It's been a week, but I wanted to continue my personal thoughts from the previous post. Last week, I mentioned about the con, writing, Dragonlance, and a little bit of Skyrim. I will continue with some of my thoughts, as well as do a huge photo dump.
This year, I haven't shot anything new with exception of a mini Red Sonja studio shoot in the beginning of the year. I had plans to shoot my Melisandre from GoT, another version of Red Sonja, and craft another Skyrim costume. Of course, life has changed as I mentioned in the last post. Really, I've had no time to shoot anything new. My time has been sucked away by my job, kid's karate, and writing. I do miss shooting at times, but in another way, it's a big stress relief not to shoot anything. Why? I guess that I don't feel pressure. Pressure to look perfect. Pressure to look young. Pressure to 'compete' against the 24 gazillion women on Instagram. (I'm not competing, but you get my drift.) I don't want to have to think about 'being the best' Red Sonja, Aela, Triss, or any other cosplay that I do. It's not my goal to be the best, but I do try to capture the art and essence of the character that I am portraying.
Because of me not posting new photoshoots, I have not been obsessing about my wrinkles, fine lines, or just plain old looking like my age. Not that it's bad to look one's age, but there is a ton of pressure on women to look 'forever young' in this day and age. I felt that I was constantly stressing out myself by what I was eating, gaining a pound or two, guilty about not running or having a piece of chocolate...etc etc etc. This all sounds petty, but really, it was consuming me to a point to where it became mentally unhealthy. I always wanted my photoshoots to be fun and adventurous, and never about the pressure or stress. Throughout the years, the 'costuming' scales have tipped in a certain direction - to where it became more stressful than fun. When those times happened in my costuming life, that's when I 'disappeared' from the cosplay community for a year, sometimes two or three years. After long breaks, I would return refreshed and ready to have fun again. Because really, that's what it's all about.
I really do have an itch to shoot another epic Red Sonja (a new version), my Melisandre, and eventually craft my favorite Skyrim armor "Savior's Hide." My goal is to shoot something in October with my most favorite photographer Michael. He's the one who has shot me at the beach, the pinnacles (Red Sonja), Mad Max, and several other favorites. All I have to do is pick up the phone and say 'Hey Michael, let's shoot.' And he will make time for me. I just need to take time off of work, plan the outfit, book the hotel, trip, etc. Hopefully soon I will get my butt in gear and plan the new shoot.
Of course, there is always more to say, but it's getting late (as usual) and Dragonlance is calling my name. I don't reread a ton of books unless they have captured my heart in some way, shape or form. Like I mentioned in the last post, this trilogy is one of those that's completely a 'Beth' book. Let's see, there is is time travel. Check. Holy cleric and Dark Wizard. Check. Unrequited love. Oh hell yes. Check check check. And of course, a cute hilarious character thrown into the mix for good measure. Check! But I did want to say something about the photos show in the block up, where you see me as a Bloodelf (blonde hair with pointy ears) and the glowing green eyes and mirror.
The photoshoot is a bit more 'photoshoppy' than I like (is that a word??) I hate photos that are over-edited, filtered to all hell, etc. But with this set, I wanted to convey the story behind the photos. It's based off of WoW with the Sindorei. In essence, the High Elves became addicted to Fel Energy (green magic), with it consuming them entirely. They were obsessed with their beauty and magic, thus corrupting their race, turning them into the Blood Elves. There is much more to this lore, and I am giving you the very basic outline of it. But for this shoot, I wanted to show the vanity, the addiction to beauty and power, as well as the 'turning' point of their entire race. There was a lot of sadness behind this shoot, as I has started to enter a downward spiral in my own personal life. I don't want to get into the nitty gritty of it all, but some of this pertains to what I mentioned above - feeling the pressure to be young and beautiful forever, and 'addicted' to one's looks (thus the mirror, or nowadays you could say your phone camera when taking a slew of selfies.) As much as I did with the editing, I did not edit out my veins throughout my body. When using a green LED light, veins tend to show very quickly under that specific color of lighting. But I felt that it was necessary to show all veins and ugly details like this, as it was meant to look a drug addict (the drug being the energy and magic.) This shoot wasn't really well received by anyone that I showed it to, but it's a close one to me, as it had healed a lot of personal hurts.