I grew up on Top Model and gleaned a few tips from Tyra back in the day but since I started cosplaying I haven't really dug deep in the art of posing. Which may sounds surprising, but I tend to focus on the crafting process. What better way to learn than to get a hold of a book. So it's no surprise that my book review of Study of Pose will be coming from a cosplayer perspective.
If you don't know Coco Rocha then you are missing out on one of the most fascinating models to watch. Some models are known for their signature looks or struts on the catwalk, but Rocha is known her her infinite poses paired with her great expressions. Full disclosure I have a soft spot for Coco who is a Canadian modelling success story.
Dressed in a plain leotard, Coco does what she does best and strikes a collection of 1000 poses which the photographer, Steven Sebring, captures from a stationary spot. One pose flows into another from page to page with a change in body angle and expressions. The entire book is like seeing Rocha's process laid out step by step. The lighting is very strong with deep shadows so silhouette and shape are easy to take notice in the poses.
The goal was to learn some new poses and expand my posing vocabulary and I think it did the job. I found myself associating certain poses with certain costumes I have done recently or thinking about what kind of character would pose like that. It also reminded me to switch up my facial expression. Rocha is very expressive which adds extra life to the looks. For example, a hunched pose clearly isn't going to be paired with a smile.
Rocha is pretty flexible and some poses would be especially hard to recreate. Another thing to keep in mind is that you are limited by the mobility of the costume you are wearing. On the other hand, if you have a prop you just opened up another collection of possibilities. Props can be a crutch to lean on when posing, so I'm glad I have this book to use to "accessorize" my simpler costumes.
A few things to note:
The way I framed this purchase was almost as if I was getting a textbook to study. I wanted a resource that I could learn a few things from and that I could turn to in preparing for shoots and this does the trick. Is it the end all be all for posing? No, but then again no textbook is going to tell you everything you need to know about a given subject. It is called the study of pose not the Bible of Posing.
I would suggest this book to cosplayers who want to be inspired to diversify their poses but also have a passion of fashion and modelling in order to justify the $55CAD pricetag.
Right as I was about to wrap up this review, I did some additional research and I found that there is also an I0S app that has all the poses in 360 so that you can zoom in and examine them even closer and from different angle. This may be a be a better idea for most people to enjoy the work at a lower price point of $28CAD.
Katsucon is a yearly tradition for me where I look forward to seeing amazing work while also catching up with friends. With those two things in mind my mission was accomplished. I was really worried I wouldn't finish my projects in time but luckily I was able to pulled through without pushing myself too hard. The grind to finish Katsu costumes, aka "Katsucrunch", got the best of many people this year, which serves as a good reminder to take a step back and reevaluate things with high stress projects. I learned that lesson the hard way at WCS.
I have to give special thanks to a few people who made this weekend great. First off to Kurumasha for helping me finish my projects and lending me her wig. Second to VickybunnyAngel for being an amazing roomie, helping me in and out of costume, and also helping with makeup. Third to Jayuna, for helping me out of costume when Vicky wasn't there. Lastly to everyone who I caught up with ans shot with over the weekend. Thank you for your time and sharing it with me.
All right let's dive in!
All in all I had a good time despite the crowding. Honestly, I expect this every year from Katsu so it was not a surprise and honestly I thought it would be worse. I wore my cumbersome outfits on Thursday and Friday to avoid the worst of it. Crowding makes it difficult to get good photos but a little ingenuity, courtesy, and determination goes a long way. I would agree with some friends with the point that some of the usual photoshoot spots are getting overused but I think that is part of the deal when you attend a con several years in a row. However, it's still leaps and bounds better for shoots than conventions held in warehouses every year. I will be returning next year so long as my friends will be there since that is the bulk of the fun for me.
How was your Katsu? Did you run into any issues?
WHAT I LEARNED
The Sawsbuck collection of costumes hit a sweet spot for me: I got to rekindle my love of design, I got to make a bunch of fun capes, I fell in love again with crafting headpieces, I got to embellish the crap out of each design, I had fun shopping for complimentary accessories, I got to be thrifty by reusing certain parts of the costume, I improved my corset making skills, and I got to play around with some intense makeup. All-in-all good stuff, 10 out of 10 will do again.
I also did another cosplay trip out west to visit my friend the super talented Lichon Photography. We shot 5 costumes over 7 days all around Southern BC, mainly Kelowna. It was amazing and the photos are to die for.
