacation.So if you want to catch the action NY Fashion Week Fall 2009 is at Bryant Park 9/5 – 9/12. You are guaranteed to see a celebrity or two and it won’t be so bad until about Tuesday, when the rest of NY catches on. Stay tuned to Philly Chit Chat as I try to post daily the daily going ons…for the rest of the world their lives just go on as if nothing is happening around them.Tomorrow we go inside the tent.