With the rise of street photography the whole city has become a runway during Fashion Weeks all over the globe. Therefore, we called Søren Jepsen up, an early bird in the game and the founder of the street style blog The Locals.
First of all, do you have any plans to join us at FWS in a few weeks?
”Yes, I will be back in Stockholm to shoot street style during Fashion Week, and I am already looking forward to visiting again.”
Why fashion and why street photography?
”I discovered street photography on an extended road trip through the US in 2006. Seeing all those different parts of the country made me want to document what I saw. That’s how it started, the fashion aspect came later. In the beginning, it was just about documenting people’s personal style. As my career progressed, fashion became a more important aspect of my work.”
You belong to a very specific category of trendsetters. Do you pride yourself on getting into street photography early?
”To be honest, I am a bit proud to be one of the first ones. When I started, there were very few street style blogs around, and no fashion magazine or outlet used street style in their coverage. The few blogs that were out there tended to portrait the style of single cities. Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist, shot in New York, for example, Garance Doré in Paris, Hel-Looks in Helsinki, and Yvan Rodic’s Facehunter was on the streets of London.
My blog was called Copenhagen Street Style back then, and I worked on – you guessed it – the streets of Copenhagen. I put in lots of hours and even more kilometres roaming the streets to find people that looked interesting, then had to convince them to let me take their picture to put it on the internet.
Now, everything is completely different, of course. I saw the whole scene emerge and grow, and I think that has given me a unique perspective.”
What’s shooting a fashion week like for you?
”It’s a lot of work. I leave in the morning and shoot throughout the whole day, then return home and select and edit my pictures, then send them out to my clients. I shoot for magazines and also for commercial clients, and everybody always wants their pictures as fast as possible.
I try to squeeze in as much fun as I can – meeting up with people, maybe grabbing dinner together, and exploring the city, but most of the time, you’ll find me staring at my camera or at passersby, looking for the next shot.”
You have covered multiple Fashion Weeks in Europe and beyond. But do you ever feel like it’s just more of the same?
”Of course it gets repetitive. In the end, despite all the beautiful fashion, this is a job for me. I have attended Paris Fashion Week for the last 12 seasons, for example. The business has evolved quite a bit, and people – including myself – aren’t in it just for fun anymore, but for business. But I think it’s important to remember that while this is a job, it’s a great one, that involves meeting a lot of people and travelling to exciting places. I never want to lose sight of that.”
What catches your eye when you’re out, looking for your next subject?
”I look for confidence in people, then it almost doesn’t matter what they are wearing. A unique style also works, of course.”
Do you ever find street photography to be a little bit like hunting? But without casualty of course.
”Absolutely! It is a lot of fun to discover someone who hasn’t been discovered by others yet and have some time to really compose the picture. When that happens, it’s a great day at the office.”
One final question: what’s next for Søren Jepsen?
”I’ve already been to Berlin, Barcelona, and Helsinki for fashion weeks this season, next up is Copenhagen, then Oslo and Stockholm, then the big shows start and I’ll travel to London and Paris.
Beyond the fashion weeks, I want to spend more time working on my second project, a travel website called 12hrs, that has a little bit of fashion in it, but a whole lot more, too.”