The Art of Cosplay by Xavier D. Buendia
These series started in 2013 attending Comic Conventions in London; Little I knew of how big Cosplay Photography is until later when I was reviewing the shots and making some research to see how the pictures would be edited. There are zillions of incredibly talented photographers doing Cosplay pics all with their own style. After a few days of looking at many different styles I thought it all feels the same, the same poses, the same intention to recreate the characters from the comic books or video games. That’s when I decided I had to take a different approach.
The first thing is that all these pictures are shot under natural light, no flash, reflectors or fancy lighting gear, is just me there with my camera and a 50mm lens. My approach to the Cosplayers is a bit different as well, I walk around looking for subjects that might suit these series, ask to take their picture, get one shot and move on to the next one. I let the Cosplayers give me their interpretation of their character, my only instruction is “Look epic!”. This saves me tons of time arranging for a shoot, trying different poses, angles and compositions like other photographers like to do. I guess what I’m trying to express here is the first impression I get of the Cosplayers.
Back to the editing and styling, I don’t like the background at the conventions; there’s plenty of distracting elements that take attention away from the Cosplayer and the pictures end up looking just like everyone else’s. I want the Cosplayers to look as monumental as possible, so that is when I decided to get rid of the backgrounds. It is a lot of work in post-processing specially when there are wigs involved, the background has to be part of the shot, that’s when I try many different neutral shades from pure white to pure black and I stick to whatever works best. At times I like to add lighting effects like flares or glows to give the character more impact.
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