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Linden and Kate’s Engagement Photos – Welcome to Night Vale Cosplay Shoot

Hi guys! I did it! I shot something new! Look guys, look! I’m really back!

Hehehe…! Oh, and it feels so good.

One of my best buddies, Linden Valentine (who you see plastered all over this blog) asked me to shoot his engagement shoot to the loveliest person ever, Katie Avalanche. Knowing Linden, I knew there was a curve ball. Wait for it….

 COSPLAY ENGAGEMENT. YUSSSSSSS. I couldn’t think of a more appropriate engagement shoot for Linden and Kate. I love shooting cosplay, so of course, I was PUMPED. Weeee!~

Because Linden & Kate live in New York, scheduling shoots with them is always tricky. We scheduled the shoot for earrrrlyyy on MLK because they were driving from Charlotte, NC to New York (shewww~ no thank you!) and could take a pit stop to see me and shoot in Raleigh along the way.

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Of course, I responsibly got a ton of sleep and was super rested when Kate and Linden arrived…

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Once Linden and Kate arrived, it was time to start getting ready for the shoot! Because they were cosplaying a podcast that I wasn’t familiar with (Welcome to Night Vale), I asked them to tell me the story so I could understand the characters. When shooting cosplay, I try to do my part to bring the characters to life through their posing and photos.

I am not even going to try to explain what the radio show is about, so have this description from their website instead:

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

Turn on your radio and hide.

BTW- You can listen to all of the podcasts here.

Kate would be cosplaying Cecil, the Night Vale local and narrator of the show, and Linden would be cosplaying Carlos, a scientist who comes to Night Vale to study all the strange occurrences that happen in the town. In the show, there is a scene where Cecil and Carlos are sitting on the hood of a Prius under an Arby’s sign, which we decided would be a perfect location for this shoot. It is also extremely convenient that I drive a Prius, hehehe ;D

One of my favorite parts of shooting is getting ready before the shoot. I love hanging out with my friends that I don’t see very often and during makeup is one of the best times to chat! Since Carlos is described as a Latino scientist with “dark and delicate skin, black hair with a dignified, if premature, touch of gray at his temples,” Linden needed an insta-tan to get all dark and delicate. Watching Kate smear foundation on him was HIGHLY ENTERTAINING. I do not envy him having to scrub all of that off lolol… Reason #243916 why I don’t cover my tattoos for cosplay.

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Hubba hubba!!

Time to gather my equipment and head to Arby’s!

I am going to save all of my Behind the Scenes photos for the end, because this series tells a story and I would hate to interrupt it! Here we gooooo~

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Cosplayers: Koala and Bear
Cecil: Katie Avalanche
Carlos: Linden Valentine

Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography

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How cuteeeeeeeee are theyyyyyyyyyyy???????

Shooting with Alexa x Linden x Kate does not come without some ridiculous moments and unforgettable laughs. Here are a few of my favorite highlights:

The constant battle against the wind that Linden’s luscious hair was constantly losing. Cue infuriated Linden. 

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Linden’s very “serious” proposal. I should mention that he was a big cry baby about the concrete + knee situation, so I generously gave him a bag of unpopped popcorn and pajama pants to rest his little princess knees on. I think the fact that I had a bag of popcorn and pajamas laying around in my car probably reveals a bit too much about my lifestyle.

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When Linden kissed Kate and his “dark and delicate skin” & facial hair rubbed off on her face, hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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And whatever the hell this is:

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I think I should also probably mention that I am 90% sure that we may or may not have caused a minor car accident because we are just a silly looking group of people doing unusual things. Most people aren’t accustomed to seeing a pink-headed Alexa-monster leading a photoshoot in an Arby’s parking lot. PSA: Friends don’t let friends watch photoshoots and drive.

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So, I’m sorry if this was you. Keep your eyes on the road next time!

