arkadymac.com is glad to have had exclusive coverage of The Daydreams Project, a special cosplay photo shoot at scenic Fernbrook Gardens last weekend. Organized by James Paolo Angeles, Eric DC and Alphard Penetrante, this small event aimed to provide a photography and cosplay experience like no other where cosplayers and photographers get to contribute to something truly unique and memorable.
The result of many weeks of careful and deliberate planning, The Daydreams Project all came together one auspicious Sunday morning, as folks from as far as Bulacan gathered at designated meeting places down south in Alabang. Not everyone knew each other beforehand, but everyone got to get along right off the bat as they all looked forward to this moment for weeks on end.
The excitement got intense as we finally caught sight of the tops of Fernbook’s famed mini-basilica and classical dome, with some in the group wondering if we just happened to stumble into a different country or dimension. We were led to our preparation rooms where we met up with some of the other participants. Introductions, pleasantries, small talk and laughter filled the hall as the participants established new friendships and affirmed old ones as time was set aside to get to know each other better and to prepare for the afternoon of shoots that lay ahead.
The photographers were given a tour around the venue so that they can have a better perspective of the places where they can get the best shots of their models. We were led through the lush, manicured outdoor gardens of Byzantine, through the elaborately designed golden doors and delicately embellished gold-leaf-plated pillars of Victorian, through the Buckingham Palace-inspired Colonial ballroom and meeting room, all around the central lobby with a spectacular mermaid fountain in the middle of everything.
It was indeed a location worthy of praise as everything just exuded that perfect fairy tale atmosphere set against a tranquil backdrop of nature. Indeed the prospects were high as the group of photographers readied their equipment and mentally prepared themselves for the ordeal ahead.
The cosplayers in the meanwhile were already hard at work dressing up as their chosen characters. Most people are oblivious to the pains and difficulty of cosplaying, like the process of putting on makeup, putting on a wig, painting their bodies, and wearing bulky costumes. It is with silent admiration that we as photographers respect their dedication to their craft. They were meticulous in their attention to detail as they wanted to be at their best in this very rare opportunity at such a splendid venue in front of some of the most adept cosplay photographers around.
When 1pm came, everyone trooped to the central hall to formally start the photoshoot. Everyone had designated groups: pairs or teams of cosplayers and photographers that would rotate by the turn of the hour so as to be efficient and orderly. Everyone went straight to work as they wandered around the many amazing locations Fernbrooks had to offer and had their shots taken.
It also happened to be warm and humid that time, causing both cosplayers and photographers much discomfort. Nevertheless the prospect of great shots far outweighed any difficulty. It also rained for quite a while but the indoor locations were more than sufficient to house everyone and the shoots went on without much of a hitch.
The venue was rented by the organizers for the entire afternoon but time was still of the essence as there were quite a number of cosplayers and time had to be allotted to shoot all of them in that large area. A hint of tension was in the air, but there were still opportunities for everyone to goof off, share a joke or two, take selfies, or take silly stolen shots of each other. The organizers did say it should also be a fun experience for all involved, and it definitely was as everyone was friendly and responsive of each other.
As sunset reminded the participants that even good things must come to a end, everyone gathered by the central hall to take their last shots and have the group photo. Everyone appeared worn out from an entire afternoon of hard work but it is obvious that they were pleased and giddy from the experience and that it was all worth it. The organizer, James Paolo Angeles, addressed and thanked everyone for their paticipation and for making this dream shoot a reality, and he was keen on having future installments of Daydreams. After packing up and dressing down and putting away all their equipment, everyone said their goodbyes, glad to have met new friends and shared wonderful memories. All that’s left is to wait for the masters to post their photos in the coming days, so do watch out for them.
Many thanks for the organizers for inviting us to cover this very special event, particularly James Paolo Angeles, Eric DC and Alphard Penetrante who conceptualized Daydreams from the very beginning. Many thanks as well to the intrepid cosplayers and photographers who took part in this successful project: Trowa Akabane, Bernard Garbo, Justine Rells, Mitchelle Jeung Doblada, Joel Aragones, Roselyn Gutierrez, Jenny Buaron, Aileen Omana, Freya Akabane, Dale Perias, Anjelica Vanessa Nechi, Rin Mizuki Nakagi, Angel Sayoc, Alphard Penetrante, Christopher Prince Mortell, Je Morerz, Vaynard Darkhearth, Leo Tagulao, Kira Hokuten, Angel Ayanami, Erving Go,Marren Chayne Morales, Mimi Mon, Eric DC, Aya Ninna, Elie Ai, and Rhianna Floresca. Hope to see more of you guys soon.
Thank you for dropping by, and please visit us again for more cosplay features here at arkadymac.com.
Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.
View all posts by Xtian Mack