Behind every fashion show is a bustling whirlwind of models, makeup artists, hairstylists, wardrobe stylists, and a myriad of action that leads to what audiences see on the runway. Josh Wong, owner of Josh Wong Photography in NYC, is a highly in-demand photographer known for his incredible wedding and fashion snapshots (he regularly covers New York Bridal Fashion Week for us at Wedding Style); but we’re also fans of his work behind the scenes, as it gives us a more intimate and candid glimpse into the fashion world. We had a chat with Josh to learn more about his work and the inspiration behind setting up the perfect photo op.
GO: What do you enjoy most about photographing the behind the scenes action during fashion shows?
A: What I enjoy most about photographing behind the scenes action is the fact that I get to immerse the audience into a world that not many people are privy to.
GO: How do you spot the perfect candid moment to photograph?
A: Spotting the perfect candid moment takes patience. You also need to be an observer of people. My favorite candid moments are when the subject or subjects are so focused with what they are doing. It could be as simple as texting someone. But when they are so focused, that is when the candid moments are the best.
GO: You’ve taken some great staged shots, such as a group of models crossing the street in New York City, wearing their dressing robes and flip flops. How do you come up with your concepts or vision for creating a unique photo?
A: This is where vision and creativity just kicks in. Sometimes you have wait patiently for that candid moment and let it come to you; and sometimes you have to get into the driver seat, as in this case. The shot you are referring to was unique just because the models were in robes. How often do you see that? Never. When I see things like that, I generally just say, “Only in New York.”
GO: How does your work as a fashion photographer and wedding photographer overlap?
A: They absolutely overlap all the time. How it works is very hard to explain, and I could probably teach an entire course on it, but it is what separates me from many other photographers out there. It’s a very high-end look and the combination is unique. As a fashion photographer, you are working with commissioned models all the time and there is a certain look to it. How you translate that to non-model wedding couples and into a fashion editorial look is not easy. It takes additional lighting sometimes, but definitely a different style of body positioning. My most common comments for my wedding couples are, “You guys look like models!” and “What magazine is this in?”
GO: You’re also one of the lucky photographers who get to capture the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show. How did you get involved with photographing the show, and what advice do you have for amateur photographers who’d like to follow in your footsteps?
A: Luck may have a little part, but I must say that I have paid my dues. Many years of hard work in creating my own identity, style and vision – not only as a photographer, but as an artist using the camera as my medium. I got involved with the VSFS just by networking with as many people as possible. Living in NYC, the fashion capital, helps tremendously. The more you network, the more people will start to notice your work and imagery. Your work has to be unique in nature, though. That is how VS noticed me.
GO: Do you have any favorite or memorable moments from a particular VS fashion show?
A: All the shows that I’ve been to have some sort of memorable moments. My first show in 2010 could be my favorite just because it was my first. Paris and London… well Paris and London is all I can say. Now, my favorite moments are just hanging with the models and having fun with them!