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Snowfall Bridal Photoshoot-Boston Bridal Photographer

Ah, Boston. How I’ve missed you. It’s nearly been a year but it’s like I never left. And what a fool I was to think that I could make it through my trip without experiencing some snow. But two days of it? Yeah, now I remember why I left. How quickly we forget…

Snow or no snow, that didn’t stop Bonnie, this beautiful bride-to-be, from shooting with me in this gorgeous vintage Gunne Sax dress from the 70’s. What a find! We shot in the afternoon as the snow tumbled down with abandon at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Jamaica Plain.

Bonnie’s roommate, Maxime, made the flower crown featured in this shoot. Keep an eye out for her etsy store coming soon! You won’t want to miss the opportunity to purchase her handmade crowns, as I find them to be very unique amongst the many floral crowns out there nowadays. 

This particular crown featured a dusty rose color, contrasted by brown stems and accented with earthy feathers. I loved this with Bonnie’s natural, airy makeup look, as it gave the stark white a subtle pop of color to match the flowers. I loved how the snow delicately rested on the feathers and petals! 

Bonnie was such a trooper in the snow. And so was my camera! Thankfully, they both made it out dry and safe. I’d say the adventure was worth it!

And of course, no good shoot is without its beautiful assistants. Thank you, Anthony and Maxime, for keeping Bonnie glamorous and dry (when you could)!

I’ll be back in Boston from April 19th-27th, and NYC after that! Contact me for a shoot!


Katsucon 2016 - Client Spotlight #3 - East Coast Cosplay Photographer

It’s time for my third client highlight from katsucon 2016! I’ve been a bit slow with editing, since I’ve recently developed tendonitis with all of the shooting and typing at a computer I’ve been doing lately (OOPS? Good thing my bf’s mom is a nurse). However, thanks to some diligent wrapping with Ace bandages and icing it every day, it is starting to feel better! Thanks everyone on IG for the well-wishes.

Up first we have Rose (fuwanfuwanwan om Instagram) as Miss Machera Noir, a Sakizou design. If I could shoot every single Sakizou costume there is, I would be a very happy photographer. Since the roots of my photography stem down to fashion (that was what first brought me to a camera), costumes that are intricate and very detail-oriented like these bring out the best work in me. As photographers we all have our strengths, and these regal costumes are definitely mine. I. Just. Love. Sakizou. Those, and elegant ginjika designs too!



Rose was really amazing to work with. I’m sad I only had a half hour to shoot together, but we will definitely be working together in the future because we both had a really great time! It was just so amazing seeing something like this up close. I believe she put in over 250 hours on this costume. There are just so many endless details, so take a few minutes to soak in this gorgeous piece of art she created. She also gave me a lovely review:

“Riley is so great to work with! I was really nervous since it was my first sort of formal shoot for cosplay, but she was so helpful thinking up poses when I was drawing a blank. She definitely puts her model first. I had a very elaborate costume with limited mobility, and she made sure that none of the poses were uncomfortable or hard to balance with. Sadly I only had a half an hour to shoot with her, but she really used the time to the fullest. She’s also just an incrediblytalented photographer and I can’t praise her enough!”

Following this, we have the beautiful Joyce of SorryContinue Cosplay. She is Mercedes from Odin Sphere. Initially our shoot was scheduled for early Saturday afternoon, but Hello Fire Alarm and Goodbye Hopes and Dreams. However, we still made it work later in the day with some dreamy evening light. I loved the iridescence of her wings. Also, her makeup is on point. Dat highlight–girl, where’d you get that? Cuz I need some. 


Next we have Cheesecake Panda Cosplay and Houkakyou Cosplay and Photography from Lord of the Rings. It was only a brief shoot, but I really enjoyed the teamwork between these two. They were very patient and their craftsmanship was stunning! Houkakyou Cosplay and Photography is also a very talented photog! Like, really talented.



