Best Cosplay Photo of 2012 Winner Interview: Hexlord

As our Best Cosplay Photo of 2012 contest came to an end, we held a brief interview with each winner. As the first place winner, Thomas Kuan a.k.a. Hexlord shares with us a little bit about him and how he achieved his prize-winning cosplay photo.

Cosplay Photographers: Please introduce yourself. How long have you been doing photography? How long have you been shooting cosplay? Is cosplay your primary/favorite subject to shoot?

Thomas Kuan: Hi there, my name’s Thomas and I have been doing cosplay photography since 2004. Cosplay is perhaps one of the main reasons why I took up photography in the first place, although as time passed I began to become more interested in a variety of other subjects/genres.

Cosplay Photographers: How did you come up with the idea for this shot?

Thomas Kuan: The shot was actually a mixture of all three factors:

  • some of the official character artwork,
  • an idea of mine that wanted to combine as an imagery of both the subject and the backdrop, and
  • the fluidity of motion as was suggested by the cosplayer herself.

It all came together at the spur of the moment.


Cosplay Photographers: What challenges did you encounter in creating the final image and how did you overcome them?

Thomas Kuan: It was a relatively simple setup, using an ultra-wide angle lens and shooting it from the bottom-up angle to capture both the cosplayer and the glass window at the top. I had her do the spinning motion a few times, and then I made the necessary adjustments to the exposure setting and the shutter speed to ensure that everything’s just right. Shutter speed-wise, I did not use a really fast shutter speed as it would freeze the spinning motion and end up losing the fluidity feel.

I chose the location on the basis of it being relatively high-tech looking which suits the feel of the series. I made the arrangement with the security guards on duty there to allow us to shoot around the location, making sure that my request was done in a polite and friendly manner.

Post production was kept to the minimum, with minor touch-up to the costume, increasing the saturation of the shot and finally adding a bit of sharpness. The lighting that day was really ideal so there’s no need to alter it in any ways.

Cosplay Photographers: If you could do it again, would you change anything about this shot?

Thomas Kuan: I probably would’ve wanted to shoot this at night or in the late evening, with some strobes to mix both ambient light and flash together.

Cosplay Photographers: Is there anything you would like to say to the cosplay photography community and those who voted for you?

Thomas Kuan: Thank you all for the support; it was a surprise even to myself that a lot of you liked this photo. Hopefully this year, I will be able to produce even better works to share with everyone. Thank you once again!


At Cosplay Photographers, we believe that cosplay is an art form to be celebrated. We believe that epic cosplays are about bringing your favorite fantasy characters to life and, through the latest mediums like digital photography and videography, sharing that with the world. We seek to foster a community of talented individuals who wish to promote the art of cosplay and photography.

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