Idol Photo Session
I heard the word “Satsuei Kai” (撮影会(さつえいかい)) among the otaku community and didn’t really know what it was apart from the literal translation roughly meaning “group photo session”. After further investigation, I find out that one can go and participate in an event where one can take as many photos as one desires of an idol without the 60 second time limit.
Berry Waffle is an organizer of idol photo sessions and I decided to go and find out moar about these Satsueikai.
I’m still not too sure how everything works but it seems that the organizer rents a photo studio (in this case it was Roppongi Digital Photo Studio) and makes their money from getting punters to pay to take photos.
The day is divided up into four segments – each segment divided into three photo sessions. I attended the first segment of the day. The first photo session was outdoors in a nearby park. The second and third session was in the studio.
The cost depends on how popular the idol is. Costs could go up to more than 10,000 yen per segment. I paid 5,000 yen for the first segment and then had to shoot off to another event. One segment lasts about 1.5 hours - but then again this would depend on which organizer you choose to go with.
The type of photo session depends on the idol but the one I attended had civilian clothing in the park and bikini for the studio shoot. If you were worried about the idol getting cold in the studio running around in a bikini – then don’t because the lighting was hot enough. As for the men – I think they got hot just by being in front of the idols...
What you have to do is to book in advance to save yerself some money – if you go along on the day to register then it will cost more. Depending on the organizer you choose, you will be given a member card. Collect up to 18 stamps on the back of the card and you get to go once for free - you get one stamp per visit.
The studio was in Roppongi and the car park was right next door which was rather convenient. Got to the reception, registered, quick chat with the manager and headed down to the basement.
This is where you can put all your crap and adjust camera settings etc.
The first session is out doors. There is usually a wait-in-line-and-take-shots-for-20-seconds thing which rotates. At the end of each session, all the blokes crowd around and one of the organizers makes sure that the idol gives each camera a glimpse.
Reflectors are used to adjust the light so you don't have to bother bringing your own.
When the idol does a particularly cute pose, the blokes break out in a sweat and all jump out of their place in the queue. Their cameras are poised within 0.2 seconds. I'm sure these guys used to military members at one point in their life.
This is Ai Shinozaki who is gathering incredible popularity in the idol otaku community – more of the outdoor shots in another post.
This is Chihiro Ueno - another gravure idol.
Back in the studio. This is to adjust the white balance - but because I still don't know how to use my camera, I had to set the WB to bulb ToT
Ai-chan in bikini battle gear.
Chihiro-chan in bikini stealth gear.
Inside the studio.
Signed goodies left by previous idols.
One of the sets has strobe lighting where they attach a dongle or something to your camera that causes all the strobe lights to flash when you take a photo.
You get to listen to some groovesome background music to get you into that charisma photographer mood as you wiggle your bottom.
The idols get together for some reverse docking action.
The downside of armor - cant feel any soft eyes that may rub up against it.
Please excuse this pose but their manager insisted.