I've read and collected comic books my entire life. I pretty much learned to read when I was a tiny person by trying to figure out words in the balloons on comic pages. There is a special place in my heart for characters like Green Lantern and Green Arrow and Airwave and Iron Man and many, many, many more. So many.
When the Hippo phoned me up asking if I would photograph some local cosplayers for a cover story I practically jumped through the phone with an excited YES! The paper scheduled four cosplayers to come by the studio one evening so we could make some images that would be featured on the cover as well as serve as the main story for that issue.
HANG TIGHT, TRUE BELIEVERS!!
Cosplay is short for "Costume Play" - the act of dressing up like comic or anime or movie or -whatever- characters. You can find cosplayer's at comic conventions and other places. It's pretty awesome. I've tried a few times in the past to break into cosplay photography, but it can be a hard thing to break into; cosplayers are a tight knit community and it can be difficult being an outsider with a camera looking to photograph them. In part because some costumes can get rather risqué, and they can be quick to protect those individuals. And rightly so, as I wouldn't want just anybody with a camera looking to steal some images that might not be for the right purposes. So I jumped at the chance of getting some local cosplayers into my studio to meet, network and generally show them that I'm from their world and ask them questions about how to break into that Cosplay photographer world.
Jill, Pat, Robert and Colleen walked into the studio, and I think pretty much right away knew exactly what I was all about; my studio is covered with toys and video game posters and anime and comic related nerd-culture. Right away I got an "A-ha! He's one of us!" from one of them and the rest of the evening was spent being totally relaxed with a group of people who were exactly on my wavelength. My people.
I wanted to make sure we get solo images of each person as well as some group shots that would be used for the cover.
We also got some more moody shots on black:
The gang stuck around after the session was finished and we spent hours talking comic books and comic artists and comic history - it was really really great talking to younger kids about stuff that I grew up passionate about and entire generation before.
As an aside, I just want to say how incredible it is that this kind of pop-culture is so socially accepted. Growing up in the 1980's, comic books and video games and science fiction and fantasy were not socially accepted parts of pop-culture. I was always the kid being pushed into lockers and ridiculed because of my "geekiness" or "nerdiness" for my love of cartoons and comics and Star Wars and video games. Currently, it's everywhere. Superhero movies dominate the box-office and comic books and video games and toys are so socially accepted that they are simply everywhere you go. It's incredible, and the 14 year old in me is finally happy that this kind of stuff is so socially and culturally accepted. Go Geeks!!
The group also humored me and let me join their Supergroup for one last group photo. I donned my Wolverine claws and for a few minutes I BECAME PART OF THE AVENGERS!!!
I want to give a big shout out to all four individuals for being pretty awesome guests at the studio, and I want to plug their pages so you can go visit them and see all the awesome stuff they do:
• Pat (Instagram)
To read the article we shot these photos for, head over here