Photography is the act of capturing life. From the delicate, fleeting moments that otherwise could be lost in the bustle of the everyday to history changing events that, through the skilled eye of the photojournalist, hold an awe-inspiring aesthetic of the human condition.
This is neither.
I was lucky – and when I say lucky, I mean lotto-style lucky – enough to have the chance to record for posterity, the largest gathering of Slave Leia costumes in the history of the metal bikini.
During my weeks of feverish preparation for Star Wars Celebration 5, I was asked to be the official photographer for the 501st Legion. I have had the pleasure of working with the Orlando chapter of the internationally renown Star Wars costume group on several occasions and was honored to oblige the request to be the photographer for the gathering of the entire legion at the latest Star Wars Celebration. Not long after the 501st request, I was contacted by members of the FISD (First Imperial Storm Trooper Detatchment) – another costuming group specializing in the famous white Imperial armor – for some help with their group photo… and naturally accepted.
Just out of curiosity, I asked my contact at the 501st if he knew of any Slave Leia groups who needed a photographer. The request was half-joking (maybe less than half) but he responded with the email address of the head of LeiasMetalBikini.com.
“No shit?” I thought.
I sent an email with my offer to take a group photo. As if they had any problem finding a photographer. And as it turns out, they did, in fact, need a photographer.
“No shit,” was my unspoken reaction.
After forwarding some examples of my work, I received an enthusiastic acceptance and was set as the official photographer for LeiasMetalBikini.com.
“No Shit!” — I actually yelled that out loud. Lucky I was home alone at the time.
In my career I’ve covered college football, hockey, basketball, concerts, fires and a political rally. This was not the largest crowd of onlookers I had to deal with, but it was the tightest. I don’t know how many people were crammed around the Gentile Giant booth on the C5 exhibitor floor, watching the ladies line up around a full-size Jabba The Hutt statue, but claustrophobia couldn’t have been an issue for any of them. Unfortunately, deodorant was an issue for some of them.
But the scenery was worth it.
All geeky, awe-struck, hormonal spazing aside, these women are very cool. They took so much time out of their days to pose with fans all over the convention center. Model/reality TV star/big time Star Wars fan Adrianne Curry was also part of the group and was constantly honoring autograph and photo requests wherever she was. It takes guts to put on the bikini but it takes heart to take that kind of time out for the fans. I thank every one of them for their patience.
That said: ladies and gentleman (ok, gentleman) …the Leias.