In the final weekend of summer break, I had the pleasure of doing a Fate/Grand Order Protagonists photo shoot with Jet, Daniel, David.
Check their works out here
Jet suggested that we use the new Make Light Studio in Irvine, which is a photography set studio. In Asia, there are a lot of sets that photographers can use by renting it for a set amount of time. For Southern California, there are a few in Los Angeles used for modeling and commercials, however the studio in Irvine caters to cosplayers too.
Depending on the service they offer, the studio may have a photographer, editor, costumes, props, lights, fog/bubble machine, etc along with the background/set. Of course, it will cost additional to use these services. It’s nice to use a studio like these as the cosplayers may feel out of place when cosplaying in public, better control over lights, and ability to use a background that’s normally not available.
Anyway back to the Make Light Studio. There are 3 themed sets available to rent along with shared space and mini set. However depending on how creative you are you can have multiple backgrounds even when you’re only renting a small area (i.e. move the curtains around, use the walls, carpet, etc). We rented the ballroom and also got to use the shared boudoir dressing room and the grass/parking lot outside.
[I only have the unedited photos right now, I’ll upload the edited ones after the photographers send those to me]
Jet rented 1 hours and then added an hour more after we ran out of time (since no one was scheduled after us). It was $45 per hour to use this set. The website has more information about the rates. While the cost of $45 per hour may seem daunting to some of us, it’s affordable if you split the cost between the other cosplayers or photographers.
I arrived there with my makeup on and changed at the bathroom inside the studio. The bathroom is medium size so someone can help you change if you have a large/complicated cosplay. However since the bathroom is communal, don’t hog the bathroom to yourself and remember to keep an eye on the clock. Some makeup was retouched in the shared boudoir dressing room.
It was pretty hot towards the back (towards the ballroom and gray room), there was one large fan but it mainly blew the hot air around rather than cooling things down. However, it was fine towards the front. Remember that warm body makes the room warmer so dress light and drink a lot of water if the temperature is high.
Overall the experience was really fun and relaxed. The worker there was really helpful and make us feel very comfortable. [I’m sorry, I forgot your name but I hope your Gwendolyn cosplay is coming along nicely.]
Afterwards, we went to 7 Leaves Cafe (about 5 minutes from the studio) to drink some boba and relax.