Following this, we have these two very talented French Canadian cosplayers who were absolutely adorable as Ruby (Theo) and Sapphire (Buddy Cosplay & Photography) From Steven Universe. Talk about adorable chemistry! They were so kind and sweet to work with. And they were definitely rad for bracing the cold! It was their first time at Katsu–they took a loooooong bus ride down from Montreal, and said they loved every second of it! 

I’d like to give a special shout-out to GooJunky Photography, I met her while shooting outside in the shrubbery with these two and she was so kind in lending me her two strobes in between her own busy shoots.  I really wish I could have spent more time with her, but hopefully next time I will be able to hang! I really enjoy her work, and can’t get over how generous she was in helping me. Thank you Lisa!


Lastly, we have Star.Drop and Tuu_Guuf on Instagram as Lulu and Akali from League of Legends! What an adorable friendship! They were always encouraging each other and telling the other how cool or badass or adorable they looked. I love that about cosplay pairs and groups! Keep giving each other positive vibes!


That’s all for now. I will be working through the next three shoots that will conclude katsucon for me. Anime Boston is in 9 days, and I’m so so so excited to go back to Boston! I get to show Anthony around my college stomping grounds, and he’s never been, so we have a whole schedule choc-full of fun things like museums, fancy restaurants (PRAISE BE TO GROUPON), cafes, T H R I F TI N G !!!!!!, and of course fun with friends. Really excited for my shoots at AB!!

Also, I am considering doing both PAX East and Sakura Matsuri in Brooklyn as they both correspond one weekend after the other; this was initially something I had not considered, because I no longer live in New England, but I’ve had several people email me about Pax and a couple about Matsuri, so if I can get enough shoots booked I might fly up and do that. If anyone is interested, please email me at chezphotocosplay@gmail.com.


-Riley


Katsucon 2016-Love Live Valentine’s Day-CHEZPHOTO

(Now booking: Anime Boston
Next con: Momocon. Booking opens April 7th.) 

I wanted to make a blog post highlighting the biggest group I photographed during Katsucon. On Valentine’s Day, I had the pleasure of shooting this full Love Live group! I have so many good things to say about this experience I had to edit this post like 6 times. 

Despite it being incredibly hectic with the crowds and last minute rush of Sunday con-goers, these girls were truly a pleasure to work with! I really couldn’t get over how synced up they all were with their poses. As a photographer I’m pretty used to telling people what to do in terms of posing, but I didn’t have to at all for them. Right down to the head-tilt and exact poised fingertip, they knew what to do. Which is pretty impressive. 

Another fascinating thing with this big group was the continuity and consistency with these costumes. Everything was so seamless. All the costumes were made of the same material, the flags were super-legit (like, you could hurt someone with those), the boots were adorable, and those CHOCOLATE DRIP HATS ARE TO DIE FOR. So cute!!! AHHH.

Also, again I spend a lot of time looking at people up close while I edit, and I just have to say… These girls know how to do their makeup. Their lashes, their eyebrows, contouring and highlighting, dang… They were all definitely On Fleek, and I need to get some lessons from them.  

I have never worked with a group this large before,  so it was very impressive to see. They were always helping adjust one another’s costumes, guiding each other with poses, it was a great dynamic.


Khamomeal Tea is Kotori

Danielle is Maki 

Saheehee Cosplay is Nico

Lula Cosplay is Umi

 LyddiDesign Costumes is Honoka

Sarah Shortcake is Hanayo

Janvier Cosplay and Crafts is Rin

Betsy Bon Bon is Nozomi

And Coffee Cat Cosplay is Eli!


Can we talk about those awesome smiles?!? You’d think after posing for photos all day before the shoot they’d be so sick of it, and maybe they were, but if that was the case they sure fooled me. They did more smiling in that one hour shoot than I do in a month, which I guess says more about me than them. That’s why I stay BEHIND the lens… Anyway. Anthony, of course, was a great help in being the best flag holder for photos and also for holding literally all the flagpoles when we didn’t need them, and helping me keep track of time while dividing it up among nine people, so thanks again Anth!!!

