July 2013 Featured Photographer of the Month: Fernando Brischetto

For July’s featured photographer, we head down to Latin America, to the very southernmost country of Argentina. Fernando Brischetto is one of  two very talented photographers making up Photographes Sans Frontieres, one of our own Cosplay Photographers Ambassadors.

Cosplay Photographers: Hello! Tell us a little bit about your background and where you are from.

Fernando Brischetto: Hello everyone! I am Fernando, and I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I come from a gamer background in personal terms and professional too. I work for the management of a gaming retail chain in Buenos Aires.

Cosplay Photographers: How did you get into photography in general?

Fernando Brischetto:  I always loved photography since I was a kid. I used to have an oooold Kodak camera, square shaped, grey color but can’t rememember the name. I went to an extreme of taking 36 packs of 36 photo film rolls. After that I decided I needed a digital camera.

Cosplay Photographer Location URL
Fernando Brischetto Buenos Aires, Argentina http://cosplayphotographers.net/profile/15/

Cosplay Photographers: What kind of digital equipment did you start out with?

Fernando Brischetto: Well my first slr was a Minolta Stsi Maxxum witha 35-80 lens but a few years later I bought a Nikon D50 and i started from there again in general photography. Then I changed to Nikon D90 and started to shoot cosplay.

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Cosplay Photographers: And what about cosplay photography?

Fernando Brischetto: I always liked comics and animation so when I went to conventions, cosplay caught my eye. I spent a lot of years coming and going and after seeing some of the photography about cosplay I was really excited to go that way because it really inspired me. As I got more into finding out what Cosplay was about I wanted to share my love for it doing the best to show it as the art it is, and trying give this kind of photography the professional treatment it deserves.

Cosplay Photographers: Have you ever cosplayed, or do you just take the photos?

Fernando Brischetto: I do have a couple, a complete costume of Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier that I used like twice in party with friends and cosplayer. Then I did a Daryl Dixon cosplay for PopCon, first public cosplay ever for me with a real crossbow and makeup by my girlfriend. The reason for this was that seems a lot of people think i look a bit like Norman Reedus. But it was all for fun. I want to do some cosplay with armour but we’ll see…
Anyways, I feel better being the photographer.

Cosplay Photographers: What is the cosplay scene like in your country?

Fernando Brischetto: Evolving a lot since 2010/11. My first con was like in ’99 and there was Dragonball, Sailor Moon and even Mazinger Z cosplays, but since the last two years it’s been a huge advancement in terms of cosplay quality, diversity and competition. I can see some cosplayers that have the quality to compete outside the country and it is really cool and I feel proud of it. In fact I think cosplayers are always the heart of the conventions.

Cosplay Photographers: Has there been cosplay in Latin America for a long time?8645774218_d6f6f419e6_h

Fernando Brischetto: I think Latin America started to see cosplay around the end of the nineties, at least in Argentina and Mexico. Now you got awesome works in Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay and most countries of Latin America.

Cosplay Photographers: What are the popular conventions in your area?

Fernando Brischetto: We have cons almost every weekend. I think you have the classics like Yamato’s Anime Friends/After friends, Animate, Jornadas del Manganime, and some others that are more oriented to different trends like Unifans, Yukai Fest, Arghentum Mugen Yukai, Macross Eternal, PopCon and lots more. I think we have pretty much for anyone that likes Cosplay, Comics, Anime, Kpop, etc.

Cosplay Photographers: Do you attend conventions outside of your country?

Fernando Brischetto: Yes, I do attend some outside Argentina. Tokyo Game Show is the first that I attend since 2008, along with Cosplay Festa and similar cons while I am in Japan, and ComicCon Chile since 2012. This year will be my first time at Anime Expo and my plans for next year are some in the US and Europe, if I’m lucky enough to have more vacations at my work.

Cosplay Photographers: Do you do a lot of private shoots at conventions?

Fernando Brischetto: Not really. I usually go and see where I can take show shots and if I catch a cosplay that I didn’t shoot before or one I like, I would probably try to do a decent amount of photos. I try to go outside the con building if possible because indoors are not usually good enough for it and there is too many people around.

Cosplay Photographrs: What about event coverage photos? Do you ask cosplayers you don’t know for their photos?

Fernando Brischetto: I do a lot of event coverage and I ask for photos when I see new cosplayers that I like to work with, even if I don’t know them. I like to carry some personal cards for them so we can arrange future shoots and they can be in contact to get their pictures asap. I’m always looking to know new cosplayers.

