I don’t often do private photoshoots. I generally like just walking around and randomly asking for photos of cosplayers. However, I don’t mind and will usually take them on if someone contacts me. ACEN wasn’t a definite plan until very soon before the convention started, so I only really had two people contact me within the time that I knew I was going.
The reason I don’t do private shoots very often? I don’t like carrying around a ton of equipment. It’s usually expected that a private shoot should be more involved and result in images that are something more than the average convention picture. That means more elaborate gear than I normally use. This time I kind of took the middle road and brought just enough to get more variation to the private shoot photos compared to the hallway cosplay photos I normally take. The negative was that I carried around more than I needed 90% of the time.
Equipment for hallway photos this year:
Pentax K-5, 31mm f1.8 lens, and Sigma flash.
The K-5, K-7, 85mm lens, 14mm lens, 31mm lens, Sigma flash.
…A tripod and wireless flash triggers were also brought, but I ended up not using them. The tripod never left my car. Yeah, that’s how extreme I am about not wanting to carry around more than I need.
I also take photos at gatherings and events when photography is allowed. Most often I use an 85mm lens at gatherings because there is usually a lot of people and not much space near the people posing. For events like fashions shows, I’ll use the 85mm or a standard zoom lens like the 50-200mm I had brought with me.
With all of that I ended up having to use my backpack for the entire convention. I went cheap this year, which meant my room was a mile away from the main convention area. Not using a backpack just wasn’t feasible. I did try to lighten up my bag a bit by removing some of the padding at least. It worked out pretty well.
I’d actually like doing some more detailed photoshoots in my immediate area, but this area is sorely lacking in cosplayers!