How do you capture an intimate and personal portrait in the chaotic frenzy of fashion week? Just let Luis Mora backstage with his Polaroid camera. Mora, a Toronto-based Colombian photographer, recently shot an eighty-photo, black and white series at Toronto’s fall and spring fashion weeks. The results are rare portraits lasting longer than the thousands of digital images we normally see.
“I was interested in slowing things down. Everyone backstage has such a specific and time-pressured role,” he told The Lab. “The real work was asking people for their time and concentrating enough for a still pose.” Not an easy task in the heat of it all, especially when he was trying to shoot the designers, stylists, make-up artists, and other photographers in such a cramped space.
Mora shifts the perspective to the before and after, capturing highlights – designers Joe Mimran, Jeremy Laing, Steven Tai, and Sid Neigum, models Meghan Collison, Liisa Winkler, Heather Marks, and Amanda Laine, stylists Dwayne Kennedy and Cary Tauben, and Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker.
“All the subjects were really interested in the way I was shooting and it really helped to build a connection. You only get one shot with a Polaroid!” The uncommon camera paired with Mora’s method provide a focused look to the backstage fashion world, and one that he hopes to explore further in upcoming seasons.