Saturday, December 17, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - Rogue One Chirrut Îmwe Photoshoot (plus Finn!) 12.14.16

Author: Luke Cheng

The new Star Wars Rogue One movie came out this week on Thursday and I had went to the opening night showing in Natomas. It was awesome, and I enjoyed every minute of the film. The day before that, however, I was in Discovery Park doing a photoshoot with Padawantail (Facebook/Instagram) cosplaying as one of the main characters in the movie - Chirrut Îmwe. He had already seen the movie (lucky!), so he knew what the character was all about. I was going in a little blind (blind... get it?!?!) for this shoot, but we would make it happen!

Joining in with Padawantail were Cassierolee (IG) and Stormoolio (IG) cosplaying as Stormtroopers. Both had to take some time to gear up before the shoot as Stormtrooper armor is no joke to put on! I love the way Stormtrooper cosplayers look, but I'm pretty sure I'd never give it a try as it would be too restricting for me. Props to everyone who suits up like this! They definitely have to have a passion in order to go through that ordeal.

Padawantail wanted to shoot at a beach location, but sadly Sacramento isn't ideal for that. We decided to give Discovery Park a try, but when we got there the beach area had mostly flooded over. There was just a very tiny piece of land left before the river and it did not have any sand on it - which is what we were going for. It was too late to try and change locations so we just got to shooting. Sometimes you just have to take what mother nature gives you.

The shot we were trying to get was a specific fight between Chirrut Îmwe and the Stormtroopers. If you've seen the movie (or even the trailers), you'll know that he and the troopers tussle quite a bit. These action sequences are a great part of the movie. Padawantail wanted to recreate the look of those fights. Since I wasn't sure of how it should look, my favorite shots of the fight photos were the ones that I ended up taking with a tighter angle (like the shot above).

After the fight photos I had the chance to take some photos that just showcased all the cosplayers doing their thing. I set up a single light to the left of some rocks and shot away. These shots were some of my favorite that came out of the photoshoot that day. The lighting creates a very dramatic look! Using off-camera flash is so much fun. 

Shooting Padawantail as Chirrut Îmwe made me really wonder what the character would be like in the movie. After seeing the movie the next day, I was able to see why Padawantail would want to cosplay as him. Chirrut Îmwe is a really cool character that does a lot of bad ass stuff. He also has a very eclectic personality that is a bit strange, but likable. I think there will be a lot more Chirrut Îmwe cosplays in the future.

Along for the ride in this photoshoot was Bigtrent07 (IG). He came to hang out and help with the shoot, but since he had his Finn cosplay on there was no reason not to get some shots of him too. We mashed up the timeline a bit with the Finn photos, but I still think they turned out very well. We'll just say that Finn got hold of a time machine and went back to the events of Rogue One.

This was a pretty short shoot as begin late in the afternoon, but I was very glad to spend time with this Star Wars loving crew. CLICK HERE to see the photos from this shoot. And if you haven't seen Rogue One yet... I highly recommend checking it out. There is so much good stuff in that movie!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Cosplay Photoshoot - League of Legends Christmas Cosplay 12.10.16

Author: Luke Cheng

This past weekend I had the fun opportunity to do a Christmas themed photoshoot with cosplayers Pachanket, Ashton.Taylor.Cosplay, Feisty_vee, and Camislyce42 (all on Instagram). They love  and play League of Legends, so they put together this special themed shoot centered around characters of that game. I added some lighting to their beautifully decorated room and we got shooting!

One thing I wanted to try during this shoot was to put a light in behind the cosplayers to see what an effect it would have. I liked the effect that it had on many of the photos, so I'll probably utilize this technique more in future shoots. I think the back light adds some interest to the photos in this case. 

Here the light in the back is more subtle as it adds a glow to Ash's hair. This particular shot is one of my favorites from the shoot as it captures the entire scene Christmas scene with Ashton posing perfectly in front. Though I love this photo, there were so many from this shoot that I love just as much as this one too. The girls did such an awesome job in front of the camera that day!