After we finished shooting, we went inside to see the excited Arby’s employees (they loved watching our shoot!) and to chow down on some delicious fast food. #modeldiet

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And finally, a group shot after a job well done! ☺

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See more of my shoots with Kate & Linden (aka Koala & Bear Cosplay) here:

Otakon // YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz Cosplay Shoot
Adorable Kigurumi Shoot
NOH8 Campaign Shoot

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From all of us, congratulations Kate and Linden!! We love you and are so excited for your future together!!~ xoxoxoxo

Cosplay Photography
Engagement Photography
Raleigh, NC

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Otakon 2013 | Cosplay Photography with Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche

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Hello everyone!! Over the weekend I had the pleasure of attending Otakon with two of my loveliest friends, Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche. You may remember them from my previous posts featuring Grace and/or Kate including the adorable kigurumi shoot, NOH8 Campaign, or Grace in Lingerie. They came down to DC on Thursday and while we were hanging out & eating all the pizza in the world, we decided to we wanted to do a little promo shoot of our Friday cosplays so that people could know to look for us. 😀 Grace cosplayed Sherlock, Kate was Watson, and I was Hermione. We wondered who would win in a fight between Sherlock and Hermione. Thoughts?

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It took us a lot of energy post-pizza to actually get motivated to do this shoot. We flopped around and chased the cat and eventually got into our fancy little outfits. Hehehe… I volunteered my handsome boyfriend to take our photo so that we could have a good shot of all of us together before I did a solo shoot of the Sherlock cosplayer lovebirds. But first, Hermione invasion!

Waiting for Brendan means ridiculous selfies:

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And taking pictures of people taking pictures:

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Finally, Brendan arrived to take our photo. I realized that we somehow have a very hard time looking normal. Other than the Otakon promo photo above, the rest of the shots all seemed to look like this:

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So, we quickly abandoned that idea and I took over as photographer and shot Sherlock and Watson together. Mwahahaa~

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Awwwwww!!!!! Best Sherlock and Watson ever. EVER I SAY!

So, after our super quick mini-shoot, Sherlock and Watson headed back to Baltimore so they could start Otakon super early. Drum roll… Otakon Day 1!

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:’D So much fun!!!

On Saturday, I decided to bring my camera gear with me so that I could shoot Grace and Kate in their GACKT x Jon Underdown // YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz cosplay. If you are unfamiliar with this J-rock duo, you should give em a gander. Grace and Kate do an EXCELLENT cosplay of Gackt and Jon and I didn’t want to miss my chance to shoot it! They rarely do this cosplay because it takes FOREVER to draw Jon’s tattoos on Grace‘s arms, but she is a dedicated monster. :3

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Tattoo in progress!

We hopped and danced around and spun in circles until the tattoo was finished and then we headed outside to shoot some seriously badass shots right outside of the Lord Baltimore hotel in downtown Baltimore.

Cosplayers: Grace Valentine as Jon Underdown
Katie Avalanche as GACKT
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography

 

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I LOVE THESE YFC PHOTOS and the amazing light that we had that day.

After exhausting this spot, we ran across the street. I am a weird little creature with a YFCz towel on my little bear head.

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I’m awkward.

Anyway, back to the goods.

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Successful group shot even though it was too bright to see cellphone screen in three… two… one…..

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All done!

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After that, we scampered back to the hotel room so I could drop off my camera and enjoy the rest of the con worry-free. Here is a collage of the whirlwind that was Saturday at Otakon!

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Thanks for a wonderful, wonderful weekend, Otakon! Awesome pictures, awesome friends, awesome memories.

xoxoxo

love always,

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pizza people

Cosplay Photography
Otakon 2013
Baltimore, MD

 


From Dark to Light | Britni in Black and White | Beautiful Girl of the Flowers

I am on a blogging ROLL lately! Damn! Today we are going back to April to visit a shoot with the lovely Britni McIntosh! You may have noticed, I am still digging through my older shoots that need to be blogged, and I am doing so in no particular order. I hope you like this trip down memory lane that I’ve been doing. I swear I will catch up one of these days….

Britni is the sweetest little thing. I have known her for ages. We grew up in the same crowd of friends and now we are all old and still friends. Woohoo! Britni was actually one of my very first guinea pigs EVER when I got my first camera (Nikon D60) a few years ago. While Britni kicked ass on that shoot, looking at my old work kind of burns my eyes out. I’m making these really small so no one can actually see them.

