Cosplay (short for “costume play”) has become a subculture, phenomenon, and/or hobby. Often it involves someone who’s created a highly realistic and detailed replica of their favorite comic or movie character. They kind of take on that characters persona at movie premiers and Mensa meetings. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
A friend of mine is directing a Fantastic Four documentary entitled Doomed (specifically: Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s “The Fantastic Four”) and asked if I would create some content (photos duh) for the promotion of his flick. A superhero shoot was one I couldn’t turn down. Especially since it would be Sue Storm.
Most of the time, cosplay photos seem to be taken quickly at comic conventions (typically not doing the costume or the cosplayer justice.) The other end of the super-spectrum seems to jump to the promotional stills for the “real” Hollywood version (see Jessica Alba.) Nicely arranged at all levels and looking good. I figured we’d land somewhere in the middle.
I opted to go dark, darker than the typical Fantastic Four imagery. Clobberin’ Time is a dirty, messy business in my opinion. Don’t believe what the mainstream media chooses to show you. I digress.
The problem with going this route is that Sue Storm doesn’t have much of a dark side (I’m not an FF aficionado but I’m willing to stick my neck out on that one.) The costume we were using was highly reflective bright blue spandex and her hair is (traditionally) the blondest of blonde, Jessica Alba notwithstanding.
What I tried to do was to marry the Storm image with some kind of edge. Honestly, I think I only partially succeeded. What I captured did not match what my imagination walked in with. Through some post production I was able to get closer to what I envisioned.
In the image above Merrilee (aka Sue Storm) is lit evenly on either side by speedlite’s shooting through soft boxes about 30 degrees out from her.