First Studio Shoot

I had the opportunity to borrow some pro quality studio lights with soft boxes. I also managed to secure a venue for some semi regular studio work. So last month I organised a studio shoot with Neil and some of my favourite cosplayers!


I was fairly anxious, as this was the first time I had organised a shoot, with “pro” equipment, so the usual concerns like “what could possibly go wrong?” and “what if they don’t like the photos?” where amplified. Once we got started it all just went away and I started having fun. Learning to light the Strobist way was great, as I didn’t need to rely on modeling lights (which proved too dim).


The pace of shooting was a little different to what I’m used to. Shooting with Neil at manifest with small flashes, we were popping them at a rate of about 2 shots per second, sometimes faster, trying to get as many shots in 5 minutes as possible.

Annie Film Noir

I shot on black, hoping for more dramatic lighting. Got some awesome Film Noir shots of Annie in her suit. This is the second time I’ve shot with Annie, where at some point I looked at the back of the camera and thought “This doesn’t look that good”, then looking at the monitor back at home and seeing something completely different XD

Annie with Gun

The Bowens Gemini 500s the recycle time is much slower about 1 to 1.5 sec, but it’s fairly consistent across the power range. Thinking back, this is probably a good thing, as lights with different power settings will recycle at approximately the same time.

Gurtrid Barkhorn

For Valkyrie’s vintage dress I wanted to use 4 lights for a nice even lighting This was bad because I only have 3 triggers and Neil was using all 4 for his lights so I couldn’t borrow one. I set the slave cell on one, trying to time my shots in between Neils.

Vintage Valkyrie

Valkyrie was a great model putting up with all of this going. She didn’t miss a beat. The studio lights have a beep when they are ready for the next shot, pretty soon we got a good rhythm going! Shoot, beep, pose change, shoot beep pose change pose…

Vintage ValkyrieVintage ValkyrieVintage Valkyrie

I was really amazed seeing how different Val can look from shot to shot. A truly professional model showing range. πŸ™‚

Sefie’s makeup and costume was epic. The many hours of hard work and detailed make up made me a bit nervous of stuffing something up (eg missing focus or something) but I think these are some of the best photos I took that day.

Sorceress Edea

As the background is on carpet it tends to crinkle up which is a total drag and something we have to be constantly wary of. Sefie’s dress fills the frame really well, and the highlighted edges give good seperation against the background.

This is one of the things I love about low key, dark background, dark clothes, is that it make the details stand out better in my opinion.


I didn’t get much shooting time with Sierra as it was getting a bit late for all of us. Again another very professional model, with incredible costume design skills and a pleasure to work with. Neil helped out using a reflector as a fan πŸ™‚


Overall the day was awesome fun and I learnt a lot about studio lighting and studio management πŸ˜‰ Its also great to be able to hang out with such a great group of people in a creative setting. I hadn’t felt like that since shooting for the first time at Manifest.

You can see my favourite photos from on flickr. Neil’s set is viewable on smugmug.

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