Meet runway photographer James Cochrane


James Cochrane is the one behind the camera during this fashion week’s runway shows. Ever since his childhood he has had a bigger interest for images than words and he loves how being a part of fashion week is filled with all kinds of different emotions.

Why did you choose to become a photographer? 

Whilst growing up in the UK during the 70’s I was influenced by the newspaper Sunday supplements, particularly The Sunday Times and The Observer. Whilst at 8 or 9 years old, I was not so interested in the words, the supplements always seemed to have fantastic cover images from some far-flung conflict. I was struck by this golden age of photojournalism in particular Don McCullin’s work. I think that it was these glossy images of muck, distress and bullet-holes, that opened my eyes to the possibilities that photography presented. It was a circuitous route for me through conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo and politics in the Balkans and a back-door into the Fashion Circuit.

What is the best about being a runway photographer?

I enjoy the community, working with colleagues, photographers and writers, make-up and hair stylists, models and show producers. There is a lot of emotion and energy committed to the shows, from the smallest designer on the tightest budget, calling in favours from friends and family, to the leviathan shows of the great French houses.  It is very human, there is drama and anticipation and each show in some ways is a trial. The lighting can be difficult, or the choreography challenging. Some shows are easier than others to shoot. This season AW2018, marks my 20th year shooting the fashion shows. 40 seasons sounds like a colossal amount!

What do you look forward to shooting the most during CFW and why?  

I am excited to be shooting Copenhagen Fashion Week as it will be the first time for me. I have attended once before, but never shot the runway. I am looking forward to seeing friends from the industry and shooting their shows and models that I know from the international circuit and hopefully meeting new people – a great mix of new and familiar.

How do you prepare for fashion week – do you have a ritual?

The most important preparation for me before the fashion shows is to try and spend time with my daughter. She is 11 and although she has grown up with me being away for 6-7 weeks during the Ready-to Wear collections, it is still quite a sad moment when I have to leave. The night before leaving for the start of the collections, I like to spread my equipment on the floor of my lounge and arrange it into groups: cameras, lenses, chargers, leads, computers, hard drives etc etc. Each group needs to make sense visually before I can edit my gear down. It probably sounds a bit obsessive-compulsive, but there is not much time to replace forgotten equipment as I usually start shooting the same day that the plane lands.