• Strength_BlackRockShooter_Ambuchi

    Strength (Black Rock Shooter) by Riri

Francesco Ambuchi

Years of Photography: 6

Florence, Italy


Meet Francesco Ambuchi, a very talented photographer from Italy! Francesco started working as a cosplay photographer 6 years ago and, since then, he developed his own photo bravura, showing a particular attention to colors and scenery, and carefully selecting his picture-making material. Let’s admire his work and discover some of his opinions on cosplay photography!

How was your start as a cosplay photographer? Tell us what motivated you and what you find fascinating about cosplay photography.
I got close to photography after I was invited to a little comic convention almost six years ago. I have discovered the cosplay world thanks to that. I was fascinated with the colors and costumes, so I started to attend more cons and met new people, in a few months I bought a reflex and started shooting more seriously.

When you plan your photoshoots, how do you prepare the scenery and what are the key aspects you take into consideration?
Colors! The chromatic consistency with the characters is my first thought in a photoshoot. I’m always scouting for the best locations for each character and waiting for the perfect light of the day. The settings can be anything, from ruins, forests and ponds to my bedroom. In Italy we do have a lot of fantastic locations (but most of them are private): the hardest part is not only finding the location, but also getting the permits to use it.

What do you think is the most demanding aspect of cosplay photography?
Postproduction is definitely the most demanding aspect of a cosplay shooting. In this stage you define the character on the cosplayer, you can magnify the work of your camera. Usually I work with the subject’s style in my mind: the final result has to be closer as possible to the original character.

When you work with cosplayers, do you usually have the whole choreography researched and set ahead of time? (the original characters, the postures, the lights involved, adaptations of anime scenes, story lines etc.)
Personally I work hard to find the best location and I think this is the most difficult phase for a good work. Afterwards I take care of the lights mood for a faithful reconstruction. I look at references just a little bit because many poses are not reproducible in the real world. And it’s better to talk with the cosplayer during the whole shooting.

There are so many characters out there and each demands a different photogenic approach. Some require special effects, other nocturnal scenery, other surreal tones, etc. What do you think it takes to capture the right atmosphere in a cosplay picture?
The right answer is the simplest, and consistency with the character is the key. Figures from anime, manga or video games need the very best location we can find, to enhance the cosplayer and the costume. Even the setup of the lights should be designed to be as consistent as possible with the scene around us during the set: personally, I use many speedlight color gels to support my work in these situations.

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a faultless collaboration between cosplayer and photographer?
I think the best collaboration is based on the experience you gain and share with the cosplayers.
In due time, you can get to know their preparation time and what they need to warm up, you learn their finest poses, the characters that suit them the most, and the little imperfections to hide. Only after we’ve met and created a feeling we can give our best work! I also want to thank the precious co-workers who help us behind the scenes and save us valuable time.




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