As with all photoshoots, there is a ton of fun that goes on as we took photos. I really like when we have fun ideas and poses to shoot like this one above. It's really great when light hearted photos like these  are sprinkled within a large set of photos - it really mixes things up and adds a lot to the overall set.

Towards the end of the shoot we decided to finish off with a few pics of the girls decorating the tree. There was a really nice warmness about the entire scene that felt great. There's just something about coming together like this that gives you those happy holiday feelings. 

And here are the girls post shoot, happy to be out of their cosplays and into something a lot more comfy. I have to give a huge thanks to Marissa for contacting me and inviting me to come out for this shoot. It was so much fun for me! I'm sure we'll be working together again real soon. If you would like to see an entire gallery of photos from this League of Legends Christmas photoshoot, CLICK HERE!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Sac Gamers Expo 12.11.16

Author: Luke Cheng

The yearly Sac Gamers Expo took place today at the Scottish Rites Center. I had a blast last year at this event and expected the same this year. As the name states, this expo/con is all about games - specifically video games. Rather than focusing on the latest games out on the PC, Playstation 4, and the Xbox One, most of the attention here was on retro and vintage gaming. Yes, the old school stuff! You can see the new games any day you like at your local Gamestop. This event is really about celebrating video game history.

The expo featured an entire room filled with older consoles. Everyone who came in had the opportunity to get their hands on and play with older game machines. One of the most interesting pieces of hardware was Nintendo's Virtual Boy. The Virtual Boy didn't last long as it was a pretty poorly conceived system, but it was on display and ready to try out at the Sac Gamers Expo. From obscure systems like this to older popular systems like the Atari and Playstation consoles, this room had a wealth of gaming to sit down and enjoy.

Out in the main dealer hall there was plenty to see and buy. Tons of video game related memorabilia and trinkets were available for sale. From keychains to candy to toys, the dealers had them all. I definitely took the time checking out all the booths today. My favorite thing to look at is all the original art on display. I was able to pick out something to take home today for a very good price. There was no shortage of cool things to see here amongst the many tables. It was definitely a challenge to keep the money in the wallet!

Besides video game related stuff, there was, of course, actual video games being sold! And like I mentioned before, the main focus of the games was in older hardware and software. Looking for Atari, Super Nintendo, or Genesis stuff? It was there! Playstion 1 and 2? Yep! And there was no shortage of old consoles and peripherals either. Sure, one of the most popular things this holiday season is the Classic Mini NES Console... but here you could find the real deal! Oh, but the Classic Mini was here as well... I saw one!

To keep the gamers filled up and energized, Drewski's food truck was onsite. I love Drewski's! They are a Sacramento original that serves up delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and more. Today they had tot'chos. If you couldn't guss by the name, the dish is a fushion of tater tots and nachos. Sound good? It certainly looked amazing. Big thanks to the guys over at Drewski's for coming out and parking next to the expo. Everyone appreciated the delicious and convenient food!

What gaming expo would be complete without game tournaments? The Sac Gaming Expo's main stage was filled with people watching or participating in video game tournaments all throughout the day. Gamers took to the screens and battled each other for top place. It was a ton of fun to watch the gamers go at it and see the crowd watching them as they played.

The cosplay game at Sac Gamers Expo was a bit lighter than the year before. Not as many came out in their costumes, but those that did came strong. Here's a shot of Noctis from the brand new Final Fantasy XV game. I've been playing FFXV since it came out last week so I had to get a photo of this cosplay the second I saw it. 

Here's a pic of me and Sean Long. Sean's a great friend to me and many of the cosplayers in Sacramento. You won't find a nicer guy! Sean has a hit Youtube channel and was on a panel here at the Sac Gaming Expo this afternoon. I love seeing Sean and was glad to catch up with him today. All-in-all I had a blast at the expo. I hope I see you at another Sacramento area event soon!