I took a week off from work because I was about to crash and burn. I had no place to go during the vacation though. I don't have the money to travel. Instead, I decided to dedicate the week to taking pictures. I booked four shoots over the course of four days with different subjects. The first day was Spider-Man cosplayers followed by Legend of Zelda on Tuesday. Wednesday was a grunge styled shoot in DTLA and I capped off with a Wanda Maximof cosplay shoot in Little Tokyo. At the time, this seemed like a pretty fantastic idea. I forgot to account for the fact that I also had to edit the photos afterwards. I also didn't foresee myself getting as tired as I did, either. You live and learn, right?
The first day was easy in comparison to the rest. It was a shoot with my friends and I do a lot of Spider-Man shoots to begin with. I had a vision around how I want it to look and how shots would be framed. They get low, I get low, and there's a lot of weird angles with me looking up at them while they climb up questionable safe heights. That part I knew well so I wasn't very stressed. I did, however, get very tired. It's become typical for shoots with my friends to last the entire day. The first half of the way was with only two people, VeganSpiderMan and Silly_Sinistina. Our third man, SnowySpidey, didn't arrive until later. It takes me a while to warm up and get my groove so him being late worked in my favor in a weird way. Once he arrived, I was already dialed in and I was able to get some fun shots. All in all it was a good day.
The rest of the week was a challenge. I had no experience with the type of cosplay of the others and the grunge shoot was just me and an experienced model which meant I was completely out of my element. There was a lot to figure out on the fly and I stressed about it more than I should have. The silver lining is that with only one person to shoot, each one only lasted about an hour and a half to two hours at most. That was a welcomed change. While stressful, it was also surprisingly refreshing to shoot a character other than Spider-Man, Silk, Spider-Gwen, etc. Still, I approached each of the days with very little confidence and a lot of praying.
With the Legend of Zelda shoot, I grappled with shooting at the beach for the first time and timing it poorly. I feel like I had picked the wrong time of day to do it. The sun was blasting the beach and a lot of shots were overexposed to high heaven. I clearly didn't know what I was doing, but I think I faked it pretty well. Conveying the character, Marin, was also challenging because I didn't know the character at all. I realized that I didn't really know how to frame things. With Spider-Man, I know to do either really low or really funky angles and I'll find some cool stuff in the pile. With Marin, I was at a loss. By the end of the day, I felt like I let the cosplayer down, but I couldn't bring myself to communicate that with her. After I showed her what we came up with together, though, I felt relieved. She was actually really happy with them. I was glad for it. Very, very glad and not to mention relieved.
The thing is, that was only the first two days. I was already exhausted but I had two more shoots to go and the one following Marin would be one of my more challenging ones.