Friday, 8 January 2010

Why the Mercenary Shouldn't Hire Photographers

The general air of the following photos of me (yes, it is) in the Steampunk Coat is of the sort of secret agent that's played by a skinny actress with false lashes, much like Agent Sarah Walker from Chuck (who is lovely and very attractive but lacks even the mild muscle tone that would suggest she could pack a punch). I suppose I'm flattering myself by the comparison (especially since I'm really rather horrified by the way I look), but I'm what I'm trying to get at is the utter lack of any plausible threat. If these photos appeared that infamous thread, I would really not accept them as a plausible threat, even though there a distinct lack of bared flesh.

You see, in a fit of insane vanity (or vain insanity) Loretta and I decided it would be a Splendid idea to have our photos taken in a little studio I know of across the border in China. After a lot of very passionate negotiation, we handed ourselves over to the terribly professional two-man team in their studio that was only marginally bigger than a six-man tent. It was an utter Alibaba-esque cave of wonders, full of props, various silks and organzas festooning the walls (from the costumes strapped to them for storage). The was barely enough space to stand, amid the garish green plastic stools and the enormous studio lighting.

In all honesty, I really wasn't sure about posting these photos. Firstly, the phenomenal vanity of it all still staggers me and they almost amount to a secret shame. Secondly, they've not really that flattering. Thirdly, I'm really weirded out by my own vacant expression and lack of resemblance to myself.

As can be seen from the rather doll-like, almost lolita-esque appearance they've managed to force from my face through the caking on of make-up.

I had thought after being the subject of more than a handful of photoshoots over the course of the last month (well, it's not like I'm ever going to make enough to pay a model), I thought I'd be well immune to feeling self-conscious. But somehow doing it in front of stranger and in a studio made me feel rather more uncomfortable. My mind when blank and the photographer started posing me like a marionette. It was certainly amusing as experiences go.

There were rather more photos from this experience (including more of myself in other costumes as well as in this coat) with Loretta, who has promised to guest blog about her side of events sometime next week.

If you would like to see more photos from this rather experimental experience, I'm afraid you'll have to ask.

The photographer and the make-up artist had a rather more different idea to how Loretta and I should be posing and how we should look. There was a lot of friendly bullying. A sort of cloying femininity seems to the generally accepted goal of such photos. The desire isn't to make one look good as oneself but to conform as much as possible to the reigning standard of beauty (pale, doll-like, feminine). The make-up artist was especially keen on false lashes (which thankfully never made it onto my face).

I suppose this all sounds like it's going to launch into some discussion about women and feminity, but I'm not sure this is the time and the place. Suffice to say I felt like I was the sort of femme fatal who wakes up with perfect make-up. I shall reel back and briefly name the clothes (a more in-depth discussion with have to wait for some better photos).

The Steampunk Coat, which really should have been the star of the show, is rather shadowed by the colour correction programme they threw the photos through (mostly to soft focus it all and make us look more pale). It's much like the red and brass coat, but done in a dark blue and gunmetal grey. It's worn over the prototype steampunk shirt and overall I was quite pleased with the effect, though the detail is rather obscured in these photos.


  1. these pictures make me smile



  2. These coats do infact induce cackling or at the very least a giant beaming grin of evil thoughts.

    Thank you Costume Mercenary for my amazing coat. It is a beautieful and well made coat, with great service. I would by more from her. But I am suffering from a lack of money to do so.

  3. "Why the Mercenary Shouldn't Hire Photographers"

    How much would it be for basically this exact design/scheme? And including a luger or monocle?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...