On February 11th I had the opportunity to shoot a steampunk event here in St. Louis. The Steampunk Broken Hearts Ball was a combination art exhibit and fashion show, produced by Victoria L. Sculz. It was held at 1900 Park in historic Lafayette Square. I knew that amazing costumes would be on display, not only on the models but the guests as well, so I was excited to shoot it.
(Not sure what steampunk is? Check out the Wikipedia entry about it to learn more. The short answer of interest to a photographer is: steampunk = amazing, creative costumes and fun people who love to be photographed.)
Steampunk Fashion Show Photos
To give you an example of the costumes on display, here are a few photos from the fashion show – styled by Victoria L. Sculz.
1900 Park is a gorgeous performance and event venue, absolutely perfect for the event, but with one glaring exception that I knew was going to impact me. Since the space would be filled with artwork, vendors, food tables and guests, there was very little space to set up a proper photo backdrop and shoot.
I walked in that night unsure as to where exactly I’d be setting up, and it was a tad daunting to see the cramped space I’d be working in, but in the end I was able to create some really strong images, despite the challenges. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Making it work, making great images, every time.
What I wanted for the photo-booth aspect of the night was to create some appropriately vintage-feeling portraits. The processing for these fell right in line with the amazing costumes.
What a great night – I met so many fun and interesting people, both steampunk newbies and old-hats in the cosplay game. I love to capture the enthusiasm of cosplayers, and do justice to the incredible amount of work that goes into their costumes. Hope you enjoyed the images!
I was shooting APS-C, (Canon T6i) that night, which made the close quarters a bit more of a challenge. I had two 24′ gridded softboxes w/speedlights. Grids were essential as I had no distance between the subject and the background, and no space to add a rim light – so I really needed to control the light I did have. I shot most of the 3/4 length and couples shots at 24mm (35mm equivalent) ISO 100, about 1/80 sec at f4. I switched to 35mm for the close-ups. Post-processing done in Lightroom CC and Silver Efex Pro 2.
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Susan Bennet is a St. Louis-based photographer and videographer. Her work has been featured in the Riverfront Times, on HEC-TV and in a recent solo show at SOHA Gallery. To find out more or book a session or event, click here.