Cosplayers all have photos taken of them in their various costumes throughout the year. There’s usually that one favourite shot that they have; one they show off to their family and friends, stick up on their cosplay pages on social media, or even print off.
But what about the people behind the lens? The photographer, the artisan of the digital art; what are their favourite photos out of the thousands that they have taken throughout the year?
Here at MyM Buzz, we decided to ask various cosplay photographers to select two of their favourite shots of the year, along with a few words about their chosen photos. Here is what they responded with.
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Big Guy Slim Photography
Envyious cosplaying Alextrasza from Hearthstone.
Envyious is a really talented cosplayer with great skill when it comes to armour related costumes. I loved the colours and the amazing details that have gone into this creation and I am really proud of this shot.
Kizuki Cosplay cosplaying Daisy Fitzroy from BioShock Infinite.
A simple location within convention grounds gave this image the desired revolutionary look we were going for. With a few tweaks of colour and contrast, I felt we achieved the essence of the character.
Laura from Damsels in Disguise cosplaying Ciri from The Witcher 3.
Taken at MCM London in October, I like that it’s one of those pictures that tells a bit of a story and is somewhat dynamic, managing to freeze the moment. I love the quality of the prop head as well. Also, despite being shot at a convention, the choice of spot is totally in tune with the look of the game and provides a sense of full immersion and really makes it look like this was from the game.
Kizuki Cosplay cosplaying Riri Williams/Ironheart from Invincible Iron Man.
This picture was taken on location at a park in North London. Artistically, I like the strength of the image and sense of power and intention it conveys. From a more technical point of view, this was pretty much my first shoot using high sync flash, a technique I’ve started to use more now that I have kit that can actually use those features. I just love how well the lighting worked out while keeping the background very dramatic.
Eddie from Food And Cosplay
Natashenka Cosplay cosplaying Major from Ghost in the Shell.
I’m a fan of the Ghost in the Shell series and when I heard about Natashenka doing this cosplay, I just had to grab her. I had an idea where and when to take this photo and was glad I could pull it off.
Lisa Lou Who cosplaying Causal Tracer from Overwatch.
When shooting with Lisa Lou Who of her Causal Tracer cosplay, we were walking around London taking photos in front of landmarks, when I saw this grassy area. I couldn’t resist the colours there as well as the leaves there.
Queen Yam cosplaying Chrono from Chrono Crusade.
Yam is such a great cosplayer, she has amazing skills and goes into so much detail. I have known her for a few years (before I started taking cosplay pictures). When taking pictures at conventions I usually allow 30 minutes per shoot, but with Yam we will have all the shots in five minutes and the rest of the time we’re usually having a laugh. Why this photo? I couldn’t decide from the mini-shoot we did, so I asked Yam to pick her favourite.
Pip Skip Cosplay cosplaying Cruella DeVil from Once Upon a Time.
Pippa is such a willing participant in my madness. She doesn’t mind me constantly making her move from place to place for photos, as I am still learning. She is very accommodating and patient and she knows just how to pose to get the perfect shot. Sometimes it is just the look the cosplayer shows and in this photo Pip has caught the scheming look of Once Upon a Time’s Cruella.
You can follow J-Po on Facebook.
James Bissett Photography
Jumping Shrimp Cosplay cosplaying Princess Leia from Star Wars.
I knew that I wanted to get a few shots of this cosplay after the hype of Rogue One! Jumping Shrimp Cosplay was absolutely spot on as Leia but the problem was finding a suitable location at the ExCeL centre in London. I had the idea to go inside the glass pyramid entrance where I could get a clean, bright background (I guess I was thinking of the white interior of Leia’s ship) which I think works really well with this costume.
Icecreamquinn cosplaying Neo from RWBY.
So, I am a bit of a RWBY fan which is what led me going to London for the first ever RTX London. This character is Neo, who doesn’t appear in many episodes and doesn’t say much; in fact she doesn’t say anything, but manages to make for a memorable character. I will say that Icecreamquinn does an awesome Neo. At the end of one of the episodes, Neo bows as she confronts the four main protagonists and it was really cool to be able to recreate that shot here.
Manga Girl Photography
Lady Bahamut cosplaying Syaoran Li from Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle.
I have worked with Lady Bahamut for many years now and we share many interests. This includes CLAMP. Her cosplays are fantastic and she puts her heart and soul into them. She is always prepared with poses to take from the start until the end of the shoot.
