Recently The Five Wits, fine retailers of wigs for all of your cosplay needs, hired me to photograph some of their new offerings.
Photoshoots with The Five Wits go something like this:
Ruth (Owner of The Five Wits) places a wig on a person and sends them to the photography area so I can take their photo. Ruth always arranges the wigs JUST SO, in a very specific arrangement of hairs which, apparently, speaks directly to fans of a particular character. Her specialty in this is Homestuck where she will take a rather plain looking black wig, twist the hairs between her fingers and leading the customer will exclaim a character name with delight. The details of these arrangements are a mystery to me, but to fans of Homestuck, they are as obvious as sunlight.
When the model gets in front of me, I ask Ruth: “Who is this character?”
Then Ruth will say something like: “Oh, it’s a wizard from a dating game that’s now a popular serious cyberpunk series.”
And I’ll turn to the models and say “Okay, got that?”
Sometimes the stuff she says is so weird that I will force her to show me the anime afterwards:
“Oh, this is the human version of a hero who chased the devil through a portal but now the devil works in a fast food place so the hero is feeling awkward about her mission to kill him…”
and I’ll say “You are showing this to me. I have to see this.”
And then we’ll watch the entire series. (In this case, the show was The Devil is a Part Timer). So really, these photoshoots introduce me to new anime. So that’s cool.
My models are actors and cosplayers and artists and friends. Finding models is much like finding dates. You need to see something you like, and they have to like (and trust) you right back. Asking someone to model for me gets me as nervous as I used to get asking for a date. And it doesn’t always work out. But for this shoot, it was magnificent.