Guest Post – A Day at Bridal Market with Clark + Walker

Apr 23

To kick off the weekend I invited my good friend Luke Walker, one half of the amazing husband/wife photography duo that is Clark + Walker Studio, to share a little bit of insight into last week’s bridal market week from the vantage point of a photographer. Clark + Walker are the official market week photographers for The Knot – you can check out the online bridal gown gallery at The Knot to see Clark + Walker’s work straight from the runway. Take it away, Luke!

As Bridal Market becomes more and more popular, we were encouraged by our good friend Cyd to do a photo story about what a day is like at market. For those of you who don’t know, Bridal Market happens twice a year (April and October) and consists of many of the top wedding dress designers showing off their new line to boutique owners. Those “buyers” then decide which dresses they want to purchase and stock their inventory with. It’s also full of magazine editors, press, and many of the who’s-who in the wedding world who want to see what designers are blowing up.

Clark+Walker is of course the official runway photography provider for The Knot, and we’ve been doing this for several years now. It’s fun (I say that now, but ask me after about the 4th twelve hour day), and because we’ve been doing this for a while we thought it would be a great chance to show people out there who can’t come what it’s all about.

When I usually arrive at my first show nobody is there yet. They are frantic backstage trying to get things ready and meet the showtime. There is of course someone always yelling “10 minutes, let’s go people!” in the background somewhere. Models do a walk through to make sure everything is flawless before they let the editors and buyers in. The board on the left gives you an idea how much coordination each look gets.

bridal-market-fashion-week-behind-the-scenesDesigners and their staff, like Kenneth Pool, are also putting the finishing touches on the details.

kenneth-pool-bridal-market-fashion-week-runway-showBecause we shoot for The Knot, we are often times granted backstage access so we get to walk around and experience the whole scene. The rows of models and make up is quite the production.

runway-show-behind-the-scenes-makeup-artistsWe were also asked to shoot artistic backstage shots for The Knot this market which Alisha and I loved doing.

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carolina-herrara-bridal-market-fashion-week-runway-showOnce they let the editors and buyers in, the showroom is often packed wall to wall with people catching up and chatting. It’s a great chance for networking and to catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while. Like our friends, Tracy Freedman and Grace Ormonde from Wedding Style.

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Once things start to get closer to show time (which is whenever people arrive) it’s time for me to go back and get set up in my spot. Often times we have to sit in this uncomfortable spot that makes Manhattan apartments feel huge.

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Here’s my spot, upfront and dead center. It pays to shoot with the largest wedding resource in the country!

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Once the models come out and the show starts, many of the editors are instantly abuzz about what trends they are seeing and what they think of the gowns on the runway.

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The camera phones are out of control, too! Between twitter and the blogs it’s insane what people are doing with these phones.

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All of this goes on for these shots below – this is from the Oscar De La Renta show.

oscar-de-la-renta-fall-2010-bridal-market-weekOnce the shows are over we sometimes head back to the office at The Knot. This market we were asked to get some behind the scenes shots of The Knot Live! online broadcast. Yes, those are our runway photos straight off our cards they are pinning up in the background.

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Here is what Carley and Heather see when they are doing the show. You can catch all of their personalities on theknot.com.

the-knot-bridal-market-fashion-week-live-broadcastAlright so there is a personal tour of Bridal Market, which I know has become very popular to talk about and be seen. Now you’ll know exactly what’s going on next market this coming October, which will be even bigger than this one!

Thanks so much, Luke, for sharing this amazing insight! Have a question for Luke about market week? Leave a comment and I’ll sucker him into stopping by to answer all your questions.

{Photos by Clark + Walker.}