This photo was taken at Minamicon near the ports of Southampton so it was very windy. During this shoot, I kept my settings on continuous shots as the wind picked up and I got the perfect shot that looked like it came straight out of the manga. Weather can hinder or help during photoshoots, but in this case, it worked in my favour and produced one of my favourite action photos.
A-S.K Cosplay cosplaying as WALL-E and EVE from WALL-E.
I met this lovely couple at Kitacon and I had to get photos with them, as WALL-E is one of my favourite Pixar movies. I saw a Facebook post before the event of what costumes they would do and fangirled a bit. I loved their concept and designs of the characters. The love that they both share in this photo is what makes it one of my favourites of the shoot and I had so much fun editing it afterwards.
We shot this at Warwick Arts Centre which has quite a few scenic backgrounds for cosplay photoshoots. We did have to wait patiently at times as cars did drive by but it was definitely worth waiting for. I am looking forward to working with A-S.K Cosplay again in the future.
You can follow Manga Girl Photography on Facebook.
Martin Siggers Photography
Solaria Cosplay cosplaying Ann Takamaki from Persona 5.
I’ve photographed Solaria Cosplay several times, and I’m a huge fan of the Persona series, so when she asked me to shoot her Persona 5 cosplay at Hyper Japan, it was a no-brainer for me. This was my favourite shot from that session, a lovely head and shoulders portrait shot on a classic manual-focus Nikon lens from the seventies. I really like the contrast between her blue eyes, the strong red of the outfit, and the blonde hair. There’s not much space at Hyper Japan so we had to grab a quiet corner, but the shadowy background actually helps pop the bright colours even more.
HiddenRozel Cosplay cosplaying Shinku from Rozen Maiden.
This one is all about the light. We had really strong, bright sunlight that day, which lit up the trees and foliage in magnificent shades of green. It’s a really nice strong contrast to the crimson of the outfit, and I love all the little details that HiddenRozel put into the costume, like the beautiful lace trim, or the rose-shaped ring she’s wearing on her hand. Outdoor shoots are always a little tricky because the wind likes to blow lights around everywhere, but this is definitely one which was worth the effort.
Papercube chose to submit only one photo.
Mimi Moon cosplaying 2B from NieR: Automata. Costume by Ju Tsukino. Virtuous Contract image courtesy of Helly von Valentine.
Looking back on 2017, this has to be my favourite photo and also the most ambitious project undertaken for me as a photographer so far. We flew all the way from UK to Ukraine and the shoot took place at the town of Pripiyat, exclusion zone one, not far from Chernobyl. The setting was perfect as the story in NieR: Automata revolves around a post-apocalyptic earth where mankind is no longer around and there is a stage where a ferris wheel is also featured.
Aside from cosplay, I’m also a keen urban explorer with a passion for photographing derelict and abandoned structures. So being able to mix both of these and to show our appreciation for a game is what cosplay photography to me is all about. There were so many hurdles that had to be overcome in order to achieve what we set out in our hearts to do, not to mention the pressure of getting that shot I had in mind from the very beginning. This is definitely my most memorable shoot in 2017, without a doubt, and it couldn’t have happened without the help of Mimi Moon and collaboration from Ju Tsukino and Helly von Valentine.
Petits Pois Photography
Ohmyeggs cosplaying Supergirl from DC Comics.
At MCM London in October we were fortunate enough to be blessed with an extraordinary amount of “golden hour” light. All the photographers rushed to the dockside area to grab as many pictures as they could and I was no exception. I had attempted some golden hour shots at AnimeCon NL back in June but they had come out less than satisfactory because frankly, I didn’t know what I was doing at the time!
After a bit of messing around and a whole lot of test shots, I ended up with this one. I’ve not really been able to do justice to Ohmyeggs in the various shoots we had done prior to this one, but here now, suddenly everything was gelling. Even just from looking at the back of the camera I could tell I had snapped something worthwhile.
Nova cosplay cosplaying 2B from NieR: Automata.
When talking about my own photos I often tell people that it’s all luck, which is 100% truth. But in this instance, it’s even truthier!
Firstly, when we met up at MCM London, Nova didn’t even have a sword! Fortunately, there was a One Piece meetup nearby and a very generous soul agreed to lend his very nice sword to two complete strangers for ten minutes (we were gone for over half an hour)! Secondly, there was an available area around ExCeL that could fill in for an industrial complex. Thirdly, we decided to copy some poses that other cosplayers had used from the game. The shot here was actually the first test shot taken of the sequence. As it turned out, it was horribly overexposed. We re-shot it about 4-5 times before Nova’s ankles decided enough was enough.
But in the end, this one worked out best. Pure luck!
