Ursula & The Mermaid | Montreal Comic-Con

Welcome back!

You may recognize the lovely Jessica Harkonnen as the wonderful Queen Ravenna from the Snow White and the Huntsman series… I had taken photos of her the year or so prior. It’s very cool to see how far you progress as a photographer as these photos were very well received. It was a very stressful photo shoot due to working with a new venue (for me) and handling a much larger costume than I expected.

Jessica had broken down her experience of what it’s like to do a “Hell build” (a costume of 100+ hours in less than a month) and how it was executed via Facebook. It was a great idea to show people of different skill and experience what it takes to do something like that.

A few friends, myself included, volunteered to help Jessica get into her costume while simultaneously trying not to ruin it, which was probably the part that caused me the most anxiety at that point. I should be clear and say that I had never been to MCC before, as everyone involved had been made aware of this fact ahead of time. I tried to scout photoshoot locations the day prior but was still trying to grasp my bearings even by the Saturday morning (the Palais de Congres is huge and the upper levels can be a bit labyrinthine when you’re unfamiliar).

I had to stop helping Jess get ready partway through since I had to give a panel with Lexa Lefay and OS Cosplay, but by the time we were finished our panel she and Peekaboo Cosplay were pretty much ready to go. On the advice of those present who had attended the convention before I went to check out a certain area as a possible shoot location… which I did, and I wasn’t overall a huge fan of the spot. I came back to the Cosplay Lounge. I was then asked to go look again, and that’s when I came across a friend of mine who I was able to ask for the inside scoop on good photo locations. He said: “I have the perfect place!” and knew how to get there, but I failed to ask exactly on which floor it was.  You see, we knew her costume was huge, but we didn’t quite have a grasp on how mobile she would be once she got into it. So, when my friend informed us we had to go down a floor for the location, a troop of 4 of us guided Jess down the stairs (which took 20 minutes). It was quite a fiasco, but con-goers were generally very nice and patient with us.

We finally got off the staircase and Jess asked where to next. I looked at my friend and he said, “It’s downstairs”. I remember thinking “fuuuuuuck” in my head (excuse the language), and Jess said “no.” instantly, and I totally shared that sentiment. Strike 1. We decided we’d have to find somewhere on that floor to shoot, and her handler suggested making use of some of the glass walls. We were out of the way, but the costumes still gained a lot of attention. I had to be strategic about how much or how often I moved her (Peekaboo was a bit more mobile). I should also mention at this point that not only was I dealing with the stress of the fragile and large costume and the guilt for not being clearer about the ideal shoot location, I was also doing my best to take good photos while a sea of people clamoring to take their own photos of Ursula and The Mermaid built up behind and around us.

By this point, some of her costume had torn (the friction against the carpet and stairs was bad for the tentacles), so we moved things around to hide those spots. While we were getting her settled into a new pose, I was frantically trying to help by adjusting her costume.  She looked down at me and firmly told me to stop and wait. Strike 2. I was shaking.

At this point in time I only knew three things:

  1. After this great friendship we’d built up in the months before, it was official that she now hated me.
  2. No cosplayer would want to have me shoot with them again.
  3. This disaster – the chaos, the miscommunications, the frustration – was a sign that I should just stop doing photography altogether.

In that moment, nothing could have convinced me otherwise, and my hands were shaking as I lined up shot after shot, thinking to myself that this shoot would be my last.

We spent a good amount of time in our spot, taking photos as waves of people continued to surge around me. I was thankful that my models were very attentive and professional; they made sure to keep their eyes on me. All the folks around me with big professional camera equipment was extremely intimidating, but I just stayed on target. We did our thing, and once everyone had enough we moved Jessica and Peekaboo along to a larger, more open area where I helped their handler set them up for hallway shots. I stayed for a while to help their handler out and then eventually left them there.

I started to calm down when I attended the Mass Effect Andromeda panel and gave myself some time to sit and breathe, but I was still very stressed out about the results. I know my Queen Ravenna photos weren’t the best, so I was worried that all of this was going to be for nothing if they hated the photos. We’re our own worst critics, and I try not to over-think a situation, buuuuuut I’m human, and so of course I did.

As a reward for a “job well done” a few of us decided to get together late that night for a hotel drink and Jess was eager to see my raw images (which terrifies me). To my revelation, she was thrilled with them, so that instantly was a huge relief. There were certainly some learning curves in this experience, but it also gave me a new-found level of respect for what I, and other photographers, do and why we keep doing it.  Overall I REALLY enjoyed the convention, as it was very enjoyable and it was so nice to see my con-friends. 🙂

 

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Alex | Social Media

I am totally digging these social media shoots. For my models, it’s definitely one of those “treat yo’ self” type moments, as it’s always nice to have a few nice photos of yourself (that aren’t selfies). Today, Alex and I headed out to Alexander Grove Park in Stittsville to walk along the path. It had just rained, so it was a bit of a sticky walk, but still very nice!

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We then head to Tanger Outlet mall for a few more shots…

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We had a nice time taking some very casual photos and catching up since we hadn’t seen each other in well over 10 years.

Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the model(s).

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com

Andrew | Motorcycle

I had a long time friend approach me about some photos of him with his motorcycle. I had never had the opportunity to take photos of moving vehicles (well, on a professional scale) before, so I was super excited for the chance. He joked that the only photo he had with his bike was a photo someone snapchatted to him, so I guess it’s time for an upgrade, eh?

We started with a drive in Gatineau Park…

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We then made our way over to Aviation Parkway…

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Well, there ya have it! So much fun (and now I REALLY need a bike of my own)!!

Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the model(s).

