Tuesday 21 January 2020

London Fashion Week: Fashion photographer Jessica Weber

A front row photo of Ashley Olsen by Jessica Weber.
A front row photo of Ashley Olsen by Jessica Weber.
Vivienne Westwood. Photo courtesy of Jessica Weber
Roisin Murphy enjoying the fashion show perks. Photo: Jessica Weber
Anna Wintour. Photo: Jessica Weber

Angela Scanlon

Jessica Weber regularly covers the fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris. A graduate of the London College of Fashion, her street and front-row fashion shots can be seen seasonally in Elle Magazine and Elle Collections Magazine.

Over the years she has shot the highest profile names in the fashion industry including Anna Wintour, Vivienne Westwood and Hillary Alexander. Front row she’s captured Ashley Olsen, Alexa Chung, Roisin Murphy and just about anyone else you can think of.

How did you get started as a photographer or were you born with a camera in your hand?

No, I started off as a dancer, ballet, jazz and contemporary but I always had a lingering desire to do something in fashion. After taking a year out I ended up doing an Access Fashion promotions course at London College of Fashion. To apply, I had shot a fashion shoot with my friends in my mums back garden. My tutor at the Access course saw potential in me so he put me forward to do the BA Fashion Photography course at LCF which I then attended and graduated from in 2008.

You've just arrived in London for another hectic week. What does LFW entail for you?

Many sleepless nights! I have to run from show to show covering all the goings on in the front row and outside the venues. From celebrity shots to editors style to documentary pics of the catwalk. After the last show finishes I need to go back to the office and sort out all of my pictures of the day. This can have me gulping coffee until 2-3 in the morning sometimes.

How many times have you been for LFW?

This is my fourth season.

Do you do other fashion weeks?

I used to cover New York, Milan and Paris but not as a photographer, as a digital processor in post production. I still cover Milan now but can't do the others anymore as I concentrate on my photography career now. I also cover Belfast Fashion week, which is always great fun since it’s where I live.

Do you ever get freaked out by impending and impossible deadlines?

I think everyone does in this business. It is so fast paced and people want everything done yesterday. So yes!

How do you wind down after a manic day shooting at the shows?

A large glass of wine.

Some people live on coffee but what's your fashion week fuel?

I'm ashamed to say its cigarettes. I smoke double during fashion week. It seems to calm me down

You do backstage, catwalk and front row photography. What's your favourite and why?

I do front row, street style pictures and catwalk documentary. I love front row as it can be such a buzz trying to get in there and get that shot, but equally I love the documentary stuff and the challenge of capturing the essence of what is going on backstage. With the street style stuff I really enjoy seeing so much different individual style. The variety keeps it interesting.

Favourite front row celeb to shoot?

I really like shooting Alexa Chung as she is always friendly and chatty and happy to get her picture taken

The one you dread seeing?

Lily Cole can be extremely rude.

Dream subject to shoot?

A Vivienne Westwood ad campaign

Show you most look forward to in London...

It has to be Vivienne Westwood of course.

Must have survival item during LFW?

Eyeliner and water!

Do you wear flats for practicality or do you suffer for fashion?

I have to wear flats as I'm on my feet rushing around all day. It's a shame though as I would love to go all out sometimes with heels but if I did I probably wouldn't get the shots I wanted.


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