I consider myself very fortunate to be able to judge masquerades and to be invited to events, so I would like to thank everyone who put my name forward, those who came out to see me or buy prints. Your support means a lot to me. I`m glad my costumes could bring a little joy to your day. If you would like to see me at an event near you, get in touch with your organizers or contact me.
Forward to 2018
Since I have fewer events planned for 2018, hopefully that means I can create more costumes. I have quite a few projects on the go, but the biggest one I hope to finish is Lilith from Trinity Blood. I have also been dragging my feet on a Storm for years that is finally coming together. Hopefully I can knock out some more outstanding projects in 2018.
I have another cosplay photoshoot adventure planned and it is going to be even more intense than the last ones. More details on that to come. The plan is also to produce more regular content from home. I`ll do my best to work some magic.
The urge to return to NYC is also strong, the fabric district is calling me, although I`m not sure if I can swing either NYCC or AnimeNYC in 2018.
If you want to know what I`m up to, please check out my Planning page or you can find me posting progress pics on my Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. If you want to support my work, you can buy me Ko-fi. I hope your 2017 went well and see you in 2018!
Nothing beats fresh air and doing super cinematic photoshoots in the mountains. I had such a great time in Banff last year that I figure I would pay Lichon Photography a visit in Kelowna this year. I've never been and I had a hankering to go in the mountains again.
If I had to summarize the trip I would say: Mountains, fresh air, road trip, girl's trip, and cosplay goals. I I had to summarize the shoots, I would simply say cold. I was freezing through all of them. Windy cold, wet cold, hail cold, snowy cold... You get it at this point.
I somehow packed 5 costumes in my luggage so we did 6 shoots over the course of 7 days. It was intense but fun. Here's a quick recap.
We went to Myra canyon to check out some beautiful fall foliage. We had to take a logging road up there and it felt like me were off roading most of the way. I got to see some unique pine tree that turn neon in the fall. Lichon also taught me some stellar tree shaking skills to level up our practical effects in our photos. I also learned the art of dodging prickly bushes and carefully detaching fabric from said bushes. I wore my Fall Sawsbuck costume and it was the first time I wore it in a seasonal setting. I'm so happy that my headpiece survived the flight. I got some serious cape action going, and I curious to see how the photos turn out.
It was my first time at Yeticon and it did not disappoint. I decided to go at the last minute and I'm glad I did. It was quite a relaxing event. It was a bit of a downer that there was rain throughout the weekend but otherwise it was fun.
I drove in with some Ottawa cosplay friends and arrived at around 4pm. It quite the scenic trip, much better than driving to Toronto. I threw on Sharla in a rush and did my makeup in record time. I grabbed my badge at the event, ran into almost all my Toronto cosplay friends, then went straight to a shoot with Anna and Kay. I can't wait to have some good photos of Sharla with her prop. This costumes has been collecting dust for a few years since it doesn't travel easily. Some parts were coming apart since the glue worn down after a few years. After taking off my costume I rode the mountain coaster and hung out with friends for the rest of the day. I took it easy for the rest of the night since it was pouring rain.
Despite my best efforts I could not sleep in, so I lounged around my suite with my roommates until around noon when I got dressed in Summer Sawsbuck. I got to shoot some video with Ackson and then did a photoshoot with Anna at the top of the mountain. Even though I doused myself in bug repellent I still end up with 4 mosquito bites.
I got out of costume and was killing time until the pool party except it got cancelled due to thunder, rain, and tornado warnings. Instead I went to go visit friends in their rooms getting drenched by the rain every step of the way then headed to a suite party for the rest of the night,
There was a forecast of sporadic rain so I decided not to wear Ms. Fortune on Sunday. It was stupidly humid as well so I only imagine all my fake scars would be peeling off within a half hour. I took another ride on the roller-coaster and said goodbye to as many friends as I could.
It was nice drive back to Ottawa filled with pitching questionable skit ideas.
The resort is beautiful and great to wander around. There are tons of activities you can do in the resort for free thanks to getting a badge. There is a plethora of great photoshoot locations. The con has a lot of interesting events happening. I missed out on my free drink and open bar :( but others got to take advantage. there are a lot of food options and the hotel rooms are all great. It is very relaxing. In comparison, Colossalcon is a fun partycon while Yeticon is a laid back party con.
I want to return next year. I just hope they don't put it back to back with Colossalcon!
This was my 9th year at Otakuthon. Wow! It has always been a favourite of mine thanks to the venue, location, and friends. I had a great time this year even though it's getting harder and harder to spend time with friends since the event is so photoshoot friendly that everyone tends to wandering around shooting all day.
