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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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My Facebook Fan Contest Winner – Beautiful Fantasy Fairy Cosplay Shoot

Hey everyone!! Back in June, I held a contest on my Facebook Fan Page to celebrate my page hitting one thousand fans (woohoo!). My contest was to win a free concept/fashion shoot and no one tried harder to win than Ms. Sharmela. I could not be happier that my contest brought this wonderful person into my life. She is the sweetest, most adorable, honorary Japanese girl (like me!) I have come across in a long time.

So after Sharmela kicked ass in my contest, the concept planning began. After ideas and ideas, emails, sketches, chats, and evaluation of my wig inventory, we finally settled on a fairy concept shoot. Executing a conceptual shoot from start to finish was the goal of my contest and I am happy to say that we nailed it.

We were joined by the fab Dwana Blaqstar Stover, who styled Sharmela from head to toe AND doubled as a rockstar makeup artist. Here are a few behind the scenes shots of the “getting ready” process with Sharmela and Dwana:

Makeup is done!  Looking great!

Add a wig (Gothic Lolita Wigs White Curly Bob), headband, and earrings, and we are all done! Here is an adorable shot from Sharmela’s Instagram. Oh my god. Too precious.

You can follow me on Instagram @alexapoletti for Behind the Scenes shots, my modeling work, and photos of my cat. Mostly the cat.

So now that Sharmela is all fairy-ed out, it’s time to hit the gardens.  I am pretty sure that all the kids in the surrounding area were convinced that she is actually a fairy princess.

Drum roll please!

1k Fan Contest Winner/Fantasy Fairy Shoot

Model: Sharmela Rivera
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA/Stylist: Dwana Blaqstar Stover


Fun fact: This was actually a test shot, but I loved the complete innocence of this, so it made it into the final set.

She has the BEST smile ever ,right? It’s so contagious! At this point I decided I wanted to get a few natural light closeups and play with my 50mm f/1.4. It is my favorite lens for getting a super shallow depth of field. Since it’s a pretty cheap lens, it’s not much use until around f/2, but then it’s pretty sharp and great for the price. How adorable is this girl?

She has the best expressions… This is one of my favorite expression series that I have done! Also, how CUTE is that curly bob on her? I wish it looked like that on me! >.<

Here is a behind the scenes shot from our next location, taken by Dwana. By this point we were all disgusting and sweaty and hot and miserable, but still loving every minute of it. It’s all about loving what you do!

For photographers/those of you wondering, the only light used in this series was a Canon 580exII Speedlite with no light modifiers around 4pm.
This is all of the equipment that was used in this set:

Equipment Rundown:
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 580exII
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L
Canon 50mm f/1.4
CyberSync Transmitter/Receiver

I hope you all enjoyed my  journey with Sharmela.
Watch for more contests like this one on my Facebook Fan Page:
facebook.com/AlexaPolettiPhotography

Thanks guys!

Conceptual Fashion Shoot
Fairy Cosplay Photoshoot
Silver Spring, MD


Becca’s “Monster High”-inspired Wig Shoot

When Cosplay Wigs USA asked me to shoot their Monster High-inspired line of wigs, I was thrilled! I love costumes and I love doing wild shoots, as you guys know. So thus started the model search for four unique models, which lead me here to Becca. Her character is based off of “Lagoona Blue”. Most of Becca’s accessories and costume was made by my wonderfully crafty sister, Jamie.

This was my first time working with kickass makeup artist, Natalie P Makeup Artistry. She is soooo talented and was such a good sport about coming in super last minute for the Monster shoot. I can’t wait to work with this girl again!

Model: Becca
Photo: Alexa Poletti Photography
MUA: Natalie P Makeup Artistry
Styling: Jamie Poletti
Wig: Cosplay Wigs USA

Annnnnd the makeup layout for Natalie P Makeup Artistry with full credits!

And the layout for Cosplay Wigs USA‘s website. I’ll link it once it’s live on the site! ;D

Thanks for stopping by and keep your eyes out for more Monsters coming your way!

Fashion Photography
Cosplay Photography
Washington, DC


Heather + Adam’s Wedding!

Hey guys!! It’s been a while since I’ve put up a wedding post, so here ya go! While I was in Wilmington last week, my old buddy and photography sensei Chris Van Atta asked me if I’d like to be second shooter on a wedding he had coming up. OF COURSE, I said I’d love to! It was so so so great to be reunited with my buddy after almost a year of not shooting together. Isn’t that insane?! UGH. So that led me to meet Heather and Adam, a wonderfully spunky couple that goes by “Heat” and “Addy” —  Love it!

So sweet! While Heather was getting ready at the Hilton Riverside, Adam was holding down the fort at the beautiful St. Thomas Preservation Hall. It was a cool time of day for lighting in the hall!

Here are some shots of the green/blue peacock theme!

Here we go!!!

Presenting the couple! Yay!

Awww what an awesome ceremony. So during the switch from wedding chapel to reception party room, we hit the streets of downtown Wilmington, NC for some fun family photos.

Vintage style kissin’ in the street. That’s where it’s at!

On our way back to the reception, we made a pit stop outside of Yosake, where Heather and Adam shared their first date. Awww. 🙂

The reception was a lot of fun too! I spent most of the night assisting Chris with lighting but here are a few quick shots of Heather and Adam’s first dance!

Well guys, that’s it! I hope you enjoyed Heather and Adam’s Wilmington wedding!
Until next time! xo

Wedding Photography
Wilmington, NC