Behind the Scenes: Photoshoot locations

January 22nd, 2017

When thinking about a photography topic to talk about, I remembered how Liz recently asked me whether I figure out the photoshoot locations or if the cosplayers do. I haven’t really touched on this part of photography, but I thought it’d be an interesting thing to go over!

At Conventions

Most of my photoshoots happen at Anime conventions, which makes sense since it’s where cosplayers typically wear their cosplays. The “pro” is that I can meet cosplayers from other cities, and I can book several in one weekend. The “con” is that I’m pretty much stuck to locations at or within a short walking distance of the convention.

If the cosplayer has a location preference, we’ll use that. For example, when we did a Scooby Doo photoshoot, we used an abandoned building that the cosplayers found as the background.

A couple times, I’ve been requested to do a hotel room shoot, and we’ll use the one they’re staying in for the convention.

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Gaming year in review: 2016

January 14th, 2017

I normally have my gaming year in review up earlier, but I had a hard time filling it out this time! 2016 was a weird year for me when it came to gaming. I barely played any single player games, and I didn’t really touch my consoles. Most of the games I played were indie and/or multiplayer ones for the game days that my husband and I have been holding at our house. I really didn’t work on my backlog as much as I would have liked!

As usual, this is my annual review of games I played in 2016. I only count games I haven’t played before, remakes, and ones with large updates. (I don’t count any replays.)

Let’s start with my favorites! These are of the games I played in 2016, which may or may not have been released that year.

Favorite Single Player: Kirby Planet Robobot
Well, this is the first time I didn’t pick a major PC title as my favorite. Planet Robobot really shined as one of the best Kirby games and one of the best 3DS games I’ve played. It keeps an old school Kirby feel as a side scrolling platformer where you steal powers, but it adds a new element with the mech, which can also use enemy powers. The boss fights are better than previous Kirby games, and it uses the 3D in clever ways. I actually wanted to turn on the 3D for this one!

fav_robobot

Favorite Multiplayer: Towerfall Ascension
Towerfall is a combat platformer where you try to kill each other with limited amount of arrows (which you can pick back up), and items will also appear. In most games, someone gets good enough to keep winning, but Towerfall is so well designed, that it feels balanced each time. This has become a definite favorite in our game nights that we’re able to play it over and over.

game_towerfall_02

Favorite Indie/Download: Unravel
I played so many good indie games last year that this was really hard to choose. In the end, I picked Unravel because it was so memorable for me. It’s is a beautiful platformer with creative uses of yarn. You use the yarn in different ways to get through levels, and as you’re going through the game, you are viewing someone’s story. It’s filled with both happy and sad moments, making this a very bittersweet game.

game_unravel

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Theme for 2017: Simplify

January 3rd, 2017

Over the years, I’ve learned that New Years resolutions aren’t really for me. I get motivated in the beginning of the year, and then it tapers off (which I guess is pretty common). I am actually the type that likes goals and deadlines, but they need to be regular and in shorter intervals. At work, we do week-long sprints, which keep us on track and lets us be flexible if priorities change.

In 2017, I’d like to have that sort of outlook instead! I’ve seen people set monthly goals, and I think that would work a lot better for me. In addition to that, I like the idea of setting a theme for the year – a general idea of what I’d like to strive for. I’ve chosen “simplify” because I feel I really need to do that in my life. These aren’t necessarily goals, but ideas for me to consider for the upcoming year.

1. Simplify my surroundings. My work spaces, both at home and work, are a mess. I don’t need to keep so many things at my desk. Also, I shouldn’t feel the urge to bring my laptop to every meeting or always have my phone at my side. I don’t need more things to distract myself.

2. Simplify the things we own. Long gone are the days when I was a sentimental pack rat. Over the years, I’ve accumulated too much stuff, and I’m tired of the mess in our house. I should figure out what I can donate, sell, or throw away to reduce clutter.

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