Casual photographers take cosplay photos by stopping people in hallways; more serious photographers schedule shoots during conventions. But to be a really hard-core photographer, you need to set up private shoots at scenic locations far away from any convention center. That’s what I did recently, by inviting eight cosplayers to join my wife, my daughter, and I for a long weekend at Angel’s Camp, CA.
Angel’s Camp is a beautiful small town about three hours east of San Jose, at the foot of the Sierra-Nevada mountains, and about one hour north of Yosemite. It has lots of open fields and small hills, and is near Calaveras Big Trees State Park, with its forest, river, and mountains. This combination of locales made it the perfect place for several cosplay photo shoots.
Before the trip, there was much discussion about logistics and timing for the departure from San Jose, but in the end, things went fairly smoothly. We left from my house more or less on time in a rented minivan and my Camry. We hit some traffic on the way, but not as much as I had feared, and after a pit stop at A&W’s, we arrived at Angel’s Camp. After checking in and unloading the cars, a team was dispatched to the grocery store to get food for our stay. After that, we wanted to eat dinner. Because everything closes so early in small towns, we ended up getting fast food. A quick Avatar DVD marathon, and we went to sleep.
After a delicious breakfast, we headed out for the Avatar: The Last Airbender shoot at Calaveras Big Trees State Park. This shoot had Azula (bekalou), Toph (blueskadoo), Katara (athena), Sokka (Keikishei), and Pien Dao (Michael). We started out shooting by a river:
After shooting there for a while, we moved to a forest location, where I finally got a chance to try out my new AlienBees lighting equipment:
After that, we moved to another river location:
One quick stop at a scenic overlook:
and we headed back to Angel’s Camp, exhausted.
You can see the rest of my photos from this very fun shoot at http://photo.oscarc.net/Conventions-Cosplay/Photoshoots-2010/Avatar–The-Last-Airbender/13437821_YmKKp. You can also see Kazuha’s photos from this shoot at http://heulangel.smugmug.com/Conventions-Cosplay/Projects/Avatar-The-Last-Airbender/13331538_AS3S2.
After a very filling dinner and a relaxing soak in the hot tub, it was back to photography.
First, I did a shoot of Keikishei as Son Goku:
You can see the rest of the photos from this shoot at http://photo.oscarc.net/Conventions-Cosplay/Photoshoots-2010/Son-Goku-Keikishei-Saiyuki/13387509_8NVCR.
After that, I did a shoot of Bekalou as Syaoran in the Dragon Illustration costume:
You can see the rest of the photos from this shoot at http://photo.oscarc.net/Conventions-Cosplay/Photoshoots-2010/Syaoran-Tsubasa-bekalou-Dragon/13400937_s723R.
One quick Avatar DVD marathon, and we all went to bed for the night.
To Be Continued in part 2…