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10-17-2016, 05:36 AM - 2 Likes   #1
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Cosplayers and photographer at New York ComicCon

These guys work hard at the cons. I'm lucky, I'm a photo team member or leader for the event organizers I shot for. These guys are artists.



10-17-2016, 06:12 AM   #2
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Getting more and more popular in Europe also.
10-17-2016, 06:19 AM   #3
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I don't get it.
10-17-2016, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I don't get it.
I don't really get it either. I'm guessing for some it's another form of expression, while for others it's a social thing, and for yet more it's a bit of escapism. Whatever, it's harmless and they obviously enjoy it - and I think that's great

10-17-2016, 08:28 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Cosplay? It is fun. Taking pics of people doing it is fun too. I don't get why people like sports, but I figure if they aren't hurting anyone let them have their fandom.
10-17-2016, 08:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Until you get idiots like Nazi Furries ruining it for everyone.
There are idiots in every gathering of humans. Cosplay - not something I do myself, but whatever floats your boat as long as it doesn't harm anyone
10-17-2016, 09:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Until you get idiots like Nazi Furries ruining it for everyone.


I really would not call that cosplay. Cosplay is dressing like your favorite anime/cartoon/movie character.


I have never done cosplay myself. I have photographed some at Gencon in Indianapolis though.
10-17-2016, 12:19 PM   #8
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So to be clearer - I don't get why that photographer in the video was spending so much effort on this. What was his angle? Is he a fan, is he making money on this? Additionally I don't get the entire comic book sub-culture and the idea of cosplay to me is like LARP'ing and while I do role playing (RPG) I can't really get behind anything that's like LARP'ing - it just fails to interest me. But again the real intent of the question was around the photographer featured and trying to understand his motivation and purpose for attending and doing the work involved.

10-17-2016, 01:18 PM - 3 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
So to be clearer - I don't get why that photographer in the video was spending so much effort on this. What was his angle? Is he a fan, is he making money on this? Additionally I don't get the entire comic book sub-culture and the idea of cosplay to me is like LARP'ing and while I do role playing (RPG) I can't really get behind anything that's like LARP'ing - it just fails to interest me. But again the real intent of the question was around the photographer featured and trying to understand his motivation and purpose for attending and doing the work involved.


Yes, I would say he is a fan and, I think, he is making money by selling prints to the cosplayer not to mention the magazines he will get his photos in.


I think it boils down to the love for the character. Another way to question it would be, why would somebody that loves NFL go out and buy a jersey with a players name on it and spend 150 dollars for it? It is for the same reason, they love that player, the way he plays the game and the way he acts. The difference is, cosplayers generally need to make their own costumes. In Japan, cosplaying is such a big thing that people can go and buy costumes off the shelf and maybe add on a few small things. Some people also dress as characters from RPG's too.


As I said above, I have never done cosplay, but I have thought about dressing as a character from a movie and going to conventions and renaissance festivals. If you are wondering who, Friar Tuck from Robin Hood.
10-18-2016, 06:11 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Wow, I didn't expect such a series of responses here.

Based on my experience of the past couple of years photographing cosplay events, principally in Canada and Japan, here are my thoughts to above.

First, for the photographer in the video, I'd say he was an attendee who happened to be a noted photographer. That's since B&H was doing the video, he has a backdrop with lights in the halls at, and his image results were pretty good compared to much of the bleh I see produced during the shows.

For a 20,000 attendee cosplay even like Otakuthon, there's easily 1,000 shooters in general and 100-150 money making shooters, like Heny. Some of the generic shooters and most of the paid hang out around the lobby and hallways stopping attendees to ask them for a photograph. To me, these shots are fun, but useless because there's so much environmental noise around the photo it's hard to highlight the cosplay artist.

Out of these 100-150 photographers running around, only 20-25 have paid bookings. These bookings usually are for singles, but groups as well who pay for 15-60 minutes of the shooters time. Some of the sessions have second shooters and lighting assistants too. Pricing for the bookings start around $ 20 USD and go upwards. $ 60 USD is the most I've heard in Canada. In the US, I wouldn't be surprised there are $ 150 USD sessions. Sometimes, the payment is by donation.

These bookings usually have more collaborative staging and lighting effort than the 5-30 second hallway shots. The paid photographer quality is quite varied.

Additionally, there's one to three photography "studios" in the event hall. Most of those studios provide a free two- to five-minute session in which you pay for prints. These photos also go up on the studio's social networks pretty quickly. Prior to prints, there's usually no retouching done. I don't know print prices. Never asked or recall from when I've looked.

