Today I want to talk about your first photoshoot with a pro photographer. Everyone has a different level of experience with their cosplays. Some have already done some sort of photography work with their phone camera. Others have worked with amateur photographers. Some have their own studio in their houses for shoots. All are good, but none of them compare to a shoot with a professional.
I am going to outline all of the stops along this adventure, along with some of the questions that get raised. Hopefully, this alleviates some of the concerns along the way…
Remember, this is an adventure. The objective is to have a remarkable experience with a story to tell. Oh, and some really bad-ass pictures too.
Step one: Consultation (Up to one month before shoot)
The beginning of our adventure always starts with a brief consultation. We use this to get to know everyone involved (the HCWC team, along with the client and anyone else involved with the shoot). This is done in person, or via video/chat. Tell us about your cosplay, your goals as a cosplayer and any special requests you may have during the shoot (any special props, specific poses you want to do, another cosplayer you want to bring in for specific poses, a specific place you want to shoot at, etc.) This helps us prep for the adventure.
Step two: The posing workbook.
Once we have an idea of what your objectives are with the shoot, we get to work. First, we put together a posing workbook. This workbook is custom made for you and your shoot. We painstakingly research your character to create a workbook that has a selection of poses that match your character. This helps you (as the cosplayer) have a better grasp of what we will be looking for during the shoot. If you are uncomfortable with any of the poses, or would like to change them up, let us know before the shoot so we can address it. The more you practice your poses, the easier they are and the greater the results of your shoot. Make sure that your cosplay is photo-ready at this point. Although we do have a cosplay repair kit (Link) (and a bunch of duct tape) having your cosplay picture perfect before the shoot is ideal.
Step Three: The shoot
Finally, we are at the shoot itself. All of the posing practice and cosplay repair comes to this. Prepare for the shoot as if you were preparing for a day trip at a con. Make sure you have all of your cosplay props, extra makeup, a wig brush (if applicable) and anything specific to your cosplay. We will have water, a toolbox of cosplay repair supplies and a large roll of duct tape (every adventure needs duct tape) along with studio chairs and any appropriate shoot greebles (Rose petals, glitter, smoke bombs, shot props, etc.) Shoot set-up takes about twenty to thirty minutes. From there, the shoot will take anywhere from thirty minutes up to two hours depending upon your shoot package. We recommend not having any big plans after the shoot (especially if it is your first one). Shoots can be very tiring, especially if you are not used to it. Despite that, a shoot is a very fun experience, and the results are definitely worth it.
Step Four: Development
Once the shoot is completed, all of the shots are uploaded and backed up into the cloud. From there, they are sent into Lightroom (instead of a darkroom) and developed. Our Cameras do not do any post-processing (Exposure, tint, contrast, etc.). We manually develop and retouch all photos taken on computer equipment. Upon completion, they are uploaded into your own private gallery here at havecamerawillcosplay.com. There, you can see the finished results of the photos that are not marked for composition. For much of your photos, this is the end of the adventure. You can order prints online and tell stories of the shoot to all of your fans and friends.
Step five: Composition
This final step in our adventure has us put you into some sort of environment that we would not normally be able to shoot in. That could be you flying through the sky, on top of your favorite mech, or on another plane of existence. We use a variety of software and plug ins to digitally put your cosplay character where ever your character desires to be.
As one can imagine, this can take a reasonable amount of time. Although we strive to get your photos out as quick as we can, compositions usually take about three to six weeks after the shoot be completed. Trust me, they are worth it.
For more information specifically about Composition, check out this article.
We keep our client galleries up for 90 days. From there, they are archived for one year. If you require any additional prints or digital copies, reach out to us and we will do everything we can to get them to you.
Just like every character is different, each shoot is different. Our goal at HCWC is for you as a cosplayer to have the best experience possible.