Magfest 2017 - Alexandra Lee Studios

First convention of the year! I will firstly say that I’m so happy that Magfest is not the weekend after Katsucon like last year. Magfest is one of my must go to conventions for the year because the gaming room is amazing, and it's basically a smaller Katsucon.  

 I’m going to try and do more cosplay spotlight and behind the scenes videos during conventions this year. I want to show you guys what happens during conventions and especially during my convention shoots! So here is the first one for this year! 

Magfest if you all don’t know takes place in National Harbor Maryland and in the same  Gaylord hotel as Katsucon.  It is starting to be known as the less crowded Katsucon for cosplayers. Speaking of cosplayers holy crap the amount of new cosplay faces this year was awesome. I’m so happy I got to meet so many new faces this year, and I’ll get to see them again in a month!

During Magfest I got to work with so many groups this year. One of them being a Final Fantasy 15 bunny group that I absolutely loved. During the shoot I couldn't help but want my Prompto to have a camera and she didn't have one. Luckily  my assistant reminded me that I had my one film camera. This was my first convention that I played around with film.  So we were able to get this cute shot. Then I had my Ignis use my notebook and pen for a cook book for new recipes.  However, I didn't have a spare sword laying around so my Noctis was out of luck. 

Photos

During shoots I love it when cosplayers bring their friends. Sometimes I don’t have an assistant and I always use my clients friends to either flip hair or add movement to clothing or capes. However, sometimes to get the perfect pose for a character you need to lean on a friend… or trust fall into one. Sam Mills cosplay had two friends join her during her shoot and when I see handlers or friends I see opportunity. I took my safe shots my dramatic lighting shots and towards the end of the shoot I wanted to do something crazy. I asked her how much does she trust her friends, and she was a little hesitant but she trusted them enough. We did a quick test lean to get them used to it, and a big point that I wanted to make was safety. If she felt uncomfortable, or if her friends felt like they were slipping. STOP. While doing crazy poses, or jumps or anything make sure your cosplayers are safe. I demonstrated the pose and set up my lights beforehand and BAM magic.

Saturday of Magfest it started to get colder, and colder, so cold it started snowing. I love snow. I love doing shoots in the snow because it gives images a magical effect. Because I knew it was already going to be cold and because last year I felt like an ice statue I bought a ton of hot hands. If you don’t know what Hot hands are they are air activated head packets that you can stuff in your pockets to stay warm. These are not only life savers but your cosplayers will thank you and remember you!

Another new thing I'm bringing to conventions this year is a film camera. I've always wanted to learn how to shoot with film and this year that is happening. So here you can scroll through the film images I took at Magfest! 

I ran into Jazzy cosplay and candyheart cosplay again during the convention and barely recognized them in their pokemon gijinka. Let me first say that these costumes were so beautiful in person. They had been outside multiple times for either shoots or video shoot so they were frozen by the time we met up. However, they went out one last time for me after giving them a couple of the hand warmers. Always try to keep your cosplayers comfortable.

One very big pro that separates Magfest from Katsucon is that they do not mind light stands. That is for the time being that is. I do however recommend Magfest for photographers because of that reason and because it’s less crowded.