How to Not Be a Jerk Photographing Cosplayers at New York Comic Con

Heading to New York Comic-Con this year? Check out these useful tips to elevate your cosplay photography to the next level.

Every October, thousands make their pilgrimage to Manhattan’s west side and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to attend New York Comic-Con. For those unfamiliar, NYCC is an annual celebration of their diverse fandoms, ranging from comic books, video games, movies, tv shows, pop culture, and everything in between. Last year’s NYCC had a record-breaking attendance of a quarter of a million people, and that number will likely increase this year. What was once considered geeky or nerdy is now woven into the fabric of pop culture. In recent years, more and more people are openly embracing and expressing their love of the numerous fandoms of which they’re a part. For many convention-goers, cosplaying – the act of dressing up as and embodying their favorite characters – has become a rite of passage. The rise of cosplaying’s popularity has also led to an influx of photographers attending conventions like New York Comic-Con in hopes of capturing the many cosplayers roaming around the convention hall. If you happen to be one of these photographers, this article was written with you in mind.

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Fantasy Meets the Mundane in Georg Aamodt’s Cosplay Series

All cosplay images by Georg Aamodt. Used with permission.

“When I’m photographing people, I tend to let them be aware of their own emotions,” says Georg Aamodt as he describes how he connects with his subjects. A versatile photographer, Georg regularly shoots fashion, editorial, and portraiture. But it was one of his personal projects we found ourselves drawn to. COSPLAY: Ideality of Reality experiments with the realms of fantasy and the everyday world. Suspending the otherwise mundane, he captures his larger than life subjects in a way that tells an intriguing story. From his own admission, the work wasn’t only a showcase of his creative capabilities, but also a journey of his own exploration.

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Mortal Kombat Cosplay Photos Show Creative Process from Photography to Digital Art

This Mortal Kombat cosplay project gives us a peek into the process involved in transforming photography into digital art specific to the subculture.

Cosplay photography remains one of the most popular and vibrant photography sub-genres, and cosplay is a visual art in its own right. Most of the impressive cosplay imagery we see begins with costumes and props made as detailed and accurate as possible, and is then followed up with great portrait photography. But when you really need to push the art further and make it more striking, you can draw inspiration from the retouching process of Chilean art director Marce Moya Ochoa and this Mortal Kombat project.

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Ilya Nodia Creates a Cinematic Batman Cosplay Shoot With Video Lights

All photos by Ilya Nodia. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Cosplay photography has been one of the most popular portrait photography sub-genres for a good reason: it helps bring to life the world’s most popular and well-loved superheroes. However, as any cosplayer and photographer will tell you, it’s often not as simple as getting someone to dress up as their favorite comic book character and photographing them in it. There’s also the task of making everything in the photo as convincing as possible. This is where the cosplayer-photographer tandem is put to the test: the cosplayer in how detail-oriented and accurate his portrayal is, and the photographer in how well he is able to set the scene and tell the story. Today, we take a look at how Russian photographer Ilya Nodia achieves this with his cinematic take on a Batman cosplay shoot.

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Venom is a Badass Woman in this Cosplay Photography Series

This cosplay photography series stars cosplayer Luna, who struts her stuff in front of the camera as Venom!

October this year saw the Hollywood premiere of the Tom Hardy-starrer Venom and to commemorate (and in time for New York Comic Con 2018, too), actor and cosplayer Luna dressed up as a female version of this Marvel comics character in a skintight latex bodysuit and thigh high boots.

Luna’s final look is nothing short of amazing, with makeup artist Charles Zambrano doing her makeup and bodysuit that perfectly emulated a symbiote. And it’s all caught on camera by photographer Chad Wagner. On Behance, photo retoucher Valeria Belenko shared the final retouched images in an album called, well, Venom.

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This Corpse Bride Cosplay Photography is a Halloween Masterpiece

Cosplay photography by Lina Aster. Used with Creative Commons permission.

While cosplay is fascinating in itself, cosplay photography has also been a big part of the craft. In fact, it has long been a popular sub-genre of portrait photography, with a cult culture of its own among comic book, video games, and movie geeks. Today’s cosplay photography inspiration is not only a fine example of beautifully done cosplay, but also a stunning cosplay photography project perfect for the Halloween season. If you’re a fan of cosplay or do a lot of cosplay photography yourself, we’re sure you’ll like this one!

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Elevating the Art of Cosplay Photography: Don’t Be Another GWC

Cosplay photography has become more and more popular and it’s more important to get a number of things clear.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of comic book, video game, cinema, television, and pop culture enthusiasts descend upon the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan to attend New York Comic Con, an annual convention that’s being held later this week for its 13th year. Last year, New York Comic Con attracted over 200,000 attendees, and it is projected that attendance numbers will possibly exceed nearly a quarter of a million this year. While a majority of the people in attendance are average consumers looking to check out the latest offerings from comic book publishers, video game developers, movie and television studios, as well as panel discussions and meet and greet photo ops with their favorite celebrities, there has been a rapid growth in attendees donning costumes of characters from their favorite fandom. Ranging from casual to wildly elaborate, cosplaying (the practice of dressing up as your favorite character) has become such a big component of conventions like New York Comic Con that the Eastern Championships of Cosplay competition has been held at New York Comic Con since 2014, with winners going on to compete at national level cosplay competitions.

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I’m Not a Fashion Photographer, But I Was Commissioned to Shoot Fashion Recently

All images and text by Xavier D. Buendia

There seems to be a trend in photography that sees street photographers and others flirting with portraiture and fashion photography. I’ll cover that at the end but for now, let’s focus on why I’m one of those photographers. If business is steady as a food photographer, it might sound silly to get into other areas of photography but the reason I got into portrait and fashion photography is for sheer fun and pleasure; For curiosity, to explore a different aspect of the creative process that doesn’t apply to my every-day photography routine; to learn something new, to do something because I want to, as a hobby!

But why portraiture? I have this personal challenge of expressing my visual ideas into a photograph and having the interaction with people as a tool. I’ve tried landscape and it bored me to death, long exposures and HDRs didn’t excite me, I don’t have the time and patience for wildlife photography and street photography gets repetitive and cliché more often.I have this alchemical vibe for portraiture and exploring it takes me to very different levels as a creative.

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The Art of Cosplay: How to Photograph Cosplayers

This time, I’d like to tell you about a very cool genre within portraiture: Cosplay Photography. If you’re not familiar with it, Cosplay is a HUGE cult inside geek culture where people make costumes and dress up as their favorite characters from comic books, movies, video games and more. You often see it at conventions like Comic Con, Dragon Con, Wonder Con, etc. People either buy costumes or work for a really long time putting them together. Lots of famous cosplayers have big Instagram and Facebook followings. Cosplay photography has a huge community and following all over the world and it’s a field of specialty in portraiture photography and graphic design. There are different levels of Cosplay photography, from simple portraits at comic conventions to sessions in studios or on location. Editing is a big thing with Cosplay photography as many photographers spend hours creating fantasy backgrounds, locations and effects to make the photos look more like the source of inspiration.

Cosplay photography is super cool and fun to get into but before I explain that, let me tell you how I got into geek culture.

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