The second shoot on Day Two of the Wellington Cosplay Photofest was with Chris who was dressed in a full stormtrooper uniform from the Star Wars movies.
I had discussed with Chris doing two very different types of shoot with him. Initially we started with a serious style shot in the grounds of Parliament. As stormtroopers all look the same it meant that I could take multiple shots of Chris and then blend them together in Photoshop.
Chris drew quite a bit of attention to himself and with practically every shot we had people asking to take photos of him.
For the second part of the shoot I had had an idea of recreating a famous photo from the Vietnam War protests of the woman putting a flower in a soldier gun. I had arranged with a local pub for Chris to be photographed at the bar, and when we walked in he attracted a lot of attention from the patrons, especially a little girl dining with her family. I asked her if she would put a flower in the gun which she if somewhat hesitantly.
I had wanted to photograph the stormtrooper doing regular things, and by sheer chance as we passed the cathedral next to Parliament the choir was just coming out. Three of the choir members agreed to pose with Chris as well as taking selfies.
We ended up at a local supermarket for a shot I wanted with an ATM. It was hard work for Chris to walk in the suit but we were both really pleased with the shots I was able to get.
The second shoot on Day One of the Wellington Cosplay Photofest was with Briana who was dressed as Arrietty from “The secret world of Arrietty Ghibli” which she explained was an Japanese Anime series.
For the shoot we arranged to meet at the Botanical Gardens as I wanted to incorporate a Japanese look into some of the images. We started shooting in the Begonia House by the large lily pond. Fortunately the area was not too busy and I didn’t have too much trouble with other people.
I liked the reflections that I could see in the water so for a series of images I positioned the camera closer to the water to get the mirror image.
Part of Arrietty’s costume is a throwing hook and rope so we tried to get an image showing Briana using it. Getting the timing right on this this proved a lot harder than thought especially as the version that Briana had created did not have the full weight that a proper version would have. Therefore it did not pull the rope as well.
Still it was a great shoot and a good end to Day one.
At the end of 2018 I saw a Facebook post that invited photographers to take part in a weekend event being organised by members of the Wellington Cosplay community. Those selected would be paired with cosplayers and over the two days we would have four or five shoots.
I figured it would be a lot of fun, and so I applied and was accepted. The format was very similar to what I had been used to with the GTC collaborations except that once we were paired up we could arrange the time and place of the shoot.
When one of my original selections pulled out I was offered the opportunity to shoot with Hayley who was a special guest of the weekend and travelling from Sydney just to take part. She is a very experienced cosplayer and model which I knew but both make my job easier, but at the same time more difficult.
Now I have shot lots of models and costumes but cosplay was going to be different as I was dealing with a character that needed to occupy a world. Halley was outfitted as Battle Suit Cammy who is a street fighter. When I learned that it was obvious that the bunker at Palmers Head would be perfect.
The shoot with Hayley went very smoothly and it was a great start to what ended up being six shoots over the two days.
Regular readers will know that I am a member of the Fashion Collective which is a group of models, designers, makeup artists and photographers who get together and collaborate on projects.
Occasionally the group will have hang out sessions in one of the studios and anyone who wants to shoot can arrange something on the spot. It was at one such gathering that I met Noah.
We started off grabbing a number of items from the clothing collection and then headed into the studio that has a bedroom scene as one of the sets.
This enabled us to do a boudoir shoot in a space set up so that it had room for lights. In this case I was using two lights with fill light being provided by a large umbrella, and a smaller softbox as the main light .
Noah had a very European look so after a quick wardrobe change we headed up to the French Cafe in the grandstand and shot using natural light. I felt that the image was always going to be best in black & white.
At the top of grandstand ramp there is an area that appears to a wind trap for leaves and so we made good use of it.
For the final image in the sequence I wanted to portray Noah as a determined and confident person, and what better way that having her striding down the ramp.
My second shoot at GTC2019 was with Shelley, who I had shot with a couple of weeks before. For this shoot we had selected an elvin styled dress and our makeup artist (Jamie Rameka) did a fantastic job of creating a stunning facial adornment.
In the original plan for the day, we had been told that the second shoots were to take place at Kaitoke Regional Park, which really pleased me as the location fitted in perfectly with the outfit we had chosen. For those of you not in the know, the Park was the film location for Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings movies.
As it turned out we were later arriving at Staglands than was envisaged, so it was agreed that we would do the second shoots in the park. As with the earlier shoot with Manuela, we moved around the reserve and shot in several locations.
We had been given very strict time instructions so we kept moving at a great pace. We never got to shoot in the old buildings, however a bridge across the river near them made a perfect location.
We got back to the meeting place on time to discover that na extra hour had been arranged with the reserves owners. However, by that time I was out of ideas and stuffed so we ended up just chilling.
While most of the images from the day were shot on the Lumix G9, I also took along my Nikon D600 and the Lensbaby lens, that lets you shoot some interesting effects.