Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - Bayleaf as Maki Nishikino 11.17.16

Author: Luke Cheng


Bayleaf Cosplay and I met up a while back to discuss a cosplay shoot, and last week we got together at the Cosplay of Sacramento studios to take some photos of her Maki Nishikino cosplay. We started by taking some shots on the gray backdrop. Bayleaf came ready with a variety of poses that she wanted to photograph - which was great! I love it when cosplayers have the poses in mind before the shoot. It just makes everything go so much quicker and more smoothly.


Initially we were going to just shoot with the background, but I suggested that we go outside to grab some photos. It was the late afternoon during the golden hour - the time of day that has the absolute best light for photographs. Very close to the studio is Davis' green belt, a bike path that weaves its way around the entire city. The path is well kept with scenic backgrounds perfect for taking photographs outside. We picked a nice little area and took a bunch of photos!


Bayleaf was awesome to work with. She came ready with poses and had an amazing cosplay that matched Maki Nishikino perfectly. I was really impressed with the detail and quality of her cosplay. It made me very happy to be able to photograph it, and I was very glad to have met and worked with Bayleaf. One of the best parts of being a cosplay photographer is meeting all the awesome cosplayers out there. Bayleaf is definitely one of great people out there! If you'd like to see my full gallery of our pics, CLICK HERE!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - Mistercomb and Starrymagics as Panty and Stocking 11.12.16

Author: Luke Cheng


Davis, Davis, Davis! I had another cosplay photoshoot in Davis, and again at the Social Science building on the campus of UCD. This time I was taking photos of Mistercomb and Starrymagics in their Panty and Stocking cosplay. As it has been recently, the weather was absolutely perfect. We met up in the late afternoon to get the best lighting possible and got to shooting!


Panty and Stocking cosplay is really fun to shoot because the characters are so much fun. Their outfit and look really lends itself to exciting cosplays. Mistercomb was Panty and looked gorgeous. Her cosplay was on point. I particularly liked her pink nails so I had her really show them off in this picture I got of her lying down on a bench. 


Starrymagics was Stocking and did a marvelous job pulling off the character. She had some absolutely fabulous poses and looks as we shot. It was really hard for me to choose favorite photos from this shoot because so many of the images turned out so well. 


Mistercomb and Starrymagics were fantastic to work with and we had a lot of fun during this shoot. It's always surprising to me how many different looking locations we can get from such a small area of the UC Davis campus. Now that I shot here more, I'm excited to continue finding the best and most unique locations for photographs.


As with many of the cosplayers I've worked with, Mistercomb and Starrymagics both constructed their cosplays themselves. Not only did they make their costumes, but their weapons as well. Both the gun and the sword they had could light up. Pretty awesome, eh? If you want to see more from this shoot CLICK HERE for my full gallery!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - Novermber Cosplay as D.Va 11.11.16

Author: Luke Cheng


Overwatch had been a very popular game and many cosplayers have chosen to cosplay as D.Va. She's a very cool character with an awesome look. November Cosplay came over to my studio to take some shots of her D.Va cosplay on Friday morning. I pulled out my blue backdrop as I thought it would make a nice background for the colors of this cosplay.


Besides just trying to get some really nice shots of November as D.Va, another goal of this shoot was to focus some shots on the leggings she was wearing. November was wearing leggings made by her friend little.chook on Instagram. She is trying to get some promotional material so we thought this shoot could be helpful. I'm actually planning to do another shoot with products from little.chook so be on the look out for that soon!


Check out November's awesome nails with this shot. They are so intricate with a sweet design on them. So often cosplayers have details like these that really bring their cosplay to another level. It's important to me to make sure they are highlighted.


Thanks to November Cosplay for yet another fun and amazing shoot. We shoot quite often so I'm sure we'll be working together again very soon. If you're interested in seeing all the shots I took from this photoshoot, CLICK HERE. Thanks for reading, I'll be posting again very soon!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - Necikait as Rei Ayanami 11.9.16

Author: Luke Cheng


This past week I got the chance to shoot with one of my favorite all time cosplayers - Necikait! We've known and have worked with each other for a while now, so getting together is always smooth and fun. Necikait is an amazing cosplayer. She is awesome at applying make-up and creating cosplays all on her own. In fact, she does tutorials on Youtube. If you're interested in that kind of stuff, give her a follow!