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com

Gibbe | Social Media

It seems I dug myself into a small niche of profile/online dating type photography. It’s actually a lot of fun. I have more about that later, but in the meantime, I did a shoot for Gibbe here. He’s been dying for me to take photos of him… so after a planned lunch date we did an impromptu photo shoot!

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So Gibbe has an undying love for his Dodge Charger, it’s basically his baby! So we decided to get some fun shots that included the car.

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I love doing portrait shots, and Gibbe is looking fllllyyyy….in my husband’s clothes… haha! Why? He spilled chocolate ice cream on his shirt… so while I threw that in my washing machine real quick, we improvised!

Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the model(s).

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com

Whitney | Boudoir

Whitney private messaged me on Facebook “Um, have you done boudoir?”
“Nope, but I’d love to try!”

A new experience for both of us, I was super happy with the results!

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My favourite, right here:

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It was a pleasure to work with Whitney on this, she is a natural model!

Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the model(s).

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com

Mahogany Cosplay | League of Legends

Mahogany and I met in a cosplay group and have gotten to know each other over the past few months. It’s a real pleasure when I get to know fellow cosplayer’s, I love making new friends and also I think cosplay groups are an awesome opportunity to share techniques and skills. During one of our meetings we were discussing photography when it was brought up that I have and enjoy doing cosplay photography.

So here we are!

When Mahogany mentioned she was cosplaying Sejuani from League of Legends, I was very excited by the opportunity to do a winter shoot at Petrie Island  with her. Her costume was incredibly well done, and she looked bad-ass!

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If you’re familiar with LoL at all, her character rides a large boar… but of course that can be difficult to come across with our resources. So, she opted for a little stuffed pig, and telling the story of how Sejuani met her boar. Cute eh? 🙂

I should add, her weapon actually lights up (LED) but with being outside it wouldn’t have captured well. Super cool feature though!

dayum gurl.

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The sun hit just right on this one – loooove it. Look at all the detail on her suit…amazing!

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I tried really hard to avoid civilization for these photos. It was a very cold day out (which means, less people out!), but she was a trooper to make the sacrifice for awesome character shots.

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Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the cosplayer.

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com

 

Blunt Hair Studio | Feature

Hey everyone!

Happy New Year!

I meant to get this out sooner, but alas, other things crept up on me pretty quickly! Today I am featuring Blunt Hair Studio in Kingston, ON. My cousin Erica is a very talented hair stylist, and she had asked for some photos of her in action so as my mom and I head out to Kingston, naturally the camera is in tow.

The studio is right off of Princess St., a great location! It had this very fun loft appeal, intimate, and fun. As we’re greeted with tea and coffee, we were instantly thrown into a positive energy space, and great people.

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Loved the cool brick wall, incorporating the historical part of Kingston, while adding some bling and other modern touches to the space.

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Tried to be sneaky with getting photos of Marie and Jonno (the owners) while they were with their clients. I did not want to intrude or make their clients feel uncomfortable. : )

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A very intimate touch, Marie sits down to cut her clients hair. Brilliant!

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Couldn’t resist capturing some of the Christmas touches they did, with their graffiti chalkboard in the back (awesome!).

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All I have to say, I wish I could have gotten a photo of this lady’s firey hair after… it looked am-MA-zing.

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Everything was fantastic – make sure to check them out! They are a fun group of people : )

 

Stone Cold Creations

Long time friends with Courtney (since grade 9 art class), I’ve been an admirer of her art work and jewellery. While she works towards her Phd, AND (magically!) travels to many conventions to sell her product. Her ability to do all of that blows my mind sometimes. Her hard work certainly pays off.

We got together on this beautiful snowy (albeit, a little windy) day to snap some photos of her more recent jewellery that she’s looking to expand selling online. We also snapped some portraits of the artist [aka: Courtney] as the model so potential buyers could see what the sizing is like realistically. Courtney was a fantastic model! She doesn’t even look like she was cold! Haha!

Diablo potions (or generic health/mana potions), 2 sizes.

She has a series of Harry Potter potion necklaces, but here’s a couple to start you off!

DnD necklaces!

The blue bracelet here was featured in the 2016 Geek Market Artist Scholarship competition and won!

A couple samples of her wide variety D20 earrings. Also, yes, that “wine” is very vibrant. It is, in fact, fruit punch. : )

A more masculine D20 necklace and also earrings with classes and races, so you can pick and choose your preference. Very fun idea!

Stud earrings, and rings also available!

Now I get to feature the artist herself…

Ahhh! So adorable. I love how casual her energy is. Also, the snow was not photoshopped, it was all natural!

There were so many fantastic photos of her, I really had a hard time slimming it down to put on the blog! If you’re interested in seeing more, make sure to visit her Facebook page.

Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the model(s).

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com

Styled Shoot | Olivia & Peyton

My cousin Erica sent me a message one night: “Hey, I know it’s short notice… but can you come to Kingston tomorrow? Oh and bring your camera.” It threw me off for a second but then she dived into details about how she wanted to have some nice photos for her hair styling portfolio. With my other cousin Olivia and her best friend Peyton, they came up from Toronto to be our wonderful models. Erica spent most of her day colouring, styling and even doing the make up before I arrived to do photos.

It was really hard to select my favourites, there were so many fantastic photos in the end!

Aren’t these ladies gorgeous?! My favourite quote from the day was from Olivia after one of us made a comment that her bra was poking out, “My bra was expensive, people need to see it.” Haha!

Disclaimer:

All photos have been taken by me (Jennifer Rapkins). If you require these photos for any reason, they must maintain the watermark logo or email to discuss licensing details including written permission from the model(s).

Please email me at: jennifer_rapkins@hotmail.com