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Two Slayers…

Those who follow this blog will be aware that I occasionally collaborate with Quattrofoto on photoshoots in roles varying from creative genius* to lightstand/dogsbody/maker of tea. In fact, some of my previous blog posts on these shoots have been among the most popular on this blog along with the UK Avengers concept I posted once as a joke. I can only assume that lots of genuine photographers have been searching for useful tips on how to do complicated lighting set ups or edit fantasy scenes into the backdrops using photoshop and are instead finding my rather less then technical witterings.

Those who are looking at these posts in the hope of such technical stuff, I can only apologise and suggest you ask any questions in a comment (I will pass on such questions to Ste the photographer) or visit his Flickr site where he occasionally posts technical details on shots.

Note that yet again, like previous posts on this, the photos shown here are my efforts not those of the professional photographer. You can see his on his Flickr account. In addition, most of these were taken using my mobile phone rather than my DSLR Mainly because the light conditions were not right for my DSLR to play ball.

This shoot was one that deviated from our previous theme, which had been variations on a theme of fantasy – trying to show standard stereotypes in a new light. For this shoot the aim was more modern. There is a new LRP game being planned called Slayers LRP which riffs off Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So our aim for this shoot was to get lots of photos of female vampire hunters, vicious looking vampires, demons and stuffy old Watchers.

We convened at the photographer’s house where he had managed to set up a makeshift studio in one of the larger rooms. The space here was noticeably less than we were used to in the studio, which meant we were limited in scope – mostly shots of single figures and we were told most likely only upper body. This was why we actually failed to consider appropriate shoes or boots for many of the characters we were taking shots of, we genuinely did not think they would be seen on camera! This is why you may see some shots of a tweed clad Watcher wearing a pair of sandals (though personally I am claiming eccentricity for why I was wearing those as that character).

There were other concerns. Would the backdrop placed over the window be enough to sufficiently block out all the light? Would there be enough room for models, photographer and light rig? Would there be enough food for all the models we had dragged from far distant parts of the country?

The answers to those questions were Yes, Yes and definitely Yes. Seriously, we had a proper Green room style hospitality area set up, far better than anything we ever had at the studio (or the woodland, where the refreshments were coffee and all the acorns we could eat 🙂 )

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Our werewolves are feistier and cuter than Oz ever was

Our werewolves are feistier and cuter than Oz ever was

We progressed through the day very quickly, getting through several very intense sessions with different models in different costumes. This was our fourth go at this sort of thing and using more or less the same team of models and support people that had been used on previous shoots – including the talented make up skills of Jessica Newey. This meant that we were much better organised and were able to prep one model while another was being shot, allowing for a much more efficient

The studio set up showing improvised wind effects

The studio set up showing improvised wind effects

turnaround. We were also more au fait with what was and was not likely to be possible meaning that the ideas people spent less time frothing about things that could not possibly ever work and more time considering practical solutions to problems and ideas that would work.

We got through a Van Helsing style Vampire Hunter, a goth Vampire, two different styles of Slayer (though there was some debate as which one was the ‘evil’ Faith style Slayer and which was the ‘nice’ Buffy style, the consensus was neither), two different varieties of Watcher (modern with a tablet computer and traditional in tweed with an old book), a sinister ‘Man in Black’, two styles of witch (a good and an evil one) and two very different styles of Demon (a serious, scary demon with horns and a more ‘slacker surf dude’ style who seemed to be doing a modelling shoot for Cheese flavoured corn snacks) and a werewolf. These shots are already appearing on the Flickr account and will continue to be updated for at least a few weeks ahead.

It was another tiring day but definitely a fun one with a lot achieved. The shots that have already been produced are awesome and there are many more to come…

*Ok, maybe not creative genius. More ‘person who comes up with wildly impossible ideas that sound cool in my head but are actually bloody hard to set up in a practical sense’. It is a complicated brief… I am usually better at holding lightstands (or on this shoot, reflective dishes that shine in the face of pretty girls to better highlight her features – something called the Clamshell technique) or making tea. I am really good at making tea…

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