Cosplay Photographers: What are the staples of your photography gear bag? What camera, which lenses, etc.

Fernando Brischetto: I got two cameras, a Nikon D90 and Nikon D800. If i want to be light of weight i choose the D90, usually with a 17-50mm f2.8 lens, and if i bring the D800 my lenses would be a 24-70mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.4. Lately a tripod + umbrella or a small softbox for the Sb700 flash. Both work awesome for me.

Cosplay Photographers: Tell us a little bit about your personal style.

Fernando Brischetto: Well I love wide angles, nice bokeh if possible, and close-ups. You know people are not used to close ups but I love that and portraits. So it’s something I have most of the time on every set of photos. I like to play a lot with flashes and shadows too. When I do outdoor shoots I try to get a cinematic still feel to it, like if it was a real life character. I love action shoots if the cosplayer is willing to go for it.

Cosplay Photographers: How do you decide how to light a photoshoot? Do you use off camera lighting?

Fernando Brischetto: It’s always at least one flash and improvisation in general, according to the place I am. I like to use natural light too but it all depends on the character. I love to use flash off camera to light the scene, sometimes two but most of the time I manage to use the minimum and get good results.

Cosplay Photographers: How do you go about scheduling and setting up shoots?

Fernando Brischetto: This year I started to do scheduling for shoots (along with my bro Adrian Ummo) more than cons coverage because you get a lot more out of it. It’s 100% more relaxed and you can prepare better knowing which character you are going to shoot and how to work it out with the cosplayer. The cosplayers are usually people I already know well.

Cosplay Photographers: For beginning cosplay photographers, what do you think are the essential equipment/software they should have?

Fernando Brischetto: Any entry DSLR will do. I prefer either Nikon or Canon. The usual kit will do for starters (18-55mm) but i would consider a similar lens with at least f2.8 in all the range. If you need some editing software you can go for GIMP, which is free and pretty gooD. You can then jump to Lightroom –  doesn’t need to be the latest one, v3 will do fine.

Cosplay Photographers: Tell us about your favorite photoshoot you’ve done to date.

Fernando Brischetto: That would be Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider shoot that I’ve done with Lilia Lemoine (LadyLemonCosplay) in Mexico. That was the first time I shot a cosplay in multiple locations and we got some nice poses and action shots. I’m very proud of it.

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Cosplay Photographers:  Talk a little about your post-processing technique and software.

Fernando Brischetto: I use Lightroom as my core platform. First of all I take a quick look at the shots and try to define each “set” their “mood” as I call it. It depends on each character, and on if it’s a daylight photo, night or hard on shadows like I do with my flash on hand.

Cosplay Photographers: Can you talk more about your sens of “mood”?

Fernando Brischetto: For example, take a look at the pictures of the Lara Croft shoot, and you will see different kind of colour palettes depending the background/situation. In that particular shoot I used the released artwork and concept art as inspiration, which was desaturated colors on the posters and tried to get a gritty look, ’cause you know, she just survided a shipwreck and need to be dirty and wounded, which was done with make up by Lilia.

If I take pictures in daylight I would go for a more colored flavor, even a bit saturated. The final stage is always Photoshop to fix faces just a bit, usually pimples and bags on the eyes, but nothing major. I’m personally against heavy face edits unless you got paid for that, specifically like for fashion magazines. I like to keep it as natural as it should, unless I plan to do a complete edit of the image with a fantasy background and so on.

Cosplay Photographers: Any favorite cosplayers you have worked with so far?

Fernando Brischetto: Definitely Lilia Lemoine because I know her better than others, but I can name Candu Stark, Nana Joo, Eriol Cosplay, Romi Lia and Magali Sanyan are among the people I worked the most and the results were awesome. Got the oportunity of take some shots with Kipi and Yaya Han while I was in Japan so it’s been awesome.

Cosplay Photographers: Who are your favorite photographers?

Fernando Brischetto: Tough one. I love many photogs but I can say Martin Wong and Thomas Kuan (Hexlord) are my favorites right now.

If you found this article interesting, be sure to join our Facebook group, Cosplay Photography Discussion Group. It is a place for cosplay photographers of all levels to learn from each other. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook as well!

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Ger is a Boston-based cosplay and event photographer. She's been cosplaying since 2007 and took up cosplay photography in 2010 to give back to the community that's given so much to her. She's currently traveling the country interviewing and photographing cosplayers for her upcoming book about the culture of cosplay in the USA, "Breaking All The Rules: Cosplay and the Art of Self-Expression."

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