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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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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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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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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How to Photograph Cosplayers at Comic Con

Photographing cosplayers at Comic Con and other conventions leans two different ways: capturing people on the floor and then trying to create images that stand out from all the rest. Most photographers that take pride in their portraits often try to do something that looks good off the main floor where everyone else is. The great thing about comic con is that pretty much everyone is alright with you taking their picture. It’s even better when you ask someone–let alone less creepy!

With NYCC going on at the time of publishing this piece, here are some tips.

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How to Photograph Cosplayers: An Interview with Beethy

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All images by Beethy. Used with permission

New York Comic Con isn’t too far away, and every year lots of photographers and people who call themselves photographers converge on the area to take pictures of cosplayers. Cosplay, for those not aware, is a portmanteau of costume and play–and it ranges back to ancient Chinese culture. And so at conventions, people often dress up as characters.

While some will sit there and simply snap photos of someone’s costume, others will actually try to create full shoots. And one of those photographers is Beethy. He has been well known in the cosplay community for a while. He recently sat down to talk with us about cosplay photography, honing your craft and how to make your portfolio of images better. Continue reading…

Photographic Proof That You Should Never Be Afraid of Playing With Lightroom Presets

Original Photo

The other night, I was going through my portfolio and was looking around for images to play with. Then I stumbled upon a bunch of portraits I shot of gorgeous cosplayers and decided to try out some of my favorite Lightroom editing techniques and film renderings. Though I used to be of the school of thought that Lightroom presets are for people that don’t know how to edit, I am now a convert that says that they can teach you even more about editing, and by not playing with them, you’re only limiting yourself. Here are some images that we’ve worked on to show you just that.

PS: I’m aware that all of these images could use even more editing to make them really pop. Retouching does wonders for everyone no matter how gorgeous you are.

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New York Comic Con Day 2: The Orbis Continues to Amaze Me

So yesterday I made the bold statement of talking about how the Orbis was great for conventions. I continue to agree with that statement. It makes a wonderful softbox while on the side of the subject and using available light to illuminate the other side of them. Of course, great posing and a bit of editing works well too. Typically, ring flashes are supposed to be used around the lens. Now, I was doing this before with no problems at all using the infrared transmitter on the 7D and 430 EX II. However, I started to have some problem with it as it hasn’t been very effective in going off when triggered by the 7D’s flash. So off lighting camera tactics as well as using the Orbis under the lens are some tactics that I’ve been using. The Orbis isn’t to blame for this, Canon’s flashes are. Additionally, it probably would would for me to get my hands on some radio transmitters in the future (accepting review pitches.) Here’s the gallery; I’ll be going over certain individuals in depth in future postings. Once again with me is:

With me is the:

Canon EOS 7D

Orbis Ring Flash Attachment Kit

Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens

Note: All photos here are my property and protected by my government copyright. If you’d like to use them, just ask: I’m a friendly dude. Shoot me an email at ChrisGampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com. All coverage was done for Will Greenwald’s site: Aggrogate.com.

Further note: spot the Easter Egg 😉

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New York Comic Con 2010: Why The Orbis Is Awesome For Conventions

This posting is literally just a massive dump of gorgeous women in costume at New York Comic Con 2010 that I’m covering for Will over at Aggrogate.com. With me is the:

Canon EOS 7D

Orbis Ring Flash Attachment Kit

Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens

Don’t forget the Canon rebates, and enjoy the gallery. Either way, the Orbis is highly recommended as it is easy to use in tight spaces and gives not only really nice even lighting on your subjects but can give some very nice creative lighting effects with different powers dialed in. Also, I’m not always using it around the lens; I am indeed using it off camera left and right sometimes because of the infrared signal between the 7D and 430 EX II not working at times.

Note: All photos here are my property and protected by my government copyright. If you’d like to use them, just ask: I’m a friendly dude. Shoot me an email at ChrisGampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

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