Did you hear that Katsucon isn’t going to be on Valentine’s Day next year? I have to admit, honestly, I’m a little relieved. I can’t exactly say that my Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend was romantic, with all of the shoots and the five-and-a-half-hour drive in the dark that followed. I know most people are bummed, but I’m not… looking forward to next year!





KATSUCON 2016-Client Spotlight #1-East Coast Cosplay Photographer

(now booking: Anime Boston, Sunday only)

Man, how time flies. It’s been a super busy couple of weeks editing and shooting (exciting shoot posted yesterday of one of the Lion King broadway cast members!), and I’ve finally caught up with some client edits. I admire all the photogs who get their work out so quick. Props. 

I want to use this blog to talk about my experiences as a cosplay photographer, but also to highlight my clients and how fun it is to work with them. I had a really fun time and it was my busiest year yet, so I want to share my experiences in a way that is more than just pictures, if anyone cares to read .

Here are some of my favorite images from my shoot at Katsucon. This is spotlight #1… expect 2 or 3 more! 


Here is Anee, aka Khaleesi Cosplay as Aerith from FFVII. What a beauty! We shot at the magic hour on Thursday. She was SO BRAVE, it was so bitingly cold. I love when my clients are just determined as I am to get a good shot even if it means suffering a bit. I know all cosplayers who ventured outside were just as cold and badass. But Anee was smiling and enthusiastic the whole time. I brought I blanket for her and other clients for the chilling winds over the weekend, and was glad she could bundle up in it in between shots. I think she makes a stunning Aerith! My favorite thing about her are her eyes, they really stand out. 


Ok so. Ashley. Ashley/Seerofsarcasm Cosplay was a blast to work with. I am sad it only lasted a measly half hour. She was SO down for any kind of weird pose, as she wanted this character (Hex Maniac from Pokemon XY) to be REALLY creepy in this shoot. She was just awesome. I’d be like, “hey ashley, can you bend over backwards and crabwalk up these disgusting gross stairs like you’re in The Last Exorcism?” and she was like, “I thought you’d never ask”. I adore her. Also …can we just talk about how pretty her hands are? Look, might sound weird, but as a photog I spend a lot of time looking at people. Especially when editing. Those are some pretty hands. 


I am so glad Jess, aka Anime Layer Cosplay, chose to book with me. I saw she was doing a Lapras Cowslip and really wanted to work with her. In case y’all don’t know–elegant costumes like these are my jammmmm. I began photography through fashion work so I have a penchant for elegant, unique, intricate costumes. Ginjikas are the best (so, hint hint, if you’re looking for someone who is super down to shoot your Ginjika, I’m ya girl). Again, props for going out in the cold. She was so very kind and was a natural in front of the camera. I loved her serene expressions, and the blues of this costume were everything. 



Here is Fiona as Velour from Fire Emblem Fates. She was so cute! I loved this costume. Even at the high-chaos noontime on a Saturday, she didn’t let anything get to her as we clambered through crowds. I wish I could’ve spent more time with her, but I think we got some great stuff. I’ve been trying new editing techniques with her and rather like the results. Seeing her in this costume made me want to cosplay again (I mean, I always want to cosplay,) the costume design just looked so cute and fun!


Oh snap, it’s my girl Jobielee Cosplay as Tharja! What a babe. She loved these photos and that makes me super happy. All I want is for my clients to be happy so when I see someone just freak out over their shoot it’s the best feeling. Jobie and I used reference photos for poses and she was a total natural falling into it. She talked briefly on her instagram about how this cosplay helped her step out of her comfort zone and have a little more fun showing more skin. I think she was very confident and it exuded in how we worked together.

Here’s Jobie as babeporeon. I mean, Vaporeon. Another Cowslip design. Give me all the Cowslip ginjikas to shoot! Waaaaugh I loved this costume. Again, I was whining to her about how she was making me want to cosplay. I loved this design and she executed it beautifully. The tail, the armor, the scales, the WIG !!! Love it.

 Honestly Jobie is such a nut. Here’s a derp of her to embarrass her. No I kid. I know she loves it. 

she is beauty she is grace she is mrs. gazebo.



