How did you become a photographer?

My love for photography definitely comes from my dad, he loved taking photos of the family throughout his life. He taught me that moments pass by really quickly and by capturing them on camera, those memories can remain permanent and be re-lived. After he passed away six years ago, I decided to try out his hobby and I fell in love with photography too.

Cosplayer hayley_elise (IG)

What genre of photography have you chosen to pursue?

I paired my love for pop-culture with photography, and found that my preferred genre is cosplay photography.  I work with a lot of different people that possess unique visions. Each character is special to the cosplayer, and they choose them for different reasons. My job is to listen and make their vision a reality.

I have explored and experimented with various styles throughout the years, and I’ve found that my art shines best through fantasy settings. I would describe my style as modern romantic, with a bit of drama! I’m a cosplayer myself, so I know how important it is to capture the essence of the character as well as the immense work that goes into the costuming.

The creativity, time, and effort that cosplayers put into their craft never fails to inspire me. Being able to capture the details and mood of the cosplay is always an exciting challenge and the end result brings so much joy to me as well as the cosplayers. I love seeing my clients happy! My photo shoots always contain a lot of mutual joy.

Photography is my creative outlet, and I love being able to turn ideas into a reality. Cosplay photography is special to me because I can provide a safe and supportive space for cosplayers to express themselves in a way that they may not be able to in their everyday life.

Creative portraiture of sasserycosplay (IG), dress from Lunar Grace NZ (IG) and head piece made by me

Do you have a team helping you at the photoshoots and do you follow any particular processes?

I am lucky to have very supportive friends who assist me with my shoots. They look out for any safety hazards and make sure everything runs smoothly. All of the composition and posing is planned and handled by me, then adjusted accordingly throughout the shooting process.

When I’m working with a cosplayer, we tend to discuss and plan what kind of shots we would like. Usually, we find reference photos for inspiration to try and recreate a certain scene. When I’m doing a creative portrait session, my client and I will create a mood board collaboratively to research and plan some creative ideas, and we will also work together to source all the materials required, including props, costumes, and accessories.

zub.kitty.cosplay (IG) as Merida from Brave

What is the hardest part of taking photographs in your genre/style?

While there are a lot of obstacles in Cosplay photography, I love a good challenge! Finding a good location that represents the mood and objective for the client can be difficult at times, but we always make it work.

Needleandhammerstudio (IG)

What advice would you give to people who want to take similar photos?

Getting in contact with another cosplay photographer and offering your assistance is a great way to get familiar with the work required. It’s important to do research so that you have a good idea on how to best bring the character you’re shooting to life. Cosplay photography is about capturing the costume rather than just the model, so special attention to detail needs to be considered, such as how the wig is sitting, and how the costume looks. Those details really change an image. Communication is also very important! Discussing shots, poses and locations with the cosplayer beforehand is super valuable.

Lollilane (IG) as Princess Aurora

Tell us the story behind your favorite shoot...

It is hard to choose a favourite, but this particular one with Jasmine and Ruan is special to me. It was my first time working with them, and to get this angle I had to lie flat on the ground, so it was definitely memorable! We spent the shoot giggling a lot and it broke the ice a bit which is important.

Ruan (IG Plushultracosplay) and Jasmine (IG shinyspiritanimal) as characters from the anime series Bleach.

Where can we see more of your work?

Instagram @lumenoxphotography

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