Recently, I had the opportunity to shoot a costume that I've been wanting to shoot since the cosplayer debuted it last year. My friend Alcuin has gotten a pretty big reaction to his cosplay of Thranduil, the Elf King from the Hobbit movies. And with good reason, it is pretty damn spot on. Since several friends and I were headed up to the mountains to spend the weekend in a cabin by Big Bear Lake to celebrate our friend Will's birthday, it seemed to be the perfect time.
Unlike the last time I was in Big Bear, there was actually snow on the ground, so for this shoot, we got a beautiful sunny day with snow and greenery at an elevation that looked much like the king was standing watch over his lands.
We had to wake up early on Saturday to get Alcuin's hair and make up done. It takes about an hour and a half of hair and makeup to transform the already tall, slim man into the Elven King. Alcuin's girlfriend, Yume, who is an well-known cosplayer as well (and who is featured on this site - I photographed her for the Evangelion themed shoot we did last year in Joshua Tree) did an amazing job getting Alcuin's silver locks and Thranduil's trademark lush thick eyebrows just right. While my cohorts were busy with that, I did a little research to figure out where we were going to shoot.
I didn't have time to do any real location scouting, as we'd arrived to Big Bear just before dark the day before. Instead, I did a Google Satellite images search of the roads around the area. Using that method, I found a spot about ten minutes away and about half a mile up the mountain. The road to get up there was a little treacherous - there were crazy potholes and I had to drive super carefully to avoid the craters, but otherwise it turned out to be pretty close to perfect, even if I will have to retouch out a few random people wandering in the distance.
Here are a couple quick teaser shots from the day...
Once we finished up capturing the serious side of Thranduil, we headed back to the house. But with the mimosas being poured, well.... we couldn't resist just one more shot.
Because even the Elf King needs to kick back and have fun now and again...