The New Kit-Cat Portraits, Series 1

Over this past winter, Mike and I have been hard at work on a fun, challenging photography project. This past week, we were very excited to finally reveal the results, “The New Kit-Cat Portraits.”
The New Kit-Cats

We got the idea for this project during a visit to the National Portrait Gallery in London last summer. There, we saw a room full of portraits by Sir Godfrey Kneller.
Kit-Cat Room Panorama

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Hall Photos at Baltimore Comic-Con 2018

There are always a bunch of awesome cosplayers at Baltimore Comic-Con each year, and 2018 was no exception. Seeing all of the many different characters and fandoms represented was so cool. I am already pumped for the 2019 installment!

Here is a selection of just some of the many great cosplays we saw over the weekend.

Squirrel Girl
Baltimore Comic-Con

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Knightmare Batman and Catwoman at Baltimore Comic-Con 2018

Sunday of Baltimore Comic-Con was one of the rare times that Mike and I cosplayed together. Mike debuted his Knightmare Batman costume, based on the Rules of Engagement arc in the Batman comics, issues 33-35, written by Tom King and penciled by Joelle Jones. We made this cosplay to match my Knightmare Catwoman costume that I already had. Most of it was done using purchased materials, although we did make the chest armor. The cowl is by Ryan Eaton Creations.

Here are a couple photos I took of Mike.
Baltimore Comic-Con

Baltimore Comic-Con

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Balent-Style Catwoman at Baltimore Comic-Con 2018

My purple Balent-style Catwoman costume is one of my favorite comic book cosplays, so I knew I had to wear it to Baltimore Comic-Con. Unsurprisingly, it was a big hit! As an added bonus, the weather was nice enough for us to do photos outside, which led to some cool shots, including at sunset. I had the opportunity to work with two great photographers in addition to Mike: Notsoprophoto Photography and S1 Price Lightworks.

Here is a selection of photos I did with Mike. (I did the editing.) These first several were shot in the middle of the day.
Baltimore Comic-Con

Baltimore Comic-Con

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DC Bombshells at Baltimore Comic-Con 2018

I organized a DC Bombshells cosplay group at Baltimore Comic-Con last fall. We had ten folks participate, which was way more than I expected. Everyone did an amazing job on their costumes! I, of course, chose Catwoman for my character.

Here is the group photo. Unfortunately one of our group had to leave before we were able to take this picture, so there are only nine of us here. Three of these ladies were people we just happened to run in to at the con, which was a lucky coincidence! I was quite impressed that Mike managed to wrangle all of us into one shot.
Baltimore Comic-Con

Here is a smaller group photo with our Supergirl, who had to leave early.
Baltimore Comic-Con

Our complete roster
Hawkgirl: Jessi Moon Cosplay
Batgirl: Cosplay Rae
Huntress: Goodbye Midnight Cosplay
Batwoman: AVY Cosplay
Shazam: Crazy Jae Cosplay
Wonder Woman: Lyliah Cosplay
Riddler: Cake and Cosplay
Harley Quinn: Raedioactivity Cosplay
Supergirl: NatArchaic Cosplay
Catwoman: me

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Baltimore Comic-Con 2018

Back to event recaps! In late September, Mike and I went to one of our favorite cons, Baltimore Comic-Con. It takes place at the Baltimore Convention Center in the Inner Harbor area, which is an easy half-hour drive from our house. It’s a busy con, but not overwhelming (it takes up a lot of the convention center, but not all of it), and we have managed to meet a bunch of our favorite comics creators there. We had to miss it in 2017 due to an out-of-town wedding, so we were excited to go back. This post is about the con itself; I will post more about the weekend’s cosplay later.

Since this is a comics-centric convention, I decided to go with all Catwoman cosplays for the three days. I wore my purple Jim Balent-style Catwoman on Friday, DC Bombshells Catwoman on Saturday, and Knightmare Catwoman (with Mike debuting his matching Knightmare Batman) on Sunday.
Baltimore Comic-Con

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Anatomy of a Photo: A Scenic Shot on a Windy Day

I recently finished editing photos from our first con of 2019, MAGFest. (I will post more on those soon, but I am behind on event recaps, so I need to catch up first.) The weather this year at MAGFest was a little warmer than normal (the con takes place the first week of January, typically), which meant we could do some photos outdoors around National Harbor. But it was pretty windy at times, which made for some interesting logistical challenges in getting the best shots. I was able to come up with a couple solutions after the fact through editing, and I thought I would share the results.

