Cosplay is another of the many subcategories of photography. It can be defined as a cross between fashion photography and portrait photography , since this style or genre has for its main focus of emphasis to highlight the fashion as well as the wearer of that fashion.
The term cosplay photography is mostly derived from the name used by actors who don costumes when acting in certain roles, thus called cosplayers and the name is a joining between cos (for costume) and play (for acting).
A better definition is that a cosplay photographer will capture images of actors, people in general, scenes in a play, street festivals, circus and so on.
These actors or people play a role that characteristically has certain fashions/costumes and certain attitudes, and their acting tends to emulate the behaviors of the actual people during the actual times and circumstances during which these costumes were or are used.
The photographers who specialize on this genre will often visit carnivals, theaters, plays, medieval fairs and other venues in search of appropriate subjects, however many actors schedule sit-ins just for the explicit purpose of being photographed. Many large theater production companies conduct photo sessions for the purposes of using these images in their advertisement campaigns, for use in posters as well as other mediums.
Don't think that only theater actors do cosplay or that cosplay photographers only shoot them. New product launches, movie promotions, the video game industry, especially the Manga and Anime industries which are the current leaders in the use for this type of photography, comic book publishers, entertainment complexes-Disney World for example, and the sci-fi industry routinely use actors in costumes.
Street carnivals like Brazil's Rio De Janeiro Carnivale occupy copious numbers of cosplay actors. Informal events such as Halloween parties to formal city sponsored such as Louisiana's MardiGrass attracts thousands of costumed players. The goal of a cosplay photographer is not so much to show the actors and their garb but as presenting an accurate persona that such individuals take when the costume goes on.
Many cosplay photographs are further manipulated with the aid of photo editing software programs to add appropriate backgrounds, props, text etc before being finalized and distributed.
This style is not as competitive as perhaps other photographic styles, so specializing in this type of photography can yet prove to be rewarding. The main market for this photo style are game publishers, post cards manufacturers, the poster industry as well as general photography publications.
This genre is most popular is Asia. Countries like China and Japan have large followers, large industries and are extremely popular amongst the masses. Each year several large gatherings are held around the globe and sponsored by many of these corporate industries which attract thousands of fans as well as professionals."The single largest event featuring cosplay is the semiannual doujinshi market, Comiket. This event, held in Japan during summer and winter, attracts hundreds of thousands of manga fans. Thousands of cosplayers congregate on the roof of the exhibition center. The largest event for cosplayers outside Asia is the annual San Diego Comic-Con held in the California city in the USA.The biggest event in the UK is the MCM Expo events at excel London "Wikipedia.
This style of photography has definitely taken wings and a major driving force in its growth have been the many sci-fi and comic book heroes movies. Films such X-Men, Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lords of the Rings and many others have given birth to a new generation of cosplay actors and followers.
With millions of dollars made each years from the merchandising of products as a results of these films and the Anime industry, the growth potential of this genre in photography seems to be geared to even more growth and the possibilities to make it as a cosplay photographer appears to be ever growing in demand. Even industries that were once reserved for adults have gotten into the act. It is not uncommon to find adult industry productions utilising cosplay actors and cosplay photographers. Many cosplay costumes have always been sorts of risque, but today that trend seems to be expanding into even more revealing and exotic variations. There are many Anime genres targeted to the adult consumer such as the Hentai Anime industry.
One thing will separate you from the rest, that is that you must take technically sound photos but must also be able to capture not just a person in a costume, but the essence of the character that the costume entails, the actor must act and you must capture this role play.
- Cosplay Photography Tutorial I by ~Andy-K on deviantART
Here is the first part of my tutorial on cosplay and convention photography. I will upload the second part later this day and the 3 other parts over the...