Hexlord is an amazing photographer from Malaysia, who has a great eye for capturing the perfect mood for each shot!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
I have been into cosplay photography since 2004, when I attended some of the conventions for the very first time. I was impressed by my cosplaying friends, and so I wanted to take photos of them in their costumes. It also feels amazing to see characters come to life right in front of you too!
I began with a Lumix digital camera, before upgrading to a prosumer and finally to a Nikon DSLR around end 2007. From then on, I slowly build up my photography gears to what I am using today.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
Well, I have only been around the Southeast Asia region although I am planning to make a few trips to the US, China, Taiwan and Japan (just to name a few) in the near future.
I do not charge for shoots although there have been a few times where the cosplayers or models would compensate me for my time. I am usually reachable from either my Facebook account or via my email address.
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
I don’t have any particular favorites, although for optimal lighting I do like to work on my shoots during the late afternoon to early evening period.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
I enjoy using my prime lenses, as they give me the least compromises in terms of image quality so that I can concentrate on what really matters… composition and lighting. I use the 35mm f2, the 50mm f1.4 and the 85mm f.14 for most of my shots, although I am partial to using an ultra wide angle lens for some specific shots and angles.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I hope I can spend a bit more time in other genres of photography as it would ultimately lead to skills being learnt that can be applied back to cosplay photography. I also have a few overseas shoots being planned out but I can only reveal them after I am done first. 😛
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
I would like to see more research and planning done prior to the photoshoots themselves, although I understand that there could be limitations due to the many new series appearing recently so it is hard to get oneself up to date. Also, because a lot of the shoots are done at conventions there would be some time constraints as well.
Kifir (http://kifir.deviantart.com/) is one of the many talented photographers who plans well and make full use of the background and lighting to add an extra dimension to his photos.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It is more popular than ever, with more cosplayers coming from all walks of life. Their country of origin also add cultural values to their cosplay and local conventions, so despite the similarities there are also something new to learn from one another.
The scene today also places a greater emphasis on stage performances, photoshoots and videoshoots. It seems like a growing trend as many cosplayers value the visual presentation of their costumes, and good in a sense that everyone’s trying harder to get a much better result than before.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Inevitably, the drive to improve oneself has led to some form of competition among cosplayers and even photographers. Although some competition is healthy, too much of it can lead to drama. I would like to remind everyone that cosplay is just a hobby and one can be serious at it, just not at the expense of friends and other people as well.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
Practice makes perfect! Nobody starts off as a talented photographer (although artistic folks might have an advantage there) so pick up a few books and photo magazines and start taking notes/be inspired by the works of other established photographers.
What is most important is that you are making a steady progress in your photography as time passes. Keep at it regularly and soon you will bear the fruits of your efforts.
Lastly, try to get the photo right on the spot rather than trying to fix things using software editing. Trust me when I say your time is precious and you should spend more time taking photos rather than fixing bad ones!
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I enjoyed Main Animania when I was in Sydney last year, as well as the annual Comic Fiesta event in my home country of Malaysia. I like these events because they are well organized and there are a lot of rooms for visitors, cosplayers and photographers to move around. There are also some pretty cool performances and many things on sale too!