This was a much more relaxed year since I skipped competing in the WCS Canada preliminaries/finals and judged the masquerade instead of competing. Although after a year of judging events I feel due for a good stage performance.
Colossalcon has been consistently one of my favourite conventions every year. I ran into a few issues leader up to this year but the overall experience was great and I am very happy that I was able to attend. I met a lot of new people which gave me that old school con feel where everything is new again but you are also surrounded by old friends.
I arrived in DC on Thursday with no issue although they bumped my initial and connecting flight an hour later. Thursday was easy going. I stitched down eight beads to finish my Beryl costume then went on to help Calamity with her projects while watching Rambo II and III.
I had a late start to Friday since my first shoot started at two, so I got dressed in Beryl at around noon. I learned the importance of planning how to put on a costume with some many layers. It went something like this: Corset on - corset off - hoopskirt, tulle, slip, skirt on - then corset on and finally put on wig and accessories. Thanks to Kudrel for lacing me up twice.
I started off the day by shooting with Anna Fischer, followed by Jason Chau. I then went to meet up with my No Flutter Sailor Moon group and everyone looked gorgeous. I’m so happy we had such a good turnout. We had scouts from all over Canada and the costumes were all well-coordinated. After we did some group shoots we went to go see the artist that designed the costumes. No Flutter was excited to see the costumes and even gave me support for my original design to match the group. It was very flattering because I tried my best to match the style. I’ll get more into that when I post my construction breakdown for the costume.
Here's a few shot of our group. First photo is by Martin Wong and all others are from Octography
After freeing ourselves from our costumes, some of us went to dinner at a nearby seafood place and stuffed our faces. The rest of the night was spent hanging out with friends and finally getting my badge. On that note: WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON WITH THAT LINE-UP? It really defeats the purpose of pre-registering if it ends up such a hassle. There was a 2,3,4,5, even 6hr long wait to get badges on Thursday and Friday. I waited till 11 pm Friday and waited 5 minutes.
Calamity and I were travel buddies for the weekend and we had the joy of getting to the airport for 5am to catch our 6am flight to start our journey. We landed in Atlanta after noon and went straight to the Hyatt to check into our room then meet up with our friends at Hooters. It was my first and last time going there. The food was bland and the service was horrible. We waited forever for our food and even longer for our bills which eventually made me miss out on a planned shoot. Anyways, the rest of the day was spent wandering the event and eventually partying the in the Marriott at night.
Friday morning I got straight into my Sharla costume for a shoot with Jason Chau Photography. It always nice to collaborate with new photographers :D Keeping with my trend of forgetting costume pieces, I forgot to put on my weird club thing on my left arm - which you can barely miss since so much is going on there. I changed out of it immediately after the shoot to easily move through the event.
Afterwards we grabbed lunch with a bunch of photographers and friends. It was nice catching up and meeting even more new people.
Calamity and I spent the afternoon browsing the dealers room. There was so much to see although I was not a fan of the layout. I much prefer open warehouse like settings for dealer's room because they are easy to navigate. There is also a noticeable variety of goods in the dealer's room compared to the typical anime convention mostly: Lots of leather, quality kimonos, belly dancing attire, pocket watches, and corsets, corsets, corsets.
Friday night I had a great dinner at Ray's. It was little expensive but the food was great! I then spent the night hanging out with friends at the Marriott lobby again.
My first convention of the year! This will be brief since I was only at the con for a few hours on Saturday because I had a family event in the evening.
I arrived after 10 o’clock with Cosplay Calamity and I quickly put on the rest of my Cruella costume. Plunge necklines and frigid weather do not work well together. I threw on my heels and my faux fur jacket and realize I forgot my satin gloves. It seems like I am cursed to forget one minor but noticeable costume item at every event I attend for the last few months. I got to say hi to a few friends before running off with Belziir Photography for a shoot.
I got to catch up with more friends and devour a delicious crepe lunch before heading into photoshoot number two with Naredo Cosplay Photography. I wrapped up the afternoon by visiting some friends participating in and organizing the masquerade. I really wish I could have seen it, because I heard some skits were great!
I look forward to seeing the results of the photoshoots since Cruella was a year in the making and I had to restart the costume so many times.
MeltingMirror's Cosplay Blog
Learn more about my experiences in the cosplay world, from conventions to photoshoots and everything in between.