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03 Apr 2014 - 21:21112464
What compels you to cosplay?
I think cosplay is brilliant, and from a photographer's point of view I can see the attraction in creating an image. But cosplay, like any other art form, takes vision; hard work, commitment and the kind of attention to detail that a dedicated artist would aspire to.
So being new to this genera my query is, what drives you? What do you hope to achieve? Just what do you get out of this most flamboyant of pastimes?
And one last question: what role, if any, does photography fulfil in your cosplay?

04 Apr 2014 - 08:33112475
The attention.

No, no! Come back! I don't mean like that!

I'm a naturally shy person. I also have some body-image issues. But when I cosplay, and I feel comfortable in a costume, my confidence soars. I also feel more armoured against negative comments, and I get to draw attention on my own terms.

There's also the sense of acheivement you get when you finish a costume (and sometimes when you finish a difficult part). Knowing you turned yards of fabric and some bits and bobs into something fantastic is a great feeling!

I'm not that fussed about photographers in general though. Its a major ego boost if I'm asked for my photo. And its also a great icebreaker when meeting fans of the character/series you're cosplaying (from). But as I'm more about the general look rather than exacting details, and I tend to choose the less fussy costumes, I don't tend to go in for professional shoots. I'll leave that for the cosplayers who strive for screen accuracy, and really pour their soul into their costumes.

For me its just for fun. I'm not into the competative side. There are plenty of people with more skill, time, money and patience than me. Let them reap the rewards

04 Apr 2014 - 12:51112478
For me it's being able to show of the love and reverence I have a for a character or series and share that with like minded individuals . Also as trained artist and designer I find the medium of costume make very stimulating and ever challenging, so it's a very satisyfying hobby. And ofcourse the attention it gains pays a pivotal role; I love the attention I get for my work, as a cosplayer I am very confident in my work and skills but out of costume I can be quite shy.

I love photography; I have studied the medium and do parttake in the skill for photographing friends, as for my own work, I love that photography can used to really bring a character to life and to help tell part of the story that the character is from as well as capturing the flare and art of the cosplayer.

Also I have competed in contests in the past and won competitions for my cosplays, however these days I judge more contests than compete in as I find that far more rewarding as I get to see other costumers work up close which is very satisfying!

www.facebook.com/toffee.marmalade.studio Facebook page

Last edited by Frederica la Noir (04 Apr 2014 - 12:56)
04 Apr 2014 - 13:54112479
For me its just fun and enjoyable if i see something on the tv or in a video game and go hmmm i could be that guy i just do it ^_^ plus you meet so many awesome people while cosplaying

04 Apr 2014 - 16:08112486
Re: What compels you to cosplay?
Hey, thank you for the great replys; very reflective.
I would have thought that 'shy' and 'cosplay' were a contradiction in terms, but what Pandora, and Frederica said about being shy but gaining confidence when in costume was very intriguing.
My experience of cosplay is limited to just one recent con at the Excel and I must say that from a photographers point of view cosplayers are the most amicable people I have come across; it's much easier than street photography. Like Mothfox said, "you meet so many awesome people".

04 Apr 2014 - 16:34112487
It's all closely tied with my love of videogames for me - I love to play them, and I love to be the characters...cosplay is just an extension of that. You're stepping into the character in a more physical way.
It's not the cheapest hobby, but it's lots of fun and lets you explore your creative side! I love trying new things and marvelling over others' hard work.
As for what I get out of it? It's fun, it lets me be creative, it gives me short term goals to focus on. It also really helps with confidence. And I have to say, I've met the best group of friends I've ever had through cosplay.

Photography is another way to showcase your work. Often at cons you've got bags and there are crowds and it's in a very unnatural setting. Photographs allow you to put the character in context and just go that step further.


04 Apr 2014 - 17:00112488
Becoming your favourite character and seeing everyone reactions! Its a buzz and I love it!

06 Apr 2014 - 08:46112530
For me it starts with a love for the character, maybe it's a TV show I watch, maybe a game I played. But i cannot get into a costume if it doesn't have some appeal for me. I am also an incredibly shy person and cosplaying does bring me out of my shell. Photography is also a huge boost when a tog wants your photo. Even better when a fan asks!

Last edited by g123 (06 Apr 2014 - 08:47)
06 Apr 2014 - 09:31112531
When I started it was purely my love for the characters.
Now it's that and the fact that I love the challenge of making stuff. I'd never been creative before cosplay and the skills you pick up are so helpful for general life. Eventhough I'm not very good at making things and I have very little knowledge in creative areas it is awesome because I feel like I'm always learning. Also a huge factor that compels me is the community. I love groups with friends and hooking up with strangers because you like the same thing and then making more groups and becoming friends. It never ends, and I love it.

