Wow... it's been nearly a year since I wrote my last journal. Not sure if anyone reads them, but I figure I'd give a little update. I sort of "quit" cosplay photography for a while, and now I'm shooting in a very limited capacity. Basically if I have time, I'll shoot with whoever is on hand or is available, and at conventions I no longer schedule shoots anymore. I really hated dealing with all of the cancels, missing some other awesome cosplayers due to waiting around, and drama surrounding who/what I shot and when I finished edits for them and of course the fame drama of cosplayers and photographers. It seems these days all anyone wants to be is famous. Very rarely does anyone want to just be a cosplayer, a hobbyist photographer, a fan, or a friend. Cosplayers who won't shoot with you because they don't know if you're famous, and if you're not a famous photographer, it's a waste of their time. Jealous cosplayers who would send anonymous messages trying to badmouth the people I have shot/like to shoot with. I had just gotten tired of dealing with it all, so I said: "I quit." That helped ease a lot of the drama, and I was not being bothered by as many people as before. I don't think I'd ever fully quit, because photography is still a strong passion of mine, as is photo editing. But now at least, I feel like it's a hobby again, and that I'm shooting on my terms.
When I started shooting, it was a fun hobby on the side. I edited quickly in lightroom, and pumped out hundreds of shots in 1 night. Now, I'm selective of who I shoot (usually just my friends), and I take nearly 2-3 hours per shot, up to 8 if the shot was poorly taken. 99% of my work is done in Photoshop now, and I absolutely love the program. I spend hours searching for more youtube tutorials and watching color grading videos and makeup videos just to learn more techniques. Youtube is honestly the greatest teacher in the world. I have learned more from that website alone than all my years in college.
It's been hard to get back into the swing of things since I don't shoot as often, and I always feel quite rusty when I do shoot. Somehow I've managed to stop using flash all together, and while I like some of my results, I wish that the cosplayers would have the patience to wait for me to set up strobes for shoots. With more controlled lighting I feel that so many shots could have been that much greater. I always feel rushed when doing a shoot at conventions because everybody always has someplace to be. This is why I'm loving location shoots more and more. It gives me more time, more freedom and more interaction with the cosplayer/model. I especially love it when a fellow photographer will come along and shoot with me. I always get more ideas when shooting with someone else.
This year also marked my first year going out of state to a convention. I went to Katsucon 2014! It was quite an ordeal just to get there. We lost 1 full day due to bad weather conditions, but once we got there, I had a blast, and enjoyed the fact that almost no one knew me, and that I knew no one as well. I got to shoot some pretty amazing cosplayers, and made some new friends too.
Anyway, this has kind of gone on as a rambling post, but I just wanted people to know that I haven't given up everything, and I will still be shooting here and there. I hope to see you all at a convention/meetup soon.
Listening to: Beyoncé - Drunk in Love Remix ft. Kanye Wes