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How Thievery and Samsung teamed up with WORLD to rethink Fashion Week photography

This past New Zealand Fashion Week, Samsung partnered with photography studio Thievery and legendary Kiwi fashion house WORLD to capture imagery on the new Samsung Galaxy Note8 fresh off the runway.

Ok, so taking some pictures with a smartphone isn’t necessarily groundbreaking in and of itself. But what is unique is this: those smartphones were used in place of traditional professional DSLR cameras – and with results stunning enough that it’s nigh-impossible to tell the difference.

Thievery director/photographer Garth Badger says that was all part of the plan. “The collaboration came from a brainstorming session with the WORLD directors,” he says. “We were wanting to work out how we could maximise the experience of the fans that couldn’t make it to the show. A smartphone was the only tool used for this concept. It meant we could post images to Instagram in real-time while being assured that the stills we were capturing were quality images that could be used later for other executions.

“I’m a big believer in photography being about capturing the energy of the moment. Backstage at a fashion show is an exciting and energising environment, so being able to capitalise on the buzz was amazing.”

Badger says a decision was made to use the Samsung Galaxy Note8 for the photography for a variety of reasons. “I’ve used Samsung’s Galaxy phone cameras for a few different projects over the past couple of years, and I’ve always been really impressed with the quality produced,” he says. “The Note8 camera has been improved even further, because Samsung have used dual lenses, which gives you that much more control when capturing images. My favourite feature is the live focus which is Samsung’s tool for adding depth of field to images. I’m shooting pictures with a smartphone that I never thought would be possible.”

WORLD’s SS18 collection features a range of clashing prints against bold patterns, textures and dynamic silhouettes, making it an ideal to photograph. The Samsung Galaxy Note8 is Samsung’s first smartphone with two 12MP rear cameras and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) included on both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses. For more advanced photo-taking, the Live Focus feature allows a user to control the depth of field by allowing adjustment of the bokeh effect in preview mode and after a photo is taken.

But in terms of the future, what does Thievery’s badger see as the implications of smartphone cameras becoming generalised and being used over digital cameras? “After using the Note8, I feel that a phone can finally be considered a part of a photographer’s professional kit,” he says. “However there is definitely a time and a place where you’d use a smartphone over a professional camera.”