Molly W Cosplay cosplaying Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy.
I always have a great time shooting with Molly! She has a wonderfully infectious laugh which is perfect for fun characters! However, in this shoot we wanted to go for a badass look against the sunset. She did an amazing costume as Gamora, so I absolutely wanted to take a photo that did her cosplay justice!
Since we had so much fun in this shoot, we had to really get into the mindset of being badass – and we seriously had to work hard to keep that mood going. We were both so happy with the results! The outcome for me really showcases all of the lessons about off-camera lighting I have learnt this year, and I was able to incorporate a beautiful sunset look which made my day!
Fletch Arrow cosplaying Takamine Midori from Ensemble Stars.
Fletch had been really excited about wearing this cosplay and we talked about this shoot for ages! It’s a super-fun cosplay which showcases the character really well. On the day, I was lucky enough to catch the flare from the sun being on the low-horizon due to winter. I thought it would work really well to incorporate the flare into the motion of the brush stroke, so I had Fletch do this pose, and then moved the camera around until I saw the flare in the right position. The result turned out exactly as I had hoped – all the lens flare effects are done in camera!
This shoot is also one of my favourites since I did it with relatively small amounts of equipment – an on-camera flash and a low-cost budget lens! It shows me that vision and execution are much more important than the equipment I have with me!
Smile250 chose to submit only one photo.
Charimon cosplaying Rem from RE: Zero.
Whilst most of us are often labelled and associated with being cosplayers and photographers, for the years to come, we aim to go beyond that. To represent the ever-growing sea of artists simply was not enough. At the heart of it all amidst the glitz and glamour and featuring the sights and delights of all the memories we cherish… we are storytellers.
This set is our statement to bring that humble idea to life. The typicality of western cosplay photos has revolved around the meta of capturing moments during cons and the sharp contrasts of artificial luminance. We dedicate this set to an idea we’ve been holding onto for the last two years; to unapologetically splash blue hues and mix the pastel pinks of softer vivid dreamy airy looks. We would love to spark a new wave of storytellers and be part of the millions of creative artists who have an unwavering passion to make their dream concepts a reality.
So Say We All
Clood Cosplay cosplaying Riven and Tsupo cosplaying Nidalee from League of Legends.
One of the harder sides of cosplay photography is finding relevant paid work. This year I had the opportunity to work for a few games companies on differing projects, the first being Riot Games supporting their cosplay community. This image was from the first project I took of theirs. I think it showed exactly what I wanted to put into a professional project, and why technical and lighting knowledge can be so important!
A7L Props cosplaying Mark Watney from The Martian.
Going over to an American con was brilliant, but also so stupidly busy, haha. So finding a space to shoot and have no background noise was difficult. With a little thought and being really okay with lying on your back, this can be solved. This shot was taken on my back, aimed up the 47 floors of the Hyatt hotel and absolutely surrounded by con-goers… one of whom even tried to grab a selfie with the cosplayer as we shot!
You can follow So Say We All on Facebook.
Sonesh Joshi Photography
Fairyking Cosplay cosplaying Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
I had a vision as to how I wanted this photo to turn out. I had two lights set up, something I don’t normally do, and after making the necessary adjustments I took the photo. I was absolutely blown away by the effect the lights had produced. It provided the right atmosphere and was exactly how I had envisioned. I think I was even more amazed that I got this on my first attempt, something that rarely ever happens.
Dannielle Park cosplaying Rin Hoshizora (Marine version) from Love Live! School Idol Project.
Dannielle and I got to do a photoshoot on a ship, something we had never done before. Additionally, it proved to be the perfect location for Dannielle’s Rin Hoshizora cosplay. Unfortunately, the weather was behaving rather erratically that day; sunny one moment and raining the next. As soon as the rain stopped we quickly seized our opportunity and started taking photos on the ship.
Normally I would like to setup a softbox, but due to the bizarre weather conditions we were limited on time. Luckily, I managed to adapt and re-familiarise myself in working with only natural light.
Harriet SugarCookie cosplaying Mei-Ling Zhou (with Virgin Killer Sweater) from Overwatch.
Getting general coverage of conventions is great fun as you get to meet new people and make new friends. This was one of those moments where this happened and we also got a great shot out of it.
Sian cosplaying Sona from League of Legends.
Cosplay lets people showcase their skills/talents in replicating costumes and props. It’s wonderful seeing characters you recognise from anime and games in real life. Seeing the attention to detail the cosplayer has achieved as well as their hardships paying off and capturing their efforts for the world to see.
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A huge thank you to all the photographers that contributed.