Meet the Artists Behind Great Cosplay Images
Cosplaying brings out the best in every geek—from researching the anime characters to imitate to the trial and error process of the make-up application and the making of the costumes. But aside from everything a cosplayer do just to perfect their craft, it’s really amazing to see how passionate they are and how artistic they can be.
And when someone says cosplaying, one must also have something to say about photography—cosplay photography to be exact. In the Philippines, though there are a lot of people doing cosplay, there are only few photographers who mastered the art of taking pictures inspired by anime characters and situations. And by mastering we mean they can transform a plain environment into an “anime-like” aura. They are the geniuses behind the lenses.
Be amazed with our featured cosplay photographers.
1. Jay Tablante
Would you believe that the name Jay Tablante is already synonymous with cosplay photographer? Yes, because everybody in the geek world knows about him. He’s just the amazing photographer who took a photo of international cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao as Jean Grey/Phoenix in 2012 and after that break, everybody wants to have him as photographer.
In an interview with www.cosplayphotographers.com, Tablante said that photography isn’t one of his strength back in college. “Photography was never really part of the original picture. I actually wanted to be a game developer/designer back in college. Back then my cousin was into photography and decided to put up a dark room in the house. I fell in love with the entire film developing process and that was the start I guess. From that nudge, I apprenticed under a professional photographer for two years before striking it out on my own, mainly doing product shots and interior work under him. Since then, I’ve been shooting professionally for nine years mostly for fashion magazines, commercial and advertising. I started experimenting with cosplay photography back in 2007,” he shared.
Like any other legendary photographer, Tablante also struggled just to find success in his chosen field. He took a part-time job as an art director for one of the biggest publishing company in the country. There, he also practiced his photography skills since he was also somehow responsible for shooting local celebrities.
“There are lots of professional photographers in Manila, and a good number of us dwelling in fashion/advertising. This made the marketing competitive over the years, and I sought out a means to separate my images from the rest. I’ve had my fair share bending on the bandwagon themes of “fashion” and “glamour”—I was itching to do something new, and uniquely mine. I started dabbling into surreal/fantasy themes when I started holding one-man exhibits back in 2005, and eventually into more pop-culture theme work in 2008. It was then when I touched on doing a comic book panel as part of that overall homage. That image perhaps was the first “cosplay” image we came up with,” Tablante also shared during his interview with www.cosplayphotographers.com.
Now, Tablante had already published books all under “Geekology.” Aside from Gosiengfiao, he had also shot other famous local celebrities like prime time queen Marian Rivera, Rhian Ramos, Jinri Park, and other well-known cosplayers like Bea Benedicto, Chelsea Robato, and many more.
To practice his craft Tablante has been attending Singapore Toys, Games and Comics Con (STGCC), Malaysian Games and Comics Con (MGCC), International Cosplay Day Singapore (ICDS), San Diego Comic Con, and other local toy conventions like Komikon, HERO and others.
“The supposed rhetorical argument of equipment vs. photographer is something incomparable, like apples to oranges in my honest opinion. A bad idea with the good equipment, and a good idea with bad equipment would have the same result: a lousy photo. The photographer thinks about the “what” and the equipment takes care of the “how.” The way those two factors are balanced determines end result of your work. If your equipment can’t handle the concept then adjust your idea, and if you have too much gear for your idea, perhaps you’re not pushing it hard enough,” Tablante gave his points for aspiring photographers who also wants to try cosplay.