Floatyman is an Australian-based photographer, who travels the world to capture amazing photos!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I have been taking cosplay photos to a serious degree for 6 years. I have always had an interest in photography but never got into it in a big way until I did my TAFE (Technical and Further Education) course back in 2001. One of the subjects in the course was Architectural Photography, which helped me learn all the basics and what each function was and how it worked as well as some of the more artistic elements. From that time, I was always carrying a camera in my hand taking photos of whatever interested me. This was well before I was into cosplay, and when I started going to conventions, it was to cosplay myself, but I also took my camera with me and photographed the other cosplayers there. This was a time when quality digital cameras were still a rare thing so the photos I took were appreciated and sought after. I found that seeing the characters I loved, the beautiful effort people put in and the uniqueness of the outfits had captured my interest and helped inspire the little creativeness I had.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
I live in the South East corner of Queensland, Australia so that is my home turf. However I do attend a lot of the larger Australian conventions and have made trips to Japan and America, meeting up with cosplayers and taking photos with them. I have mixed feelings about charging for shoots. I did charge for awhile, but I don’t anymore. If cosplayers like my work and wish to support me I ask them to buy the photos off my website. The usual way people get in contact with me to shoot is through my DA account at http://floatyman.deviantart.com/ or filling in a ‘Submission of Interest’ at http://bit.ly/mG35Fc
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
I haven’t found my one specific ‘niche’ as yet. I love trying all sorts of different types of shoots from night time to studio shoots. I enjoy working in small groups of about 2 to 4 as it really opens up the pose options and can be a lot of fun for everyone involved.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
My favorite equipment in my bag would have to be my strobes. With the different positioning of the strobes you can really open up the options of what mood you want to create with how you cast the light.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I am always excited to work with new and old people alike with new costumes, new settings and new equipment. There is always something new to see or to learn.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
There are a number of photographers that I admire. The traits I admire most are respectful, patient and have a willingness to do as much as they can in camera, not in post processing.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
The cosplay scene excites me at times, and at other times disappoints me. There is so much and talent in the community, but there are also a great deal of undesirable elements. It is a hobby that should be about fun, not getting too serious, but this does not mean general manners should be abandoned either. I also think a lot of cosplayers and photographers have a narcissistic attitude which is not healthy for anyone. As cosplay becomes more popular and certain cosplayers more recognized it is only going to get worse.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would like to see a less competitive and accepting scene but that is probably wishful thinking as it is human nature. It would also be good to see cosplay have a more prominent and accepted place in the general public and media.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
If at all possible, take a course in basic photography. It will be invaluable to your knowledge and ability to adapt to every situation. From there, read all you can and shoot as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be of cosplay, just get out there and use your camera.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
AVCon in Adelaide is probably my favorite Australian convention. It is very well run, a wonderful venue and fun atmosphere. I have attended a few Japanese cosplay events, and while not ‘conventions’ as westerners might know them, I really enjoy them for the simplicity and raw enjoyment of what cosplay should be about. However, my favorite event of all has to be Fanime. For the last two years I have been able to attend Fanime in San Jose and the fun I have had and people I have been able to meet could satisfy me for a long time. I am hoping to make it a regular trip!