Here is the finished final photo. I wanted a vintage-styled picture of me contemplating the water and looking slightly windswept. Accent on the slightly windswept.
MAGFest

However, the strong breezes down by the water had other ideas. Most of the shots we got looked like this one, with way more billowing fabric and blowing hair than I wanted.
MAGFest

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2018 Year in Review

My year in costuming was a bit all over the place, with sudden spurts of productivity alternating with sewing hiatus periods. I went to events pretty consistently throughout the year, but sometimes I just re-wore existing costumes for them. (Which does not really bother me, as I always think I haven’t gotten my effort and money’s worth unless I’ve worn a costume to at least three things.)

I did consistently work at my photography through the year, concentrating on shooting both costuming events and horse shows. Mike and I upgraded both our camera and our editing software in late 2017, and I decided that 2018 was the year to really learn how to use our new gear. I spent a lot of time practicing and reading books on different techniques.

This next year I’d really like to make some of my cosplays that have been on my wish list forever, like Red Hood. I had such a great time doing various Catwoman costumes in 2018, that I’d like to tackle some more of the DC Comics cosplays on my list. In addition, cosplaying Catwoman has taught me to be much more confident as a costumer. I really had to improve my skills with sewing knits and using a serger to make my Catwoman costumes, which was challenging but fun. I’ve also learned how to be more confident in my posing for photographs. Trying to channel a strong character like Catwoman has made me think more about how my hand placement, facial expression, and body position interact with the camera.

Next year I’d also like to work on my confidence behind the camera. I’ve spent a lot of time, brainpower, and money on improving my photography skills, and that has paid real dividends, but sometimes I experience impostor syndrome about my abilities. At times this makes me reluctant to ask to take photos of people at events, especially when others are also taking photos. I don’t want to intrude or step on others’ toes for fear of seeming like a pushy photographer who is ruining the ambiance. I also feel a lot of pressure to produce “perfect” images, because otherwise I might be letting people down. This results in wasted hours of me editing, overworking my raw files and getting stressed. All that being said, I’m not going to back down from this hobby. The only way I will overcome these emotions is to keep going out there and producing images.

Okay, enough with the talk. Here are the costumes I finished this year:

2018 goals
-DC Bombshells Catwoman-Yup!
-Striped 18th century gown-Yup!
-Princess Cadence-Yup!
-Grey silk 1790s waistcoat for Mike-Nope! This one just keeps sadly rolling over from year to year….
-Jason Todd Red Hood costume-Nope! Though I did make the pants, so that’s something.

Knightmare Catwoman (photo by Dan Arango)
DC Cosplay Photo Shoots

Striped 1780s gown
Francaise Dinner

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Rust Manor Photo Shoot (Part 2)

As I wrote in my last post, Mike and I attended a D.C. Cosplay Photo Shoots meetup at Rust Manor House last September. I was fortunate to work with a number of excellent photographers as a cosplayer. This post shares the photos of me that resulted.

I wore my dark blue regency ballgown, accessorized with a bunch of bling-y jewelry. I made my necklace and bracelets, while I purchased the tiara from Amazon. (I have the same style of necklace for sale in my Etsy shop.)

Here is the group photo by Jay’s Fine Art Photography.
Rust Manor

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Rust Manor Photo Shoot (Part 1)

In September, Mike and I were able to participate in another awesome D.C. Cosplay Photo Shoots meetup. This one was at Rust Manor House in Leesburg, Virginia, and the theme was either historical or fantasy. Rust Manor is an early 20th century house located in the middle of Rust Sanctuary. It has a variety of beautiful rooms indoors, plus a pretty garden surrounding it.

Mike attended as a photographer, while I went as a cosplayer. The weather was a bit hot and very humid that day, so both Mike and I tried to cycle between being inside in the air conditioning and outside. (As a happy side effect, this led to a nice variety of pictures in different settings, both for Mike photographing other cosplayers and for me working with other photographers.) The venue was kind enough to provide chilled bottled water for us, which was much appreciated!

This post is about the photos that Mike took of others (and that I edited). I’ll follow up with another post on photos of me.

Mike started by working with Amelia of Rey Dot Ham Cosplay in her Shae costume from Game of Thrones. There was this area behind the manor house with a stone wall that had a nice woodsy ruins look.
Rust Manor

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