Beth Dooner

Beth Dooner

Beth Dooner is a third year student at the University of Chester and has been involved with the Live Action Role Play (LARP) community for nearly 3 years. They started shooting LARP as another part of their 3rd Year Final Major Project in Geek Visual Culture. Beth never imagined it would become such a huge interest for them in such a short time, or that they would become someone relatively well known in the community as a result of their work. They love shooting LARP, it challenges them at every game and they’ve met some incredible people through doing it. Beth is discovering more genres, more ways of working, developing their post-production skills, and meeting even more people through every game they attend. They’ve been involved in this hobby now for nearly 3 years and they are still constantly learning. Knowing that their LARP photography brings so much joy to people within the hobby and outside of it fuels them so much. The professional side of knowing they delivered results to the organisers, but also the personal side of seeing people generate froth from an album, or even just one image. Through the post-event side of the image taking, it’s a very rewarding hobby. However, that is what it is, a hobby. Beth is at a different stage in their life from when they began shooting LARP and they were able to devote more time to it. Time and money need to go into other areas, yet LARP photography still takes up a lot of that. Beth started a Patreon account to help cover the various costs of LARP photography, as they’re not in a financial place to be able to fund their hobby without help. Not only do they want to be able to make themselves continue to be available for shooting LARP games, but also they want to be able to have the opportunity to develop their skills through it, both for themselves and for players. Being able to expand their kit, they can produce not only more successful shots but also more creative work through the hobby. Beth wants to take their critical approach to their work further and be able to work on key areas of development in their style. This is through looking at the strengths and flaws in their own work; and general inspiration, be it other LARP photographers, what players/organisers have suggested, or film production stills. Beth has been able to buy the small but essential replacement kit like batteries and memory cards. Financial support over the last year meant they could buy more thermals, so they can comfortably keep shooting throughout all conditions. Beth was able to put a fair amount of money without stress into buying better boots for LARP, with ankle support and everything only 2 years after everyone was telling them to do it. They listened eventually. Beth was able to buy more varied base kit; and next on their plans is to buy more ways of hiding the more modern elements of their photography equipment. For the systems that needed it, Beth has been able to hire out lighting to provide portrait shots of people in a dedicated OC area, and now thanks to an incredibly generous donation, own lighting and photography kit to bring to games. Beth plans to put money into a film camera and experiment with different styles of shooting to create a more visually diverse and exciting result for different games. Beth has been able to hire kit that can cope in more challenging conditions better than the kit they currently own, making them able to produce more work and not be limited by what they currently own. It means a stronger body of photography work from each game Beth attends, work we can all be proud of. Beth’s other projects, The Cosplayers at Home and Geeks on the Streets, are both dependent on Beths finances, and both have a strong link to Geek Visual Culture, which is how all Beths projects tie together. The current support has been wonderful and has kept Beth going through the hobby; their continuous support will help Beth grow even further in the hobby.

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