Charlotte Moss is a photographer and also the features editor for LARP.GUIDE. If you haven’t checked out LARP.GUIDE then I can heartily recommend it to you. Also if you like photography and LARP Photography in particular then its a good idea to take a look at her photography website.
What follows is a short interview with good answers. I’m hoping to follow this up with more q&a in the near future.
First question is a bit of background could you let me know a little bit about yourself and how you got started in Larp
I was looking for new photographic opportunities to build my portfolio because I’d recently gone freelance as a photographer and writer. A friend of mine is the producer at Odyssey LRP and asked if I’d like to work with him on some promotional shots for Empire LRP – at that time it was the new Profound Decisions game – and of course I said yes because one of my ambitions is to do stills photography for a film. That was just over two years ago and the rest, as they say, is history.
I’ve still not actually played a game yet. I have a recreational character at Empire LRP but she’s never really taken to the field. The nearest I come is when I photograph Shadow Wars, since it’s a game where a photographer can be an NPC in the game world.
Second question is about the origin of Larp.guide what was your aim and core idea for it when you started
In all honesty, it’s entirely selfish. I wanted to get more involved with photographing LARP and was frustrated because I couldn’t easily find events near me on weekends that I have free. I often don’t know if I’m free until the weekend is fast approaching so there was often a desperate scramble to find a game to go shoot – and usually with little success.
In addition to that I have a personal blog where I often post random thoughts about LARP, my photography or costume I’ve made and it seems to generate a reasonable amount of views – and sometimes debate! It made sense to me that I would pair any events site I created with a repository of useful articles.
The site is also serving the practical purpose of helping me build skills for the future. I’m currently studying History of Art at university and recognise the need to have a broad skill base when I graduate. LARP.GUIDE has served as a way to study and learn coding which is another service that I can offer as a creative professional.
Third question is Larp.guide evolving in a way you’d have expected
Yes, absolutely. I had a vision for a community hub that would not only bring people together, but also to spread information and present a favourable view of LARP to those outside of the community. Last year I had my photography featured in a US magazine and it opened my eyes to how negatively LARP can be portrayed (not that they portrayed me negatively at all, I was just conscious that they might). I feel that with my photography and my writing I have the opportunity to help promote a positive experience of the first time people come into contact with our hobby.
But the core of the site is about being providing an place where you can find out whatever you need to know in order to spend more time playing games and less time searching the internet! Some of the Facebook groups, for instance, provide a fantastic resource for people looking for games or traders, but the information just disappears. It’s all there, but it’s not searchable in any meaningful way at all. That’s why I was struggling to find games that were local to me, things like new grass roots systems that could really benefit from me working with them. Ideally I’d like to work with new organisers to create style guides and similar for their games, since I’m starting to build up quite a large repository of LARP photographs from different backgrounds.
I’m really lucky that I have a really great team surrounding me. Adam works with me on the back end of the site and occasionally writes some articles, Leah from Mandala LRP regularly blogs every Monday about running games, Matt Pennington has started writing mostly about playing games and I’ve also got some other really awesome contributors lined up to come on board in the next few months. Of course we also have sets of photographs that go live on the site every week so that people can see other systems for themselves and hopefully join them as players. It would be great, in the long run, to help systems grow through showing the community what is available.