Years of Cosplay Photography: 8
Chongqing, China
Interview by Ruxandra Târcă

A seemingly endless pool of good cosplayers, China doesn’t have a shortage of brilliant photographers either. A master of the camera, 35Ryo loves to experiment with all kinds of lights, especially those that look as closest to natural lights as possible, creating stories and feelings centered on a character and conveyed through astonishing images. Moreover, she can take a photo-shoot with the same ease, with only one cosplayer as subject, or an entire group of zombies roaming in the streets, making everyone turn their heads.

First of all, what made you prefer being a photographer over being a cosplayer? Was that a kind of challenge for you, or just a personal preference?
A few years ago, I played with my friends as a cosplayer. But we had no photographer. Then I tried to be a cosplay photographer and I found it was interesting.

We’ve noticed you also experiment with photo-strips. What can you tell us about how the storytelling goes for those photo-strips? Do you sketch the frames beforehand, or just prepare everything on spot?
I describe a plot or a character with photo-strips. Most of the time, I just prepare everything at the photo-shoot. According to the situation, I like to play freely. For some photo-shoots with many people, I prepare the sketch of frames beforehand. Working with many people can be confusing and it’s hard to control.


Is there a certain type of lens you prefer? If yes, why is that and what are the advantages provided by that type of lens?
I don’t have a favorite lens now. I loved 351.4 before, because the diaphragm is quite large. After some time, the limitations of composition began to require the frequent use of other lens. I try to use other different lens more.

Do you have any books or articles that inspired you in your work as a photographer and you could recommend to those who want to follow into this hobby, or improve themselves?
As a cosplay photographer I browsed a few books. But recently I looked into Joe McNally’s Sketching Light, which is very enlightening.


What was your most memorable photo-shoot? Can you tell us the whole story?
Such a time was the filming of the High-School of the Dead cosplay. Before the photo-shoot I prepared a plan, including how to do the make-up, grouping all the zombies, and the filming process. At the moment of the photo-shoot, the scene was very spectacular. When we had more than 20 zombies wandering in the street, pedestrians and vehicles stopped to watch; and everyone was very dedicated. They were real like in a film, seriously, and it was also very interesting. Finally, everyone was satisfied with how the photos turned out.


A very important part in every photo is the light, and you seem to perfectly master this aspect. How do you choose the lights for your photos? Is there a certain type of light you use for a certain scene, fabric or material?
Although lighting is an important part in photography, not all of the photos need flash. If possible, I want all artificial lights to look like natural lights. In the daytime, I use one or two flashes. The main light is used on the character’s face, while the other one is used on the environment and background. I like the environment light that looks like the sun. It can achieve very natural effects. During night-time I use more than three lights. In addition to the ambient light on the background and to the face light, the third light also plays an important role in the balance of picture.


What is your favorite type of light/light effect to work with? Also, what do you think there are the advantages of using gelled flashes?
I like all kinds of light that look like natural lights. Cosplayers show the personality of the characters in a particular environment.
The photographer uses gelled flashes for a more dramatic screening, and rich stereo feelings; the role is to balance the colors of the photos.

Do you have something like a “dream” cosplay photo-shoot you’d like to make in the future? And if yes, what would be that?
My dream is to make live versions of animations and games. I could try to shoot and make some small movies; this would be a very interesting challenge!


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  1. […] Interview 35Ryo (CN) by Ruxandra Târcă Photos by 35Ryo […]

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