Austin-based photographer Ben Sklar recently captured SXSW street fashion for The New York Times. Sklar answered a few questions about the project for ILTP.

To more images & the slideshow on The New York Times website, click here.

How were you approached to do this assignment?
I’ve worked with the style photo editor Beth Bristow at the NY Times for a few years now on a few other successful projects (Sx Crossing in 2011 included in PDN Annual annual 2012, Euphoria project at Lollapalooza in 2012 included in American Photo 29 this year and Fashion Week NYC in 2012) so we tossed around some ideas and then I dove in to the fray.

I really wanted to just shoot people waiting in lines as they are omnipresent at SXSW, but of course everyone brings out their best dress and it’s fun to shoot that too. I would see reoccurring fashions trends (like patterned socks and men in pink trousers) so I started shooting those things as well.

What gear did you bring on this shoot? Any assistant?
I had an assistant both days cruising around town as I shot on a digital camera with a really, really powerful strobe. The assistant would carry the strobe around and I’d tell him what to light. It was a fun collaboration and a workout for us both.

If people wanted started hamming for the camera or acting I would just walk away

Were most people happy to be photographed? Did you have many (or any) nay-sayers?
People were pretty oblivious to us most of the time. They didn’t really pay much attention. Sometimes the kids would make stupid faces at us, but the way we shot it (a light in one location and the camera in another) most of them were just confused or ignored it so it ended up yielding a lot more natural looks than typical “street style” poses. If people wanted started hamming for the camera or acting I would just walk away.

Were there confines to what kind of stylish SXSW peeps you could shoot? Looks like pot-socks were popular!
None at all. I just started to recognize trends and go with the flow. I never really have any specific goals or directed guidance when I go out on a shoot like this other than making good pictures. It’s quite liberating actually, it’s really about discovering what’s out there and shooting what you want.¬† It’s similar to the thing I did last year with “stars and stripes” where it seemed like every other person had an american flag on them somewhere.

It’s quite liberating actually, it’s really about discovering what’s out there and shooting what you want.

Any crazy stories?
Nothing crazy other still having Sx hangover. It’s such an exhausting week, time to sleep in!