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Cosplay Photography to Artwork

Updated: Mar 14, 2022

"It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are." - Paul Caponigro

© Ewan Arnolda Photography
© Ewan Arnolda Photography

I have never considered myself a portrait photographer. The only portraits I generally take, are of family members. I have never felt comfortable in the process of capturing people and simply did not feel confident that I could do it.

But cosplay has certainly helped me become comfortable and confident in portraiture photography. My family and friends call me a pop culture nerd, so it's no surprise I enjoy photographing cosplayers.

The cosplay community in Australia is a fairly big industry but does not compare to the US where the industry estimated to be worth in the billions.

What is cosplay?

“Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially ones from the Japanese genres of manga and anime”.

So what does it involve?

Cosplay is huge. I can’t think of any other hobby that requires so many skills — tailoring, woodworking, wig styling, thermoplastics, fabric dyeing, painting, leatherworking, metalworking, resin casting, you name it. If it’s difficult, expensive and potentially dangerous, you’ll probably need to learn it at some stage to make cosplay. In fact a good cosplayer never stops learning, but where’s the best place to start?

I found cosplayers to be a great bunch of characters (pardon the pun), who without hesitation would pose for a photo, be very patient and hold their pose as long as it took me to fiddle around with the correct camera settings. Not one cosplayer would reject a request for a photograph. This gave me a real sense of confidence in approaching people, something I am not easy with.

The big Cosplay events in Australia:

I have always loved post-production work, tinkering with my photos in Photoshop. Cosplay photos certainly call for that little extra.

The artwork was produced with a combination of filters and background images to add a bit extra to the cosplayer.


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