We had a pretty simple shoot today. All the photos were done on my gray background with one light. Necikait and I primarily have gone outdoors to different locations for photoshoots, but as it has been getting darker earlier, going with the indoor backdrop was the right call. I'll probably be using my backdrops more and more as the weather gets colder and more wet.


Necikait was cosplaying Rei Ayanami from Evangelion. She looked great in the suit so I wanted to get as many different angles of her as I could. The shots that I went low to the ground are some of my favorites of the entire shoot. I was literally lying on my back to get this shot, but I think it was worth it. 


This is a behind the scenes photo of the backdrop I used and the light I set up. As you can see, the backdrop is pretty narrow so we didn't have much wiggle room. All my shots had to be in a bit tighter. I think we were able to make this little set-up work well and I'm happy with the results we produced that night.


It was a blast taking photos of Necikait this week. She's super nice and a very talented person. Check out my full gallery of her Rei cosplay HERE. Also, check out my short video of our photoshoot below. Keep an eye on Necikait's channel too as she has more content from this shoot coming soon. Thanks!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

2016 Fall Central Valley Cosplay Gathering 11.5.16

Author: Luke Cheng


The Fall Central Valley Cosplay Gathering took place at William Land Park in Sacramento this past weekend. It had originally been set for the weekend prior, but bad weather and rain postponed it a week. It was good decision to move it one week forward as the weather was nice and the ground was dry. I arrived to this gathering as it was already in full swing and tried to capture as many photos as I could.


As with all the gatherings I go to, I try to get in as many photoshoots as possible. Today I got to shoot with a good number of cosplayers. One of my favorite cosplayers is Lexi (lexibeecosplay on Instagram). She has an impressive Wonder Woman cosplay that I always enjoy taking photos of. Today she added a cape and red hood which I thought gave the cosplay a different look. Lexi has some of the greatest poses whenever we shoot together. She's definitely a natural in front of the camera.


Photoshoot are always great fun, and there are lots of laughs that can happen in-between serious shots. Even though I'm always trying to get shots that look epic and cool, I won't hesitate to capture those moments that come prior to or after the main pose. These behind the scenes photos really show the joy of taking photos together, so I take then whenever I can.


Getting the right shot takes a really good collaboration between me and the cosplayer. We have to get a really good combination of pose, lighting, and background in order to make a photograph we can be proud of. I really like this shot from the photo above because all the elements I mentioned came through in a way that I thought worked well. 


Besides photoshoots, there are a ton of fun things that happen at cosplay gatherings. Dancing has to be at the top of many peoples' lists as something they like to do when going to gatherings or cons. Operation_mj on Instagram is always ready with the tunes to get cosplayers moving their feet. No matter where he's at, he brings that sweet music. You'll often see people like myself trying to take photographs or video of the cosplayers as they dance.


The raffle is another really fun way to get engaged at the gathering. The raffle prizes at the Central Valley Cosplay Gatherings have been really good. Top prizes include either day or weekend passes to SacAnime - something that could save someone a pretty nice chunk of change! It's really awesome that the organizers have this raffle and give out prizes. It's always fun to have a chance at winning cool stuff!


These gatherings are a great way for anyone who enjoys cosplay to come out and be together. It's a fun community to be a part of and a great way to meet people who have the same interest as you do. I've found that many new friendships have been formed from coming out to these gatherings. I'm so glad that Sacramento has a gathering that happens during every season. It's so awesome having everyone together!


Group pic? Yep! Of course that has to be a photo that includes everyone at the gathering. There is always a time where everything stops. All the cosplayers gather together for one huge photograph that includes all the attendees. Wanna see the group pic that I got? You'll have to check out my full gallery of pics.


I'm really glad to have gone to the Fall Central Valley Cosplay Gathering. I've had a great time at each of the gatherings that have taken place prior to this one and am really looking forward to when the next one will be. While we wait, CLICK HERE to look at all my photos from this past weekends event. Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - Neurotoxicity as Dia de los Muertos Asuka 11.4.16

Author: Luke Cheng


On Friday I had my first shoot with Neurotoxicity (on Facebook). She contacted me about getting photos of her Dia de los Muertos Asuka cosplay, and of course I was happy to do so. I love meeting new cosplayers so I jumped at the chance to work with her. I've been shooting around the Davis area for the past few photoshoots, and this one was the same. For a small town, there are a lot of great places to take photos!


