This post comes from our UK PR Manager Lisa! Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleuk!
I don’t know what it is exactly, but there is something about street style photos that I can’t get enough of. I love the mix of fabulous clothing styled beautifully in a normal, almost grungy, setting. Weather its bold colors paired with kooky accessories, or casual cool, it makes me want to dress better in my everyday life and it’s where I get most of my styling tips from. During show season, I find it fascinating seeing how all the fashion editors and bloggers from each city have a different take on the trends. This year we were lucky enough to see London Fashion Week unfold through the trusty eyes of London based Photographer Phill Taylor. Phill’s editorial work has graced the pages of numerous glossies, but during September and February each year he is the go-to guy for the coolest street style shots of fashion’s elite! Here he shares with us some of his favorite looks from this season’s LFW shows, as well as some top tips on how to get the perfect street style photo.
What’s a typical day like during fashion week for you?
I get up early and head to the first shows of the day, usually planning to grab some breakfast when I arrive, but rarely ending up having time because you’re straight into pulling out your camera as soon as you see the first well-dressed person walking by. From then on it is a case of constantly being on the look out for that all important face or outfit and trying to get that shot. Once a show is over you race to the next one and repeat. Your only real downtime is the 15 minutes that the show takes place and it’s in this time that the many rival photographers chat, grab a quick drink together or just take a moment to calm yourself from killing one or all of them. Then at the end of the day you head home, download your images and stay up until the very early hours of the morning editing them to be sent off to clients or uploaded to blogs.
What made you want to be a photographer?
I used to work in a comfortable government office job with the most depressing, joy-draining people known to man and I spent a long time trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life. I watched a TV program about photography and remember being fascinated by the photographer peeling off the Polaroids on a shoot and seeing the image come together. That was the point I fell in love with it. I then went to study at night school, got my qualifications to go to University, graduated and then became an assistant before getting my own work.
What do you look for in an outfit, to make you stop and snap?
I’m drawn to characters more than just clothes – as clichéd as that sounds it is true and it does make for a more engaging shot. I’m not really out and about to shoot people wearing the latest trends, rather if an outfit makes me think of a film, a movie star or a famous fashion picture then I’m interested.
What are your top tips for getting the perfect street style shot?
If it’s at a fashion week, then it’s just be there and shoot, shoot, shoot. If its out on the street the rest of the time, then its important to think about everything in the shot, not just the person and the clothes. The street can tell as much of a story about who the person is and why they’re there.
Who gets it right every time?
For me, I would have to say Grazia Italia IT girl Gilda Ambrosio is perfect right now. She is one of the coolest people I’ve seen over the years at the shows always managing to mix the slouchy with pristine glamour and the glossiest hair in the world! Another favourite is also Danish stylist and blogger Pernille Teisbaek who seems to take on a different persona with her clothes every time I see her.
What is your favorite fashion week city to photograph?
Paris! I love the effortlessness – the women in that city make it look so easy. But I do have to say that the men in my city of London are the most fashion-conscious and make the most effort.
How has street style changed in the past 5 years?
It has grown and grown. You can go out in any of the major cities at any time and not be surprised to find photographers out there on the hunt. The social media dynamic has changed too. Five years ago it was only about blogging and tweeting and the aim for anybody starting out was to shoot for a big magazine. With the likes of Instagram it is about followers. A budding street style photographer now would probably take 5,000 followers any day over of a commission from a publication and likewise, a blogger would be more interested in being Instagrammed by a photographer with a high number of followers over being featured in print.
What’s in your camera bag?
A 5D MK 2. A 300M Lens, an 85M Lens and a 50M Lens. I also carry a Yashica T5 or Contax G2.
What is your favorite street style photo you have ever taken?
That’s too hard to choose. There are thousands taken over the years.
Who is your new street style ‘one to watch’?
I’ll go for Gilda Ambrosio again.
Describe your dream photoshoot – if you could have any model, location and styling resources in the world?
The model would probably be Dorothea Barth Jorgensen who is my all-time favourite face to shoot and it would involve a road trip across Europe finding some of the most fascinating locations.
What does being ‘free’ mean to you?
Having nothing to lose.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful images with us Phill!
Follow Phill on Instagram
Follow Lisa and the Free People UK team on Instagram