Where are you from originally or reside currently: Currently I am in MD
How long you have been into photography: 8 years. Been doing cosplay photography for the last 3.
Website or facebook fan page: Thru the Eyes of Aitch
Hey all !! After a bit of a hiatus, we are bringing back the Cosplay spotlight! We have some amazing cosplayers lined up out there who are ready for the readers to get to know them but what we are going to do things a little differently. We are also going to spotlight some of the most important people to cosplayers: the photographers. These men and women are essential as they are the ones who also bring these wonderful cosplays to life and without them, some of us wouldn’t have the cosplay pages that we have now. So, to get us started, our chief editor will kick us off!
- Why do cosplay photography? Cosplay photography offers a wonderful way for us to capture some of our favorite characters and how they are portrayed in real life. It’s nothing more thrilling that to see not only a well-executed cosplay but a well-executed cosplay with just the right scenery and composition. It’s a really great way for people to show off their fandom and capture moments we may not get to see in any other way.
- What do you do when you aren’t shooting cosplayers? I do have a full time job and when I am not doing that, I am running this site with some great people. We also help out with some great community service projects with the last 2 being the #WEWANTWIDOW initiative as well as taking up donations for Baltimore. When I do have a moment to sit down and relax, I also love gaming. Right now, I am focused on the Witcher III and anxiously awaiting the new Batman Arkham Knight game. And if anyone knows me, they know that I do have an affinity for The Beautiful Game. **Let’s make a contest of this…first person to correctly guess my favorite team, gets a graphic novel and a signed George Perez comic. send your guesses to pcupress AT gmail DOT com. Subject line -Aitch’s team!**
- What cosplays have provided the biggest challenge and rewards to shoot so far and why? Honestly, I think it was my very first shoot I did about 3 years ago. It was a few friends who wanted to do Stormtrooper and Mandalorian armor and we decided to do it out in the middle of the day. It’s hot, we are all sweating and while I don’t like to rush, dehydration was real. So it was an issue of making sure that all of us got the shots needed and make sure that no one needed medical attention just because we wanted to get pictures! The Reward in the end was getting some gritty pictures of these guys in armor and giving a greater sense of appreciation not only to actors that take up these roles but to our military that actually do this as well.
- What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplay photography? First and foremost, if you have never held a camera before, please take courses. Some are pretty inexpensive if you look in the right places. Another piece of advice is learn about scale and lighting. While I may not shoot a lot of cosplays, I do like to use natural light and I like to use angles to try and give some of the cosplayers and their fans something a bit surreal to look at. Have fun and use your imagination. DO NOT be afraid to ask for a portion of your money up front! Also be flexible and be FAIR. I have learned the hard way when people schedule dates and then break them for various reasons and want to reschedule. You have lost time for another shoot you could be working on! Best plan is to schedule a date and take a deposit and it keeps both of you honest.
- What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with photographers? This is real talk but I know a few cosplayers who are guilty of this. Nothing is free unless it’s explicit between you and your photographer. Not just with cosplay but with any task you want someone to do, be prepared to compensate for service. Funny part of all of this is when I first started out, and asked people to volunteer, no one wanted to give me a try, now that I am bit more busy, (and again not just with cosplay shoots) there are people that think they can get business for free. It takes a lot of time and work where we aren’t just shooting people, it’s the editing to make sure that you all look good. Furthermore, when photographers finish the work, the single most biggest thing you as a client can do for us is make sure that we get credit for our works. So please make sure you aren’t cropping out watermarks or leaving our names off photos when you post them. We take a lot of time and effort to do these and we have fun doing them, just make sure we get our due. It drums up business for us and grants exposure for you.