Cosplay Photographers: Joining us today is none other than international cosplay photographer 35Ryo. His work is well known throughout the cosplay community for amazing well crafted photos.
So how did you come to be known as 35Ryo and where are you located?
35Ryo: At the beginning, I was called Ryo. I liked a game called Shin Sangokumusou, which in China can be abbreviated to 35. So 35 is added to the front of the Ryo into my ID. On internet now, people usually call me 35ryo.
I come from Chongqing, China.
Cosplay Photographers: Such amazing cosplay photographers from out of China. Have you met other Chinese cosplay photographers?
35Ryo: Of course, there are many photographers I like. Their works gives me inspiration. We communicate with each other.
Cosplay Photographers: Who are they and what about their work that inspires yours?
35Ryo: Hybridre, Kira Winter and so on are my friends, and often we view each other’s work.
Cosplay Photographers: We are definitely very familiar with their work! So how did you get started in photography?
35Ryo: In the beginning, I was a cosplayer.At that time, my friends and I went to cosplay. But at that time no one photography, so I decided to pick up the camera,later found behind the lens work is also very interesting.So I continued the work, also got to know many new friends.
Cosplay Photographers: Oh nice, so do you have photos of you cosplaying that you can share? Was it hard making the transition from cosplayer to cosplay photographer?
35Ryo: This is some of my Cosplay photos http://35ryo.deviantart.com/art/Ranma-267951242, http://35ryo.deviantart.com/art/natsume-takashi-243699920?q=gallery%3A35ryo%2F28386528&qo=93, http://35ryo.deviantart.com/art/Hitman-Reborn2-202151290?q=gallery%3A35ryo%2F28386528&qo=112, http://35ryo.deviantart.com/art/Hitman-Reborn-195235730?q=gallery%3A35ryo%2F28386528&qo=128, and http://35ryo.deviantart.com/art/Hakuouki-200188907?q=gallery%3A35ryo%2F28386528&qo=115.
Cosplay Photographers: That’s pretty amazing! Was it hard making the transition from being a cosplayer to being a photographer?
35Ryo: It is easier as a cosplayer photographing other cosplayers than a photographer just photographing a cosplayer.
Cosplay Photographers: Why do you think that is? Is it because the cosplayer might know more about the series?
35Ryo: Yes, I think so~
Cosplay Photographers: So if we looked in your camera bag, what stuff would we find in there?
35Ryo: I usually do photography by 5D Mark 2, flash, and color filters.
Cosplay Photographers: Do you use flash often when doing photo shoots?
35Ryo: Yes, sometimes I use flash. Not every photo needs flash.
Cosplay Photographers: We are curious how your approach to cosplay photography is, for example, thought process, execution, and the like. To give a better example, how do you go about picking cosplayers, locations, and making the decisions on how to shoot a certain cosplay?
35Ryo: As a cosplay photography lover, there are many things I personally want to shoot. Usually it would be cosplayers coming to me about their ideas, so when I have some ideas I would ask them for suggestions, including the kind of end results we are trying to achieve. If they are interested we would discuss further, like the characters, locations, and so on. I usually prefer to work with cosplayers I know, so the mood during the shoot is more relaxed. Location selection is based on the original anime. We usually talk about which part of the story to shoot, or think of the final results we want to capture, or talk about the kind of equipment is needed and such.
Cosplay Photographers: In your experience, what do you think are the biggest challenges of cosplay photography? Can you share with us your most challenging, yet the most fun experience?
Also, do you only shoot cosplay? Or there are other genre that you shoot?
35Ryo: I think there are two major challenges in cosplay. First is for cosplayers to understand the original characters’ personalities, and present the expression and poses of the characters. The second challenge is in cosplay photography, the challenge to understand the environment and feel of the original piece, capture the cosplayers’ presence in the scene, and use appropriate composition and lighting to express the final results. If we enjoy and are touched by the final results, then cosplay is the best expression of our feelings.
It’s easier said than done. Sometimes we got affected by exterior obstacles, thus unable to express our imagined scene 100%. I’ll use a shot from a shoot I did of “High School of the Dead” for example. Aside from the main characters, the large amount of zombies are the difficulties and the focus of the photography. So to arrange a shoot with dozens of people, we need reasonable logistic planning: dividing teams up to do makeup, outfitting, and shooting plan were some of the biggest problems we encountered. We were glad the final results achieved what we originally expected, and every cosplayer did his /her best to make the shoot happen, so it was quite an accomplishment for something that’s done by amateurs driven purely by love and passion for the craft. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun, so I really loved that experience.
Cosplay is what I usually shoot. Some other things I shoot include landscape, portraits, stills and so on.
Cosplay Photographers: Can you talk a little bit about what you do after taking the photos? In addition to the software you use, maybe share with us your processing techniques, special effects and so on
35Ryo: I usually do RAW adjustments first, then pull them into Photoshop to do some additional detail correction. I don’t usually add special effects to my photos, and tend to do those while shooting
Cosplay Photographers: Do you usually do private cosplay photoshoots, or you would go to conventions to photograph cosplay sometimes as well? If you do, what are some of them?
35Ryo: For conventions it usually end up being ChinJoy or Western China ACG Festival. Sometimes I go to some dojinshi conventions too.
Cosplay Photographers: What do you think your long term goal for cosplay photography is?
35Ryo: My long term photography goals are to shoot with those many excellent cosplayers and create amazing pieces with them.
Cosplay Photographers: Alright! Let us conclude our interview. Thank you for interviewing with us, and we will continue looking forward to your making of new photographs in the future!
35Ryo: Thank you!
If you like his amazing work as much as we do, you can see more on his deviantART.
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