Sometimes You've Just Gotta Wing It
If you've followed us for some time now you'll know that we're pretty big on doing a lot of planning when we put together a photo shoot project. Trying to figure out as many details as possible before we go take pictures is a pretty big deal for us.
This was not one of those times. :)
At some point in our team chat Tacocat brought up the idea of doing a photo shoot for two costumes she made for herself and Mermaid Child some time ago: Anna and Elsa from the Frozen Fever short. The only pics they ever had of them were cellphone pics taken by their mom. We had been bouncing around some other photo shoot ideas that could be easy to do in between some of the larger projects that had been planned out. So why not Frozen Fever?
I'm going to straight up admit I know fuck all about these characters. I am really bad about watching movies, especially those produced by Disney. I can't describe why that is... it just IS.
I did actually watch the Frozen Fever short so I at least had a tad bit of context on why these versions of these characters existed. And I had considered watching the original movie. But with that possibly happening so close to the shoot date I didn't want to end up lifting so many elements from the film that we would end up not making it our own.
We did have an interesting discussion as we got together for breakfast before we went to our planned venue. With the characters we would be shooting they didn't really have what we could consider "characteristic poses" especially compared to any other source we've pulled from. So we would have to do more pose ideas on the fly.
Sometimes we can't plan out everything.
Now we did have one big piece that would help with photo direction. We knew we wanted to shoot this at Krause Springs. We had shot there with Rebecca of Twin Thrones Cosplay for the Swan Princess set. And we all really liked the place. We thought it would be a really great venue for Frozen Fever.
We when worked on Swan Princess I shot it all with the Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens. I love the absolute shit out of this thing. Really good sharpness especially when stopped down and is really good at nailing focus. But with that focal distance on a 1.5x crop sensor there was some wanting on being able to do things at different focal lengths. I had the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens... but to be honest I was not happy with it's performance. It tended to miss focus more often than I liked especially in low light situations. This was really apparent with my previous concert work and certain studio situations. So I couldn't rely on it.
Since I liked the 35mm f/2 so much why not try their other prime lenses? I had heard good things about their 50mm f/2 WR lens. And Fuji had just released their 16mm f/2.8 WR lens a couple of weeks before this and had gotten good reviews. So I sold my 18-55mm and picked up those two.
Doing an initial run with this set I must say I'm happy with what they can do. I will need to see how they do in the long run but the first try worked really well.
If there's anything that could have worked better I'd probably say it would be with lighting. Since this set was not going to be complex with light set ups I decided to keep things simple and just use the Godox AD200 with a Wescott 47" reflective umbrella. In some cases it was fine... others not so much. For some of the spots available at Krause Springs being able to use more light setups would be great especially to do more to pull the backgrounds out 'in camera'. But with all of the natural elements there in some spots that really wasn't quite feasible. Taking some steps in post processing made things work. But getting as many things right in camera makes things a lot easier. So that's something I need to figure out how to solve for in the future.
Overall we were happy with these pics. We finally got to take photos of some costumes that had been around for some time. Plus we saw that adding the 16mm f/2.8 and the 50mm f/2 to the kit was certainly a good idea. So those will very likely get heavily used in the future.