On the cosplayer side, there are all kinds. There are serious lifestylers, living locally and afar who plan their year around cosplay events to have a different costume and persona prepared for every event day. These guys, despite being intense to their art, are really giving of their time and energy to the other cosplayers; whether furry costumed, cat tail and ear pieces, or fellow home made costume makers.

For cosplay events themselves, it's not only about folks walking around and showing off; there are masquerades, talent shows, workshops, anime reviews, knowledge quizzes, clubs, games, etc. It's pretty varied what all cosplayers are into.

For competitions, especially world level, everything must be made from scratch. No buying premade pieces. You're interviewed about your costume construction and such to determine if you're a fraud for the serious competitions. Weirdly, some of the consistent, least energetic and therefore uninspiring photos I've seen recently have come from the studio assigned to shoot world level event participants. That's depressing when you consider these guys are making $ 20,000 to $ 100,000 USD for a team to prep, shoot and post about 100 to 200 man hours of effort.

Back to the video above, I would consider that cosplay couple on the intermediate to advanced level. While, they're attending a large con and made a pretty mean matching set costume from mostly scratch materials, they didn't have personas to match or at least those parts weren't shown during the video and additional costumes for their attendance days. Still, they looked great.

At every cosplay event, there's what's called questionable life choice characters. E.g., old men in Sailor Moon outfits, very scantily clad buxum babes, etc. While they're entertaining at times, you also are going why in the back of your head. Smile and take their photos, then scrub your eyeballs for impure thought removal.

Being an event shooter for Otakuthon 2016 this year, I didn't get much hallway time. That's okay, I'm still happy capturing energetic people like those in Otakuthon Anime Convention 2016 | Flickr. Next August, I'm leading the team in Montreal, let me know if you'd like to help out.

At days end, I'm happy to shoot cosplay and I consider it one of my most fun and creative opportunities to shoot when I'm not shooting the event organizer's shot list.

Please help: If you do shoot cosplayers, ask nicely to photograph them if they have time, before shooting give them a little direction or ask for their suggestion, then snap quickly. Try to be done within 30 seconds. Some of these cosplayers swear by the phrase "I'm asked every 5 meters to stop and pose". The cosplayers want to attend the event too.

---------- Post added Oct 18th, 2016 at 21:16 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by bigdavephoto Quote
As I said above, I have never done cosplay, but I have thought about dressing as a character from a movie and going to conventions and renaissance festivals. If you are wondering who, Friar Tuck from Robin Hood.

I'm thinking barbarian since my wife refers to me as one. :P

Last edited by comprock; 10-18-2016 at 06:15 PM. Reason: more photo links
11-03-2016, 07:49 PM   #11
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I'm new to the forum and I shoot a ton of cosplayers so I'll stick my nose in here. a little about mePhotography is my only job, it's how I make my living. I make a decent amount on the back end from some professional cosplayers. But, outside of it, it's just like any other model who wears a costume. You are shooting it for the artistic interest. I use all my cosplay photographs as marketing material. I've gotten more jobs because I've had a superman, a wonder-woman or some other cosplayer in a bid portfolio. I don't go to as many cons as others, but I do go to 4-5 a year. But, think about it this way..why do people shoot landscapes for fun? It's an artistic expression.

most of the photographers and videographers I know do it for fun. They travel to cons and shoot cosplayers. They have a group of friends they hang out with, they meet new people and they shoot awesome pictures. Almost all of them are fans of anime, comic books or science fiction. Most even cosplay themselves.... But in the end, they do it for the community and their love of all things geek....

It's the exact same reason why anyone would shoot a subject for fun....
11-04-2016, 06:11 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by comprock Quote
Cosplayers
I think the Highlands of Scotland may have missed this boat too...
11-04-2016, 06:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
I think the Highlands of Scotland may have missed this boat too...
It's certainly a step beyond your average kilt, that's for sure!
11-04-2016, 06:33 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
It's certainly a step beyond your average kilt, that's for sure!
Thinking maybe that's a good thing.
11-04-2016, 07:50 AM - 3 Likes   #15
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As former photography student and teacher, all I can say is "totally awesome". People wearing art, willing to be photographed. How does it get any better than that? If you call yourself a photography enthusiast, you should dream about going places like this, even if like me, you're probably to old and grumpy to enjoy yourself there.

I'll fire up the bus for a class trip. Come on, were going, everyone got their permission forms signed?

Last edited by normhead; 11-04-2016 at 08:36 AM.
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