What’s your background?
Originally, I just photographed landscapes until I met some young fashion designers in Los Angeles. They asked me to shoot their runway shows at LA Fashion Week, even though I’d never been to a real fashion show. At that fashion week, I met a MUA from NARS Cosmetics who recruited me to shoot for NARS backstage at NYFW. To start shooting in Europe, I accepted an offer from a magazine to shoot “streetstyle” in Paris & Milan. I only had one question, “What’s streetstyle?” Luckily, they clued me in.
Although I still shoot runway and projects for my friends at NARS, I primarily shoot streetstyle for publications, brands and influencers in the US and Europe.
What skills do you need to be a street style photographer?
Oddly enough, photography skills are way down on the list of being a successful streetstyle photographer. What’s most important is a crazy passion for shooting interesting, fresh, and fun fashion people. You also have to know who your audience will respond positively to. It helps to know who the “it girls” and bloggers are so they will stop (or at least slow down) so you can get a good shot. And you have to be prepared to work non-stop during fashion week because images are edited and posted daily. Finally, you have to get along with the other 100 street shooters that are trying to get that one unique shot.
Why do you think fashion is becoming more and more inspired by street style?
Young designers have grown up immersed in street style imagery and they continue to follow street style as professionals. So it’s natural to see a two way flow between street and designer. For brands, having a street style vibe is a way to telegraph that your brand is authentic and au courant. As a practical matter in creating ads and editorial content, you don’t have to fly off to faraway places—you can just step outside to shoot street style to get a vibrant backdrop. Probably 30%-40% of editorials and ads are now street style influenced.
What makes New York fashion different?
The basic—and famous–fashion profile for NY working women is all black and sleek. So the challenge that makes NY special is adding individuality to that profile through sophisticated accessories like shoes, bags and statement jewelry pieces. For off duty dressing, NY women are drawing on the style of literally dozens and dozens of the countries that its residents come from. And the shopping, from discounters to sample sales to luxury goods, is probably the best in the world.
Who is your favourite street style star to photograph?
Without a doubt, Olivia Palermo continues to be the style icon that I admire (and photograph) the most. She is known for the luxury looks she rocks both off duty in NY and at fashion weeks worldwide. But she also works high/low looks (such as a beautiful jacket with ripped jeans) really well. And she has interesting accessories, especially the sunglasses she helps design. As an added bonus, her fans absolutely love photos of her and Johannes walking together at Fashion Week.
What do you love most about New York Fashion Week?
I like the diversity of NY Fashion Week: there’s more than 200 shows and presentations in the span of a week! One hour you can be shooting at Hood By Air (what Rihanna wore at the recent VMA’s) and the next Carolina Herrera (who dresses heads of state). It’s also fun to see uniquely American brands at NYFW from my home base of LA such as Rodarte and Jeremy Scott.
Because I’m from LA, I really enjoy navigating the subway around Manhattan like a native to get to shows on time—nothing is quicker!
Favourite place eat in New York?
I’m all about food cart foods when I’m working in Manhattan—I don’t have time to stop. So it’s a bagel and coffee in the morning to really good cart lunches and dinners—chicken on rice, tacos, Italian sausages. When I’m not working, I enjoy eating at rooftop spots like Hotel Gansevoort or the Studio Café at the Whitney Museum (need a ticket). My NY friends enjoy the 150-year–old pubs downtown like the Ear Inn, so sometimes we’ll take a quick lunch there.
For more street style inspiration from Tim Regas Photography, visit our Pinterest Page to collect your favourite looks.