What is cosplay (photography)?

If you stumbled across this site with no prior knowledge of what cosplay (and by extension, cosplay photography) is, here is a limited explanation.

Cosplay is short-form for “costume play”, where people utilise costumes, wig, make-up, and accessories in order to portray a character from popular culture. Many of the photos I take (because of the nature of the cosplayers I am acquainted with) are anime, game or manga related.

Photography for cosplay is a bit of a mish-mash of different genres of photography. At its most basic form, it is simpler to characterise it as portraiture, but it shares similarities with fashion photography.

Every photographer has their own philosophy. But for me, cosplay photography is narrative. It is the nexus of character, costume, emotion, environment, colour, lighting and composition, combined in such a way to evoke or challenge existing ideas of the original character as found in anime, games, artwork or manga.

Along with this conceptually-heavy approach comes a certain degree of differentiation when it comes to the actual craft of photography. While keeping to many common practises of portraiture, some rules are consistently broken. Hopefully, some of the posts on this site will provide a bit of clarity on these points.