Cosplay Photo Party Fun
I love pictures of myself. I mean, LOVE. It's slightly disturbing how much I love them. I love critiquing them, assessing whether I captured a mood or not. There's a part of me that's a little worried at how vain I appear, but I work hard to create these looks and half the fun is seeing how I emote once in them.
One of my motivations for cosplay is very similar to my motivation for writing - can I evoke a feeling? Can I convey an emotion? Can I create this overall experience with my cosplay, photo, or essay? That is always my goal for myself - to go back and read something I wrote or see a cosplay I created and feel that emotion I meant to evoke or convey my intent.
I'm not always successful. More often than not, I fail. But this year, with this costume, I was successful. I knew I wanted to do Storm with an afro last year, but finding the afro was challenging. I have Mina's Fashions to thank for that. She always finds the wig I need and if she can't find it, she creates it. She made Typhoid Mary possible as well as my mohawk for Storm. Love her.
It took her months to find that wig, so I hadn't really worked on the costume. Once I knew she had it, though, I knew I wanted a completely new Storm look. I put it all together the week before the art show. at Apache Cafe, where I debuted the costume.
The first time I wear a costume is my trial run. I don't expect good shots because I'm still feeling it out. I usually debut something new at an event where I know I won't get great quality images because I'm still figuring out my body language about the character. Then I try to follow up with some low-cost professional photo ops because I'm still practicing. Hair of the Dragon is a great opportunity for that.
Hair of the Dragon is an event by MarksterCon, who throws many geek-themed parties in Atlanta each year. This is the seventh year he's held the event and I've been every year except one, and it's been a blast each time. Mark puts a call out to cosplay photographers to come and be in a studio space doing a full night of cosplay photography.
Every year I recommend this to cosplayers. It's a great way to network and to get high quality pictures of your costume. You can bring props, wear those uncomfortable shoes, get some practice posing. You get an opportunity to speak with different cosplay photographers and get to know each other. It's also an opportunity to vet photographers. You know how we talk about some photographers who don't know how to work with dark skin or don't like working with Black cosplayers? This is a way to start seeing whether that's an issue.
As I mentioned, I've been to Hair of the Dragon for six out of seven years. Some of those years, I never got images from the photographers. Some years none of my friends got their images from some of the photographers. You get to learn who is fun to work with and who isn't and once you know, you can stop spending your energy on them. The cosplay community reflects our greater society and some people aren't worth your time.
When people show you who they are, believe them.
Anyway, I really started talking about this to show my pictures because I LOVE them. I'm really only including my stand-outs because there are a LOT of photos. If you want to see them all, including the ones that aren't of me and many, many outtakes, as well as some video footage, check out the Hair of The Dragon webpage.