Neurotoxicity's cosplay, especially the face make-up, was very intricate and complicated. I could tell this was not an easy cosplay to just jump into and get snapping. She looked great in her cosplay, and the time she put in really elevated her look for our photoshoot. It's awesome when so much care goes into a cosplay - these are the ones I love capturing! So far I've been really lucky to be able to shoot a lot of cosplayers who are dedicated to the craft.


Our shoot took place just as the sun was setting - the golden hour. The sky had some dazzling colors. I used an off camera flash to get her lit up and away we went. Though our shoot was only about half an hour, I feel we were able to come away with some sweet photos. 


I really enjoyed my shoot with Neurotoxicity. If you liked the photos we took, check out her page on Facebook. You can also CLICK HERE to see 30 photos from our photoshoot. I'm so glad Neurotoxicity contacted me to do a shoot. If you're interested in shooting with me, contact me at luke@lukeistheblacksheep.com or through my Cosplay of Sacrament facebook page or Instagram. Hope to hear from you soon so we can get shooting!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - UC Davis Anime Club Cosplay Team 10.30.16

Author: Luke Cheng


It's been rainy the past couple of weeks here in the Sacramento area, but that didn't stop my meetup with the Davis Anime Club Cosplay Team on Sunday afternoon. Today I would come in as a guest photographer and take photos of all the members who came out in cosplay. I wasn't sure how many people would show up, but the club put together a strong showing of cosplayers. Though the weather was pretty sketchy, the rain didn't come down! We took advantage of the that and got as many photos in as we could today.


This photo is of Angela (hover.cow on Instagram). She was my contact and the one who organized this whole event. She did a great job of having a place to meet on campus and a room for us to get ready. And as you can see, she had an amazing cosplay to photograph! Funny thing is, we had actually met before many months ago at SacAnime. We did a mini shoot together! It's like they say... small world! I loved working with Angela, she's fun but can make things happen - just a joy to collaborate with.


It was awesome to have cosplayers all around, but there were also others who were at the shoot solely to help out. The gentleman on my left was awesome as he helped me move my lighting and even take down some behind the scenes video footage. Rarely do I get an assistant to help me during a shoot. I probably shouldn't get used to it - but is sure was nice!


Since it was raining, I was a little hesitant to bring too much gear out. It was all in my car, but the only thing I chose to take was my camera bag and my trusty Rapid Box softbox. It's the easiest thing to use when I'm trying to go light. Most of the photos from this shoot had this softbox to add some extra light to the images. Just an FYI to those who want to know... my primary camera for the shoot was the Canon 5d mark iii. It's such a versatile and solid camera. I did have my new Sony A7rii with me, but that really stayed in the bag for most of the shoot.


Our primary shooting location was the Social Sciences building. It has the nickname 'Death Star' for its maze-like architecture and steel/gray color scheme. The building is quite large with a lot of nooks and crannies to shoot around. Each cosplayer that I shot had their own spot to shoot at for the most part. There were maybe two locations that I really liked and used more for more than one cosplayer. Since I've shot here before, I knew the lay of the land, which really helped as people can really get lost trying to poke around this place.


A couple of the cosplayers came in full rubber mask. We had this young lady as a pigeon while another gentlemen decided to put on a rubber penis mask. Yep... you heard that right! If you want to see what that cosplay was all about you'll have to check the link at the end of this post for a link to the gallery. 


One of my favorite cosplays was this one shown above. He had secret symbols drawn on his hands and face that could only be revealed by blacklight. The effect is pretty startling and extremely cool to see in person. The still image does a nice job of conveying what it looked like, but I'd suggest taking a look at the video of this event to see how it really looked as black light was shining on it.


The UC Davis Anime Club is phenomenal. I absolutely loved working with all the cosplayers who came out. Each of them really brought it with their cosplay and poses. Please take a minute to CLICK HERE and see all the photos I took from the day. Which ones are your favorites? I'd love to know!


I'd happily shoot with anyone in the Davis Anime Club again if they'd like to do a longer individual shoot for themselves. In fact, anybody who wants to be featured in a Cosplay of Sacramento cosplay gallery just has to contact me and let me know you're interested. I'd be happy to find a day and time to get together for a shoot.