Welcome to our first interview of the year! I’m super excited to have a talented cosplay photographer as the first interview. Don’t miss the great insightful answers they share.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
Md Nabil Ahsan
Twitter and Instagram: @mdnabilahsan
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE?
LaCroix, all day every day.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I am a Houston-based cosplay and portrait photographer and a Computer Science student at the University of Houston. My passion is front-end web development and UX/UI. I read on it as much as I could because my college doesn’t offer those classes. I love working on websites.
When did you start cosplay photography?
Anime Matsuri 2016 was my first convention. I didn’t really have any scheduled shoots. I just went in with my camera and asked a few cosplayers if I could take their photos. The photos turned out pretty bad but it motivated me to do better.
What got you into photography?
The art. The ability to capture the scenery the way you see it. I actually started off with a really terrible Galaxy Note 2 phone before I saved enough money to purchase my first camera, the Canon T5i.
What made you go into cosplay photography specifically?
Anime. I really loved how people of all ages would take their time to create such amazing cosplays, specially your favorite characters.
I also saw how certain photographers were able to capture these cosplays in their own innovative ways and it just amazed me.
How long have you been doing photography?
Since 2016. I got serious about photographing people in 2017.
What types of cosplay do you like to shoot?
Everything really. However, I try to avoid anything too risque as it’s not my style. I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of cosplayers who understand this.
What is your photo shoot goals, or something you would love to shoot?
I look at works by awesome photographers Peter Hurley, Lara Jade and Lindsey Adler. I want to incorporate their styles into cosplay. It’s a lot of work.
What is your favorite kind of cosplay photo shoot?
Single portraits. I have more control working with 1 person directly. They teach me about their characters, which allows me to come up with poses and facial expressions that go with their character.
What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay photography?
I sometimes don’t ask a lot about their characters. This really affects how I photograph them. It’s something I am working on.
Do you have any camera equipment you can’t live without?
My 50mm 1.8 and 24mm 2.8 lens. I also have a Gary Fong for my speedlight and remote triggers that are now becoming part of my must haves.
If you could live in or visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
Lord of The Rings.
If you could give cosplayers tips about working with a photographer, what would they be?
Work on expressions a lot. I would recommend keeping 10-15 goto poses for their characters.
Also, do not edit over our photos and upload them. This includes cropping them. When people weirdly crop/edit the photos and tag us on instagram, it reflects poorly on our hard work. If you see something wrong with the photo, tell us.
If you don’t like a photo, tell us. We want constructive criticism. If you have a better way of taking the photo, explain that to us.
What are your “fandoms”?
The One Piece fandom. I LOVE ONE PIECE
What is something you wish cosplayers knew about working with a photographer?
A lot of the photographers take the photos for free and then go home and continue to spend their time editing them. The cosplayers also take their time and create amazing works of cosplay. So it’s sort of like a partnership and I wish for that to be acknowledged.
What is your creative process?
I go through a lot of basic photography poses. I have books on those. If I know the character beforehand, I start making a pinterest board with all the poses I want to photograph.
Then, I shoot on RAW, take them to Adobe Lightroom.
First I export watermarked proofs of the best photos and send em to the cosplayers. From there, they choose 5 best photos which I then edit.
Back in Lightroom, I do color corrections and then, based on the particular image, I either complete edits or export all the photos to VSCO for some interesting filters.
What are some proper etiquette tips for booking a photoshoot and participating in one?
Show up on time. Don’t make the photographer wait.
Last minute cancellations are always a hassle for both parties. Anticipate them.
You are both sacrificing time to create something amazing.
Where can people find your photography?
My website is https://mdnabilahsan.myportfolio.com/
What is your greatest achievement (regarding cosplay photography)?
I have made some really amazing friends that I see from time to time and who are completely comfortable with my creative process and help me improve.
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.