Getting cosplayers to step away from a con floor for a photo shoot is a challenge. Getting them to go outside in a 97% humidity summer day is near impossible.
This year at Otakon, it was hot, sticky and “hell no I am not going outside” kind of weather. Majority of my shoots take place outside in a location that I hunt down.. mother nature was not cooperating – especially for a cosplay with a ton of armor and a full bodysuit.
Lauren from Dust Bunny Cosplay on the other hand, was a trooper and followed me outside about 6 blocks to a disgusting alleyway of the city – better known as “the ass-crack of Baltimore”. This alley was infested with all kinds of bugs and creatures – most notably, giant city rats… Hundreds of them. I am seriously not exaggerating.. This alley had squeaks and tiny rat screams galore. I literally had to chase them away from us since they were all up in my picture.
See that corner in the back there? Yeah, there was a nest of them in a giant pile playing with my light packs that I placed there. But, that is not the worst of it. See the little water stream coming down the middle of the alley? That is what they were bathing in.. and I was just splashing away without a care in the world… before I knew it was their bath water, of course.
Well, disgusting descriptions aside, some of my favorite shots of the year came from this alley. Lauren was awesome and posed so perfectly and brought the character to life. She enhanced her costume just to shoot with me and included some awesome details in the gun and armor that made it look SUPER real. I am still blown away by her craftsmanship – one of the best and most overlooked costumer in the community.
I was able to light her with a 1/2 CTO gel to give her a warm glow from the blue light I placed in the back corner. The addition of the street lamps added even more color and mood which set the stage perfectly for a Kerrigan drop-ship battle into the real world. I added some space ships to the back to try and keep realism into a sci-fi world – still learning the compositing aspect of photography, but I think it came out great!
lt kerrigan sarah starcraft cosplay sci-fi fantasy photographer bgz studios