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HAHAHA. If it gives you any indication of how old this is, I found this photo on an old hard drive from 2009 in an folder entitled “Myspace”…….

ANYWAY.

….. I’ve lost my train of thought.

Now it’s 2013. And I got to shoot her again for the first time since my early days. It was pretty stoked!! I’ve wanted to shoot her for so long but she lives in Indiana and I live in Washington, DC. Somehow, the stars aligned and we were both vacationing in North Carolina at the same time in April and we were able to schedule a quick shoot together!

We decided to do two looks together. One sweet and happy and one dark and gothy. Since this photoshoot is from April, I’ve lost all of my Behind the Scenes photos, so I am shamelessly borrowing them from Britni’s instagram. Thanks honey bunny!

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Two look sneak peek!

Knowing that we had limited time and two looks, I decided to shoot the black and white look first. I wanted to save the pink look for shooting the sunset because I knew the colors of the sunset would pop more against the pink than they would against the black. We started in an abandoned fraternity or sorority (??) house. I used to live near this abandoned building with the greek letters Delta Kappa and an owl painted inside it. In my extremely minimal google searching, I still don’t know (or really care) what it is/was. All it is now is a pretty cool photo spot.

On to the goods! First setup:

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& a lighting test outtake of me falling.

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Yes, those striped legs belong to yours truly.

For this next set, I wanted to try some seriously low key lighting. I love the way the deep shadows play into the feel of this image.

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 And the outtakes. Here is Britni making some adorably menacing faces in our lighting test.

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Then we popped outside for a few more shots by this creepy lamp post in the backyard of this house.

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SppooOoOoOky.

All done here! Time to lighten the mood a little bit and change outfits! Planning shoots while in different states can be difficult. We were each picking pieces of our wardrobe for the shoot. After texting pictures back and forth we settled on something that looked like this.

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Now that is some good e-planning!

Britni got changed and we headed out to our next location: a huge field of beautiful yellow flowers.

Once we were there, we had some time to kill while waiting for the sun to go down.

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Well, may as well take some pictures!

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La la la laaaaaaa… Just waiting for the sun…

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While the lighting is pretty, it’s not the lighting I was looking for.

And then…

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BAM! Perfect! Time to knock em dead!

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OH yeah! I forgot to mention! These photos were featured in Deadly Dessert Magazine’s May issue that had a flower theme. Check out our spread! Woohoo!

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Finally, we wrapped up a fun day of shooting together. If you’re interested in either of the wigs that Britni is wearing in the photos above, please check out Gothic Lolita Wigs. The black and white split is a discontinued wig, but you can see GLW‘s new longer splits HERE. The pink wig she is wearing is Gothic Lolita Wigs’ Rhapsody Collection in Rose, which can be found HERE. Her lashes are Born to Flirt from Dolluxe.

Thanks Britni! I am so happy we could make this day work and I can’t wait for our paths to cross again!!! I’ll dress you up like Hermione and take your photo. 😉

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Fashion Photography
Charlotte, North Carolina
Davidson, North Carolina


Japanese Punk Visual Kei and Camui Gakuen Inspired Fashion Shoot | Jake visits Washington, DC

Hey guys! Time for a time warp! Let’s swing back to February to cover a shoot I did on the 25th of the month. My good friend Jake came down to visit me from New York and to get some kickass photos taken. I was so excited to see him because we always have such a fun time together! He is super silly, as you will be able to tell from the outtakes that will make their debut in this very blog post.

photoInstagram: @alexapoletti

We decided to do two different looks. Jake’s style derives a lot of inspiration from Japanese fashion and basically looks like he fell right out of an really cool anime, so of course, I wanted to capture his presence the best I could. He has such a uniquely awesome style which is something that draws me to shooting him. We started with a dark theme at one of the coolest location in the DMV area.

Because we shot in such a cool location, I wanted to shoot in a bunch of different spots around the location, which means a bunch of really great outtakes since I had to light each area individually. Of course, let’s start with some interesting light test shots….

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Awww, Jake is pouting! What’s wrong!? How can you pout when we made a final image that looks like this:

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BAM!!! He is so cool.

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Seriously, what a rockstar.

