DragonCon 2014: It was 3:00 am Sunday morning, and I was still wearing the “Abbey” costume from an event hours earlier. Making my way back to my room across the (much less crowded than usual) lobby of the Hyatt, a gentleman with a camera politely approached and asked for permission to take a few photographs. It’s always a kindness (and a compliment) when someone asks, so I stopped and joined him for a few photos. He took his time setting up the angles and finding just the right perspectives. And I watched him work. He thanked me for my time and I thanked him for his interest and the kind attention. I hoped that after the event, we might reconnect so I could see the resulting images – but with an event as chaotic as DragonCon, you just never know.
His name was Lievan Leroy of San Francisco-based Subversively.com and his image of “Abbey” DID pop up later that month. And it kind of exploded on social media. I saw Lievan’s image begin trending on Tumblr. And when my CostumeArt Facebook Page suddenly acquired a thousand followers overnight, I tracked that growth back to Lievan’s lobby photo of Abbey, which had been picked up (thanks to Galacticat) and shared by the Replica Props Forum Facebook page. The response was overwhelmingly positive. I think that both the photographer and I were surprised that our impromptu collaboration in the wee hours of DragonCon would find so many eyeballs. What a great compliment!
DragonCon 2015: I got a message from Lievan asking if I would like to meet up at DragonCon for another photo opportunity. I had a new costume project with me, and while it was not complete, I was very excited to see what Lievan would do with it.
After some text tagging and missed connections, we finally met again in the drive-thru at the Marriott Marquis. Crowded with people and cars, the odds of finding any spot with solitude was unlikely. So we opted to back up against the fountain and try our luck. Even with the odd lighting and distracting environment, Lievan turned all of his attention to crafting images of “Merry McQueen”, an original CostumeArt project inspired by the work of Alexander McQueen.
When I got to see the images from this DragonCon shoot and I’m simply AMAZED at his ability to create the impression that we were isolated while making these photos. With his lighting and perspectives, he’s crafted images that almost evoke a sense of desolation. In truth, there were tipsy cosplayers and loud crowds just a few feet away from us, cars and vans were cycling behind Lievan as he worked, and the lip of the fountain was just inches behind my heels. He created an eye in the storm and produced these lovely photographs amid the madness!
Thank you Lievan Leroy of Subversively.com for sharing your talents with me again. You, Sir, are made of magic. (We have to keep meeting like this!)