To summarise:
Love of the thing I am cosplaying from
The challenge and creativity
The community

06 Apr 2014 - 12:11112533
I can remember in my younger years playing games and being in awe of the adventures the characters have, and then looking at my own life in comparison and it didn't have that same kind of sparkle. It definitely had wonderful things in it but I wasn't so good at making friends because I was quiet and shy, and the characters just went through and had people they'd journey with on a whim - and I wanted a piece of that! Something different, and something that I could get lost in.

I'd only counted on the awesome costumes being the thing I'd get out of it with the skills that you pick up. But gradually I began to find myself finding other individuals that loved the same things as me and talking more often and sooner or later to each event I'd find myself in a group in some shape or form from a series or game we all liked! It made me happy, it made me feel like I could belong and it made me feel as though I could actually communicate with others rather than standing there and saying nothing for fear of rejection. I felt like I was part of something much bigger.

It took me a while to find what it was that I wanted to cosplay the most and to be honest even now I'm still finding things that I'm passionate about as I go along, but when I do I like to pick the characters I can relate to or love the design of. I want to bring that happiness to those who see the costumes too or get a nostalgic kick out of it.

06 Apr 2014 - 14:33112537
I really enjoy wearing clothes that I wouldn't ever wear normally. It makes it fun to do occasionally - the same reason why I enjoy fancy dress parties or going out to themed nights at clubs, it's just something different from the norm!

Cosplay and photography go hand in hand for that reason for me. It shows off the love for the series and character I'm cosplaying and it's completely different from my everyday life. I delve into photography as well and love recreating a picture or getting the same feel as the series. I cosplay myself to also get the same which is why I enjoy private shoots a lot.

I'm also very big on learning new skills, I've always loved learning. It's one of the main reasons why I use fabrics as my main medium because there's still so much more to learn.

06 Apr 2014 - 15:04112538
To crush my enemies, see them driven before me and hear the lamentation of the women.

Procrastinate Now. Don't put it off!
06 Apr 2014 - 15:13112539
I always saw cosplay as a way of expressing a love for a series or character

What made me carry on with it over the years is that its a perfect opportunity to watch myself improve over the years, and it one of the major ways I use to improve my confidence. Now matter what you do, there is always something new to learn and its alway a wonderful feeling starting a new project thinking 'What am I gonna learn this time? and feeling proud that you simply done your best. Even if you had to use trial and error and things dont work out, there is always something around it and who knows, maybe you'll be even prouder with how you did it rather than how the other 80% of cosplayers of that said character ^^

I made lots of new friends through it and I dont see myself leaving the community anytime soon ^^

Alcon 2016

Last edited by White Tigress (06 Apr 2014 - 15:14)
06 Apr 2014 - 22:40112550
Really sorry, just realised that I didn't answer the last bit. In regards to photography I like the opportunity to see my costume!! Actually see it. I don't look in mirrors much and I never test a costume so when I see images of it I think 'oooooh that's how it looks'.
Also I like to use the images to show people like friends and family 'hey look it's me!!`

When with friends in pictures I just like to show how cool our group is!!!

07 Apr 2014 - 11:15112561
I find it a massive confidence boost (or atleast, I do up until I get the dirty looks from a large amount of the other ladies )

But I have so much self loathing it feels SO good when people recognise the character, let alone compliment the cosplay

I also love that it makes me feel like I'm someone else for the day.
At expo in May I WILL BE A SUCCUBUS.

I won't be in character or whipping people or acting at all promiscuous, of course.
(Even with my fiance. If we're in public I'm like "NO. DON'T TOUCH ME. YOU'LL GIVE ME THE ICKIES " )

But it gives me a weird confidence.

Photography is a big part for me though, but that's just my obsession with "cosplay modeling". I really like "live action" versions of characters.

And God said unto John, "Come fourth, and recieve eternal life".
But, John came fifth, and won a toaster.
07 Apr 2014 - 11:53112562
I've always enjoyed dressing up, and when I discovered England actually had conventions I had to go in cosplay. Right now though, it's all about the bants.


Can ya guess the theme yet?
07 Apr 2014 - 19:46112579
I have that "love at first sight" sort of thing. And then if I like the character and think I'll be happy to make/buy it, I'll cosplay them.

I've been suggested characters in the past, but those sort of projects rarely see it through~ I get more satisfaction out of working on characters I want to as opposed to just filling group gaps ^^

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