Tea After Party Lighting Breakdown

I know this piece is ten years old (May 2010 to be exact), but I just had to write about it specifically because this one cosplay shoot that was turning point in the way we light cosplay images and eventually our work shoots.

Prior to this, I have been collaborating with a fellow creative, Gelo (an art director / former officemate) on the best kind of workflow between photographer and art director. In any ad campaign, the quality of collaboration between creative and photographer / director is evident in the work. If both are on the same page, then you come up with the best work possible.

I got transfixed in finding out how to better create this smooth working relationship, and Gelo indulged me in this exercise by collaborating as my creative for a good number of our cosplay shoots. I would experiment on the lighting, while he gives the challenges for me to shoot.

This back and forth happened for 2 years until we stumbled upon doing a cover story on Cosplay Photography for Digital Photographer Philippines. Personally it was the chance for this genre to start getting recognition by the industry as an emerging form of photography.

3 weeks of preparation, 5 hours of lighting setup, and 30 minutes of shooting.

The inspiration for the look and feel was taken from this series of paintings by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (Dogs Playing Poker).

This was shot number 35.

Compared to the final image, what we just added were things weren’t physically there. Neither of the models smoked so it wasn’t healthy to leave a lit cigarette in the scene.

The diagram below was how the entire place was lit up.

Took a total of fifteen (15) lights and three super booms to get this done.

Little known fact, this piece was auctioned off before in Sotheby’s HK

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