Dark Trial Application Picture Tutorial
In the interest of helping prospective members not have their trials kicked back because the photos are not clear enough. So please take a moment and look at our tutorial.
The following shots will be needed for the application process:
1. Front (with and without cloak/robe if applicable)
2. Back (with and without cloak/robe if applicable)
3. Right side (with and without cloak/robe if applicable)
4. Left side (with and without cloak/robe if applicable)
5. Close up of the belt (front at minimum, back is preferred as well)
6. Close up of boots
7. Close up of any weapons carried
8. Close up of any masks, helmets, or other face/head coverings
9. Close up of any make up (with and without hood or mask making sure the edges are shown)
10. Shot of the face of the applicant without any mask or make up.
11. An action shot that will be used as the official photo on the website
All photos should be taken against a plain background of a neutral color that does not blend with any part of the costume. They should be taken in good lighting that shows all the details and make sure they are in as perfect a focus as possible. They should be of the highest resolution possible to allow the Inquisitors to see all the details. All shots shall show the entirety of what they are meant to show (ie: full body shots for the poses and full views of the various parts required to be photographed such as boots and weapons).
To ensure the best quality photos for the Inquisitors to judge from, the following actions are highly suggested:
1. No “con” photos. This does not mean no photos taken at a convention. It simply means no photos from the general con floor. Cons are a great time to take pictures if you don’t normally have people close by to help with them. So long as they follow the guide above, you should be good to go.
2. Have your photographer or another helper (preferably, an official member that has gone through the process before) adjust the fit and finish of your costume before taking the pics. Costumes are not only more easy to judge when as perfectly worn as possible, the pics look MUCH better and show the hard work that went into the costume. Remember, you want the application photos to show the costume at its VERY BEST. Not like you have been running around a convention all day.
3. Have the photographer and/or handlers look over the photos when done. If anything…I mean ANYTHING…looks out of place or “wonky”, adjust the costume and retake the photos. Your trial will go much easier and faster that way.
We also suggest that, if you plan on wearing makeup with the costume, that you submit it with and without the makeup. This is already in the list of needed photos above, but it bears another note as it allows you to wear the costume without the makeup if you so wish and still have it be approved. The same goes for masks and helmets and, in some cases, hooded robes or cloaks (as some costumes are fine with them and just look unfinished without). Please note that the Inquisitors may, at their discretion, approve a costume with a hooded cloak/robe, but only with it. This has been done a few times as we did not wish to deny an app when it looks fantastic with the robe/cloak, but unfinished without it.
As always, we will not deny a costume without giving feedback on what we think will make it pass. Sometimes, this feedback gets pretty detailed and includes personal suggestions on how to do something. Please take this as a heart felt attempt to help make your costume better and not as a personal attack or an attempt to push our “style” on you. The changes are what we feel are needed to pass your Dark Trial. Any suggestions on how to do that are just there to help point you in the right direction. You are under no requirement to use the suggestions given, only to make the required changes noted.
The other slots are fairly self-explanatory (action for your membership picture, masks for masks, weapon for weapon(s), masks off for those who wear such so we can see your smiling face). There are now slots for extra pics. These can be used for showing robes or any other pics you wish taken into account during the Dark Trials. Once again, please make sure these additional pics are of good quality and lighting so the Inquisitors can see all the details.
Also, a small note on black-on-black costumes. As seen in the example pics, most of the soft parts are black. I used a photo editor to add a little brightness so the details could be seen more clearly (everything under the armor was a black blob before I did this). This does not constitute “altering” as far as the judging goes. It simply makes things easier to see. If the colors seem to fade too much (black looks too grey for you), just drop a note and put a single, unedited pic in one of the unused slots. Easy as that.
One more note on the required pics:
The shot of your face without a mask or makeup really needs to be in the costume you are applying with. This allows us to not only see your faces, it shows that it really is you in the costume.
IF you feel you photos are ready… Head on to the Dark Trials…