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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief (detail)

Work / Behind The Scenes

Luke & Nik capture the surreal goings on backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Show

On Tuesday afternoon America’s largest lingerie retailer, Victoria’s Secret, descended on London with a horde of “Angels” to execute one of their famed multi-million pound productions, complete with wings, light shows, male back-up dancers and several hundred black and silver balloons.

I can’t help but imagine the backstage scene as being something like when you sneak into your older sister’s room as she’s getting ready to go out for the night with her friends; lots of excited shrieking, swapping of clothes and sparkly blusher flying through the air, coating everything in the room with a light dusting of shimmer. But ready and willing to dispel that notion were Luke & Nik, who were commissioned by The Debrief.

Luke & Nik’s work tends more towards exquisitely polished still life shots and incredibly considered portrait photography, so the pairing of their discerning eye with the chaos that goes on backstage at a fashion show made for some wonderfully unusual images. We chatted to Nik to find out exactly what the process was like.

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

What was your brief for shooting behind the scenes at the Victoria’s Secret show?

The brief was to go in there and take pictures bright & bold in that “Luke&Nik” style. It’s super nice when someone refers to your style when getting briefed! The Debrief, and in particular their creative editor, Anna Jay are really fun to work with and they always give us a lot of creative freedom.

What was it like back there? Did you feel out of place, or were there a lot of photographers milling around?

It was fun, the room was massive, full of models, hair and makeup, PR and of course press. When you are doing these things you just have to get into the zone and not worry about where you are or what you look like. We find that’s the best way to create great pictures.

Everyone we met seemed friendly, and especially the models. We were getting them to pull some fun faces, which I don’t think too many other people were! You always get something unique when the models loosen up and work together with you.

What made you decide to shoot and frame the images in the way you did?

We just get drawn to obscure and interesting scenarios and then we always try our best to photograph them in an intriguing or slightly different way. The girls on their phones, GoPro equipment placed in funny places and weird white things lodged between toes are just some of the scenarios that we found interesting in those moments. 

What was the best thing you saw?

I think those egg-shaped objects, we had to stop and ask one of the stylist what they were for. After laughing and smiling at us they revealed that they were just for applying makeup.

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief

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Luke & Nik: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for The Debrief