And last but not least, Rey Morado Cosplay as Pharaoh Atem! Y’all, I can’t tell you how integral YuGiOh was to my childhood…and teenhood…and adulthood. Nevermind, you get it. I loved her slight spins on this costume, such as the peacock feathers in the wig (which is boss, by the way, it’s hard to make this wig work but she did it, DANG). 9am Sunday Shoot while all of you were panicking about your bags and checkout = no crowds = yay. SHE LOOKS SO REGAL! BOW TO HER!!!!!

Ok folks, that’s all. I’m sitting in a Starbucks writing this while overhearing an awkward first date between a nice girl and a guy who probably powerwashed himself in Acqua di Gio before coming here so it’s time to leave before I suffocate.

Stay tuned for more!


-Riley


Raymond Baynard - The Lion King - Theatrical & Dance Photography


Here in Durham, NC, an exciting show is in town … But not just any show. The most incredible, unprecedented theatrical production, ever – The Lion King! I saw TLK 2 years ago in Boston, and wept my brains out into my $30 obstructed view ticket. Admittedly, I didn’t think I’d be seeing it again anytime soon, with tickets going $150+ a pop. But thanks to some incredible luck, I managed to find some tickets without breaking my bank account. It was a blast being able to show my boyfriend Anthony a production of this caliber, as he is a fledgling to theater. Even after all of the hype from me, constantly, every day for a full week, he was still blown away. I’m not surprised. 

The knowledge that The Lion King cast was in Durham, just a two hour drive from me, gave me a lot of ideas. I was truly interested in capturing the talent of the performers, and so I got in touch with Raymond “Ray” Baynard. He has been a dancer for The Lion King’s national Broadway tour for over two years now, and has been dancing his whole life. With twelve costume changes, intricate puppetry skills, and a myriad of dance numbers, Ray is a well-rounded, flexible (no pun intended) performer full of energy and talent. 

It was wonderful meeting him, and he fell right into the role of a model despite being more of a photographer himself (he runs the Instagram for The Lion King!). It was impossible to get a bad photo of him.

Downtown Durham’s American Tobacco Campus was the setting for most of our shoot, and is a sprawling renovated cigarette factory for when Lucky Strike was producing products in NC. The towering brick lofts are abound with texture, history, faded paintings and advertisements. It’s not without its gems of greenery, though, and this was much welcomed by me. 




I have admittedly never worked with a dancer before. Initially I knew I wanted him for portraiture, and saved some reference dance photos to try and capture… but I was truly blown away. 


It was so awesome to see a dancer of this caliber up close and personal to photograph! I found it very fun and challenging to manually capture his movements (usually I don’t like to use high-speed continuous shutter for movement like this, it feels like a cheap move to me).  I pretty much told Ray the bare basics of what I wanted him to do (such as jump with one arm out, etc) and from there I let him do his thing. After all, I am no dancer, and would much rather let the pro do what he does best while I try to get the right shot. 


After we explored the Tobacco Campus for a bit, we checked out a cool alleyway I discovered only minutes before the shoot started. talk about a lucky find! I don’t know Durham at all, and am so grateful I found this unique urban jungle/ruins scene… definitely a fun space to explore movement!

And last, here’s my favorite shot below. This alleyway led to the cool caged-off ruins-spot (whatever you’d call it)… I loved everything about it, and it didn’t take much for Raymond to fall right into incredible poses and movements while we wrapped up the shoot.

What a pose! Ray was so great about doing these amazing leaps and bounds while still staying perfectly in the center of where I needed him to be. Guess it comes with the territory… 

All in all this was a great experience. Ray was truly a kind person and it was wonderful to have the opportunity to photograph him in his element. 

Here are some behind the scenes photos for kicks that Anthony took–who, by the way, was once again the best assistant I could’ve asked for! 



This was, again, my first time photographing a dancer. I had a lot of fun with it, and I hope to grow the more I continue to shoot this type of medium. 

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