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Marie Porter is an award winning Cake Artist, author, and spandex costumer. Her current cookbook titles include "The Spirited Baker", "Evil Cake Overlord", and "Sweet Corn Spectacular". Her current "Spandex Simplified" sewing manual titles include "Synchro Swimwear", "Sewing for Skaters", "Sewing for Gymnasts", and "Sewing for Superheroes". Marie is also the author of a disaster memoir, "Twisted: A Minneapolis Tornado Memoir". Marie is proud to be an Aspie nerd... Loudmouth. Eurodance fanatic. INTJ. Survived being Top 100 finalist on MasterChef USA, season 4. Blog covers food, costuming, and is sprinkled with some general geekery. (Cosplay, Doctor Who, Tolkien, and Marvel are some favourites!)

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Cosplay Photography - Some Tips Before You Shoot!

So, I’ve been noticing a lot of sketchiness when it comes to photographers and cosplayers lately, and wanted to write something about it. (Seriously, a lot of photographer-audience cosplay articles come off like pick up artist articles!)  Have a lot of thoughts to organize, so apologies if this ends up being sort of disjointed.

First, a little background.  I’ve run my own business for over 2 decades. While I’m not a lawyer,  I’ve run the business side of my husband’s photography business for years, dealing with contracts, copyright, arranging photo shoot logistics, and more.

As a cosplayer AND business owner, I understand that having someone express interest in you and your work can be exciting… but please exercise a little caution in proceeding!

Before the Shoot:

- Before agreeing to a shoot, familiarize yourself with the photographer’s work and personality.  Do their photos look professional?  Do they conduct themselves - and present their photography business in a professional manner?   Would you feel proud to have your image on their site, or is every second image of the exact same poorly-lit pose, across multiple photo shoots?  If every shot is aimed straight at the chest, and/or down the cosplayer’s shirt - and that’s not what you’re going for - it’s probably better to find a photographer with a different .. uh..  artistic vision .

- Get references, preferably from people you know.  Ask how the photographer was to work with, and how happy the model was with their photos.

- ASK QUESTIONS… ideally, in writing. Email is great!

- Have a clear idea of what is expected of the shoot.  Is there a theme? Does the photographer have a clear idea of what they want, or is it a “Let’s just go out and get some pics somewhere” type thing?  Will they be bringing professional lighting? A clear plan is best, obviously!  

- Ask about your photographer’s experience with the planned shoot.  As an example, outdoor shoots can be challenging, from a lighting perspective.  Certain locations may require a photography permit - has the photographer looked into / obtained any necessary permits, or at least know how & when to?

- Be clear on what is expected in terms of payment.  Are they paying you?  Are you paying them?  Are they “paying” for your time with images, and if so, will they be high res?

- IF A PHOTOGRAPHER IS ASKING THAT MODELS BE 18+, THERE IS PROBABLY A REASON FOR IT.  Ask what that reason is.  It could be that they plan to be raunchy with the photos, it could be that they have certain plans for the use of the photos (see next point!), or it could be that they’re just very inexperienced and don’t have plans for a parent to be able to sign a release for a minor.

- Get a contract. Any legit photographer will have a good contract prepared. READ IT.  Pay special attention to usage rights (both yours and theirs) and compensation.  Do not agree to anything you are not comfortable with.  I’ve seen / heard of way too many instances of people signing away their rights, and only realizing it when  they hear of their image being sold on, say, body pillows .  Don’t be that person!  Make sure you both keep signed copies of the contract.

- NEVER go to a photo shoot alone. Have a friend with you for the duration of the shoot. This is sound advice for any shoot, but is especially important when it comes to cosplay. Restrictive costumes, ridiculous footwear… it can make a cosplayer an easy target.


On the day of the shoot:

- If your character has any signature poses, be sure to print out some photos to help out with posing!

- Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.  Bring all of the makeup you need for your character, and extras of everything - tights, bobby pins, etc.  If possible, bring a repair kit.  DEFINITELY bring a sensible pair of shoes, if you’ll be walking between different locations, or on weird terrain. Bring bug spray and sun screen, and plan for the weather!

- Bring some snacks and water.  Take breaks.  Don’t let yourself get dehydrated, etc!

After the shoot: 

- When the photographer provides you with a CD of digital images, make sure that you also get a signed print release with it.  Without it, you may not be able to have the images professionally printed.


As a final note:

Remember, you get what you pay for.  Photo shoots take a LOT of time, much of which is time you don’t see.  Planning the shoot, preparing contracts, selecting and packing equipment, hauling and setting up lighting… packing it all up, hauling it back, and post production. While helping someone build a portfolio can be fun - and MAY net you a few decent photos - don’t overlook a photographer because they are actually charging for photos.

For talented professionals, time is money - and you’ll likely see a huge bang for that buck.  Paying for a shoot usually means the difference between getting photos from a point and shoot camera (and/or onboard flash), and getting a professionally lit final product.  The difference is night and day (sometimes literally so!)

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Procrastination thought of my day

Some day, I’m going to follow the Strongbad guide to producing techno, and put out a single about Eurodance and Energy drinks.

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Reblog if you think Thranduil is more attractive than Legolas.

leeeeeeeeeegooooooooolaaaaaaaaas:

I want to see how much the tides have turned in light of the Hobbit movies.

If you think Legolas is more attactive than Thranduil.

How is this even a question?  Mm Thrandy…

(via thranduilings)

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Just blogged about my Maleficent cosplay, had to share some of the pics here!  For more details, visit the wordpress blog, here. (Psst! It’s for sale!)

SO thrilled with the results, both as far as the costume goes, and the photoshoot.  Just stunning!

Costume by me (www.evilcostumeoverlord.com)

Photography by Michael Porter/Thrandys-Nonsense (www.celebrationgeneration.com)

Model is Jo O’Hanley

Makeup by Bill Hedrick

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deducemysoul:

you know
those photo shoots where kids swap clothes with their parents

(Source: edthatch, via leeeeeeeeeegooooooooolaaaaaaaaas)

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zarhooie:

rainnecassidy:

adventuresofbuckybear:

teaberryblue:

thesaddestavenger:

Totally wotchertonks7's fault
Hello, new followers!  I do love suggestions (though I  might not draw all of them)

DO YOU WANNA GO TO BROOOOKLYNNNN?

Nooooooooo! Whhhyyyyyyyy! This makes my feels bone hurt!

OH MY GOD
WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT

Literally dying over here omg

zarhooie:

rainnecassidy:

adventuresofbuckybear:

teaberryblue:

thesaddestavenger:

Totally wotchertonks7's fault

Hello, new followers!  I do love suggestions (though I  might not draw all of them)

DO YOU WANNA GO TO BROOOOKLYNNNN?

Nooooooooo! Whhhyyyyyyyy! This makes my feels bone hurt!

OH MY GOD

WHO GAVE YOU THE RIGHT

Literally dying over here omg

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umms:

I think we can all pretty much agree that the Pink Dalek won CONvergence

#cvg2014

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Ugh…

Gotta love that moment when you realize that your Swype/auto correct has made some wonderfully incoherent substitutions on your post… By reading it on someone’s reblog.

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Mirkwood selfie ridiculousness.

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crzydemona:

Convergence Con… Where grown ass men dress like Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Bright.  I love this!

Actually, it’s Rainbro Brite and Strawberry Beefcake!(I love these guys! Two of my very favourite people in cosplay!)

crzydemona:

Convergence Con… Where grown ass men dress like Strawberry Shortcake and Rainbow Bright. I love this!

Actually, it’s Rainbro Brite and Strawberry Beefcake!

(I love these guys! Two of my very favourite people in cosplay!)