How Street Style Photographer Christina Fragkou Gets It Done

Gerard Ortiz

Illustration: Samantha Hahn

For this special Fashion 7 days edition of “How I Get It Performed,” we’re asking productive gals about taking care of their careers and life through this frantic time of calendar year.

Christina Fragkou has been documenting manner 7 days for over 8 yrs. As a freelance avenue-fashion and style photographer, it is effortlessly her busiest year as she travels from city to city to capture articles for the biggest trend manufacturers and publications around the world (like the Minimize!).

A seasoned photographer, she has labored for brand names like Dior, Rick Owens, JW Anderson, Balenciaga, Zits Studios, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Loewe, Gabriela Hearst, and Prada. When she’s not doing work reveals, she’s capturing street style for publications including The Lower, Vogue, DAZED, Hypebeast, and extra. She has captured legendary moments like Karl Lagerfeld’s last clearly show for Chanel, the late Queen of England arriving for London Vogue 7 days in February 2018, and Virgil Abloh, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Bieber backstage at Off-White in 2017. 

Born in Greece and raised in South Africa, Fragkou (who makes use of she/they pronouns) graduated from college in 2012. When she was not to begin with positive what sort of pictures she preferred to emphasis on, she determined to use to the Condé Nast College of Style & Design in London. It was not right until doing the job an internship at TANK Magazine, the place she shot a mixture of documentary and fashion jointly, that it clicked: That was what she beloved to shoot. She shot her very first fashion week in London in 2015, and this season marked her first New York Fashion Week back because the pandemic. This is how she receives it finished. 

On an average day through vogue week: 
I go to bed all-around 2:30 a.m. and wake up close to 7:30. As I get additional tired, I uncover that I have to make myself wake up a tiny little bit previously, for the reason that it just requires me that much for a longer period in the morning. I just can’t just get up and get out. I’m a early morning shower-er and often have a decaf espresso on the way: oat-milk flat white, even if I’m late. All through the day, I’m carrying a shitload on me. I have bought my camera, my cellphone, and my laptop. I’ve bought two lenses because I’m taking pictures backstage and avenue style. I’ll be on the avenue until eventually sunset shooting street model. On ordinary, I’ll shoot probably two or 3 displays a day backstage and then I’ll also shoot avenue style between four and five diverse shows. I test to say no to any late-night exhibits unless of course it’s for a customer that I have labored with for a lengthy expression and it’s a present that I’m heading to take pleasure in, or if it’s for big bucks. Though I normally wander from demonstrate to clearly show or consider public transportation, when it’s late at evening, I take an Uber house. I’m not obtaining on a tube or the metro no issue what, not since of basic safety, just simply because I’m tired. And then I want to sit on my telephone for 20 minutes and feel like a human right before I’m enhancing for the night time.

On how she finds operate: 
When I to start with started, I sent out so quite a few email messages. I even now send out out very a couple of e-mails, but it is the traditional story that you listen to of a snowball influence. I got one compact occupation from a lady that noticed me submitting that I went to uni with, that was operating at a little magazine. I tried out to get into Refinery29, but they didn’t compose back again and then the up coming period they arrived at out to me. A great deal of it has to do with photo editors way too. It is their position to supply photographers and I’m lucky plenty of to have been doing this for extended ample now and labored with these a range of publications, that when folks are looking for photographers, especially around Vogue Week, I’m on their radar.

On what keeps her heading: 
I dance my coronary heart out. If my headphones are not in and the tunes is not pumping, I’m asleep, I’m crying, or I’m shouting at people today. I constantly start with a small bit of Florence + the Machine. There’s constantly “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. Then, there’s a great deal of ’90s R&B and a whole lot of ’70s father gems and ’80s pop. Oh, and a minimal little bit of Justin Bieber. I want to hold the vibe up and it really does carry me by mainly because my body’s going. I uncover that if I remain relocating, I can keep up.

On the local community of photographers that she works with:
We have a little loved ones that travels jointly. It is a wild detail to see your buddy on the road and be like, “Hey, see you tomorrow” and you know it is gonna be in a distinctive country. I have calculated this: I shell out much more days with them a calendar year than I do with my relatives. We know each and every other’s personalities. You can see when someone’s possessing an off day. We have different locations where we stand and shoot and there’s a bond there, which is great. We just shift all around altogether. We normally share flats, or at the very least remain in the exact places.

On how substantially she spends: 
My fees shoot the fuck off for the duration of Vogue Week, but I do this on intent. I navigate this area in a way that I know is most valuable to me. All through Fashion 7 days, I give myself a first rate total of revenue so that I know that I can be grabbing what I want when I want it and I’m not stressed about investing. In latest several years, it is become a lot more of a priority to make guaranteed that I’m sleeping someplace that’s relaxed for me. That arrives as you do the job for a longer time and you start out to get a lot more dependable perform and you get much better at what you do and you get improved at being familiar with fees. I can manage it, but it’s expensive as hell. I was stunned searching at rates in New York this time. I usually keep a funds of my bills for each style week and I just refer again to calculate how considerably I should really be paying out, and it was double the money this calendar year. I just about had to send an e-mail and be like, “I never assume I can make it” and then I found a buddy from South Africa who is going there, and I’m renting a next space from him.

On having out: 
On the very first day in a new put, I go to the store and get chocolate and heaps of chips. I idiot myself into purchasing some nutritious snacks that I will also probably snack on but won’t finish. But I’m largely consuming out. I typically consider my laptop computer out to evening meal with me, which I pretty enjoy. We also go for group dinners most evenings, and we have consistent locations wherever we eat out.

On packing:
I’m mainly picking outfits out of a suitcase, so I pack for a number of months and I go around with individuals very same two luggage. It is not nominal at all, but there is a checklist. I require a pair of extravagant trousers, pretty free-fitting athletic trousers, a pair of white pants due to the fact I like to wear white, and a pair of cargo pants. I constantly pack shorts. For shoes, it’s a person pair of sandals, boots, working shoes, and strolling footwear. There are a ton of tiny tops and vests. I religiously use the L.A.-primarily based model On-line Ceramics, and they do a ton of printed tops. On the working day, it’s dependent on how snug I can be to work in these dresses. I variety of alternate between, Do I want to glance great and form of smooth these days? Do I want to appear edgy and great nowadays? Or do I want to look like a boy these days?

On viewing the less glamorous aspect of items: 
It is so uncomplicated to see the working experience 1 way. When it is so exciting when you get accessibility to a model like YSL, it can also be like, “the show was intended to start off at 9 and it is only starting up now at 10 and I’ve been sitting down on this podium for two hours and it is zero degrees and I simply cannot breathe. I do not know that I’m that fired up anymore.” But it is a harmony and everything’s a paradox. And it is very best when you are leaning into that yin and yang and becoming equipped to maintain the exhilaration and being aware of that exhilaration doesn’t get absent from the aggravation that can come with work. You have received to remember that the pleasure does not compensate for the exhaustion.

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