An Introduction to Cosplay and Cosplay Photography

Lea Heming

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Cosplayers and their Photographers

In the next couple of weeks you will be able to read Interviews with Cosplayers like Maul Cosplay and Leon Chiro as well as with great photographers like eosAndy. You will read about their passion, how Cosplay changed over the years and get advice on Cosplay and on taking Photos with Professionals as well as with Amateurs.

Maleficent Cosplay - Photo by Judith Stephens
Maleficent Cosplay – Photo by Judith Stephens

But what exactly is Cosplay?

Cosplay is a hobby or a profession were people wear costumes to represent a specific character.  The term applies to any costumed role playing, not only Anime or Game related. For a long time, Cosplay was a subculture in Europe. But since the 1990s, it became not only a phenomenon in Japan but also in the Western World. Over the last years Conventions became bigger and more people consider Cosplay a hobby of theirs. Social Networks and special Websites where beginners as well as professionals can get in contact with each other take a big part in this evolution.

Over the past decade, especially Anime Conventions have become more numerous in Europe. Beside these, science fiction or comic book conventions and even historical conferences are gatherings, were Cosplayers of all kind meet to show off their latest work and compete in contests. Today its even possible to make a living out of this passion, though its still uncommon to do so.

Mad Max Cosplay - Photo by Judith Stephens
Mad Max Cosplay – Photo by Judith Stephens

What is so fascinating about Cosplay?

For every person you’ll ask this question, there’s possibly a slightly different answer to this. Cosplayers spend a lot of time working on their Costumes and usually choose characters from Series or Games they love. For most of them not only the presentation of their Cosplay in a Shooting or at a convention is the fun-part of this hobby. It’s also the time they invest in recreating a Characters appearance and even his movements and expressions.

Star Wars Cosplay - Photo by Judith Stephens
Star Wars Cosplay – Photo by Judith Stephens

So what’s the special thing about Cosplay Photography?

Being seen and photographed at conventions still is a big part of every project. Many photographers visit Anime, Science Fiction or Comic book conventions. This is due to the fact that you´re able to get some unusual and interesting pictures with people who are just as passionate about their hobby like they are about photography.

But beside the shootings on Conventions, Photographers and Cosplayers also do Sessions at special locations which suite the characters or at the Studio. The pictures taken in these Shootinggs are often sold as Posters from professional Cosplayers. But also for Amateurs getting professional pictures of their work is often an important part to finish a project.

Photos of certain Characters often need to get altered to match the characters origin or abilities while some characters appear best in a natural setting. When taking Cosplay pictures, a photographer and Cosplayer decide together which setting would suit the character and which poses to do. This is a challenge in comparison to the fact that with a usual model, the photographer usually decides how the picture should look in the end.

What will you read next week?

Next week you can read an exclusive Interview with the Cosplayer Maul Cosplay. Make sure to visit him and also Judith Stephens, the photographer featured in this article.

 

 

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Lea Heming

  • Sunniva

    Great read!

    • Thanks a lot! Next week features one of Germanys most famous Cosplayers!

  • Ashley Marie Callery

    Great article, lea ! 🙂

  • Tom Anderson

    Keep up the good work! Do you have a website of your own?

  • Christian Hampf

    Very nice article! Great job! Excited about your next one.