Houston native Ejen Chuang has been living in Los Angeles since 1999, and working in the photo industry as he slowly transitions into the film industry. Being in Los Angeles, it shouldn’t come as a surprise he’s interested in folks wearing elaborate costumes. His passion has manifested itself into Cosplay in America, a book he’s created after shooting at fan conventions around the U.S. The book is gorgeous in photography, design, and printing. He has provided the following written account of his photography work on the book.
The book was shot at six conventions across the United States. Profoto gear is unusual to some of those who aren’t in the industry, as it can look out of place. Most folks have seen softboxes before, but beauty dishes (especially with a grid in front) look completely foreign. I had many amateur photographers come talk to me about it. I explained it is just a beauty dish powered by the Profoto Pro-B2, and it can be easily rented from professional rental houses. By the way, I found out later I’ve inspired others to do the same thing. I know one photographer who bought a Profoto D4 system and another bought a Profoto beauty dish. Kinda surreal.
I must say Profoto packs are my favorite. I’ve used them for years and they stand up to abuse. On planes, I checked the Pro-B2 units, but would carry the spare battery and Pro head as carry-on. And yes, often I get stopped to open my bag and have the head swiped for chemical analysis. Every convention was a new location where I’d never been. I depend on Pro-B2’s to provide power without me searching for a wall plug as well as avoid running cords and taping them down. Because I shoot out in the open on the floor of the convention, I kept my gear as minimal as possible. I get all my gear from PIX, a photo rental house in Los Angeles, for the simple fact some of the cities do not have rental facilities for Profoto, or would require me to travel some distance to rent. In the end, it was easier to get it in L.A. and transport it to the various cities.
I’m travelling to 20 conventions in 2011 to sell the book, as well as continue photographing. This time, I’m bringing a Profoto AcuteB 600R with me to help cut down on the weight for airline travel. I’ve tested it before and for interior usage with no need to overpower the sun, and the 600R should just be fine. I’m definitely looking forward to see how the Acute will stand up under heavy travel and usage this year!
Thank you so much, Ejen! We love your book, and encourage portrait photography lovers and cosplay fans everywhere to get their hands on it. A beautiful effort!
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