How about another light test? Heheh…

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Haha! Take it offffff! I’m pretty sure he was stripping in this photo, swinging his sweater around. Can’t you feel the sexiness??

I should also mention that it was like 10 degrees and the poor boy was freezing. Taking his sweater off was not easy! Sorry Jake!

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I love Jake’s hair color!

What’s that you say? You want another derpy test shot? Okay, okay, if you insist.

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Hahaha, culling Jake’s photos is more fun than most because I run across little gems like these.

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Okay! After playing all around this area, we were finally done at this location! After this, we went back to my place in the city to shoot a Camui Gakuen inspired shoot at Meridian Hill Park at sunset.

Because it was a sunset shoot, we had limited time, so not a lot of time to make silly faces at each other. UGHHH. Life sure is tough huh? Still, we came out with some amazing shots with great color in the sky. I love this style!! What a cute little school boy!

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How amazing is this sunset?!

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What an awesome (and LONG!!) day of shooting! Found memories of this day. 🙂 I hope to be able to continue to document the other shoots I missed in my blogging hiatus in the next few weeks. I really enjoy revisiting these little pieces of my life and career. Thanks for visiting me and allowing me to shoot your handsome face,  Jake!! xx

Fashion Photography
Fashion Portraits
Washington, DC


Feeling like Summer with Jazzmin Jolly and her Flower Bikini!

So, everyone who knows Jazzmin Jolly knows that she is a weird little creature. She bounces and twirls and sings all day long. It is adorable to watch her freak out when she sees a microscopic spider or when she is terrified to do a bikini shoot even though she has the most amazing bod of anyone I know. Enter Jazzmin Jolly.

Jazzmin came down from Philly to join in the Hypnotic Sweet Treats launch that we were shooting over the weekend and wanted to shoot this summery side project. Jazzmin wanted to make an outfit entirely covered with flowers, but who wants to (or has time??) to make a full flowing dress of flowers?? Jazzmin decided to make a swimsuit covered in flowers instead (much less surface area!), which was an idea I LOVE. Nothing says summer like flowers, sunglasses, and a bikini! Ow ow!

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Y’all. This girl was terrified to do a shoot showing this much skin but look how confident and amazing she looks? Can you even tell she was nervous? Go tell her how awesome she is right now!!! Facebook: Jazzmin Jolly

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Abs, abs, and more abs. Damn girl!

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Flower shoes! Look at her flower shoes!!! Oh my god!

I hope you all enjoy some summer fun this season! Get out there and do something awesome!

 

Conceptual Photography
Bikini Photography
Washington, DC


NOH8 Campaign Photos | Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche For Equal Rights

Hey everyone! While Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche were in town last weekend, we wanted to shoot a NOH8 series to kick off Pride Month. As a big supporter of gay rights and equality for all, this shoot was very important to me. I was more than happy to shoot this for one of my favorite couples in the world.

Find out more about the NOH8 Campaign here: http://www.noh8campaign.com

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NOH8 KATE

NOH8 GRACE

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Get involved and speak up. There is no room in this world for the intolerance and prejudice that same sex couples still face every day.

Couple Photography
NOH8 Campaign
Washington, DC 

 


Adorable Kigurumi Love! | Grace Valentine x Katie Avalanche in Kigu’s!

Hi guys! Over the weekend, I imported a few model buddies from New York and Philly to come down and hang out with me and to shoot the launch photos for Hypnotic Sweet Treats’ new line: Creepy Candy. While getting ready for our Hypnotic Sweet Treats launch photos, we got super sidetracked by shooting the lovely Grace Valentine and Katie Avalanche in their kigurumis. They are just the cutest little things. I was bouncing around and running in circles because it was so cute. I couldn’t handle it. CUTENESS OVERLOAD. >.< Ahhhhhhh!

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Kigu attack!!! >.< Katie the clinging koala and Grace the ferocious kuma bear! :3

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Awww… maybe they’re not so mean and scary after all… ♡ Kigu Kisses! ♡

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SO cute. Ugh. I’m going to go hide in a corner until I am as cute as they are. Goodbye world!

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Kigurumi Shoot
Washington, DC