David Ng is another well-known photographer from New York, who has been capturing cosplay images for quite some time!
How many years have you been into photography and what got you into cosplay photography?
For both answers, I’d say since 1999. It wasn’t until 2004 when I began to do both more seriously. I first started in on cosplay photography at my very first anime con, NekoCon R, when I saw costumes there that, despite the small convention feel, seemed much more elaborate and interesting than the usual fare that I had experienced at other fantasy and sci-fi conventions.
What regions do you usually cover, and do you charge for photoshoots? Also, how does one get in contact to shoot with you?
My region would primarily be the northeastern US, mostly NY. I don’t charge for photoshoots mostly because I do them for fun and not for profit. One can get in contact with me either through my website, or by email: email@example.com.
What type of photoshoots do you prefer and why?
I tend not to stick to any specific type whenever I can since I prefer the freedom of being able to experiment. However, if there is a specific type that I gravitate towards, it is the narrative, where all of the photos that are included in the shoot, when viewed sequentially, tell a story of some kind.
What is some of your favorite equipment you work with and why?
The equipment I use is mostly Nikon gear. For my primary rig, I have been using a D700 for the full frame features and the overall image quality it can produce, and coupled with that is a 24-70 f/2.8 lens, which provides an excellent amount of flexibility without having to swap out lenses.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
The most exciting thing that I have coming up is my 10th year as photography coordinator at Anime Boston. AB was not the first convention that I was on board as staff photographer, but it is the one I have been attached to in the capacity of staff the longest. In my years there, I had grown photography there from a single person (myself) to a team of photographers who provide in-house coverage for the event.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other photographers and who do you think does them well?
I like seeing creativity and excellent usage of perspective. I also like seeing people who work very hard and have a solid work ethic.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
My view of the cosplay scene is that of extreme support and camaraderie. The overall scene is also very tightly knit, where one person could easily know another through at least a dozen different ways. Whenever I friend a cosplayer that I have newly met, I am generally surprised if we don’t have at least five friends in common.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would like to see there be more acceptance of others, especially those who are entering in new for the first time, both photographers and cosplayers. I have spoken to photographers who are trying to “break in” on the scene and they find there is quite a bit of resistance to accepting someone who is not as established.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into photography?
Practice. I have seen photographers just get lazy and I think it’s a shame when they don’t put the effort in.
Learn. Every photograph you take, be it a Mona Lisa or a finger painting, is a lesson to which you can decide what worked, what didn’t work, and how to apply to the next photo.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I used to be more active in the convention scene, but have scaled back my presence to just two conventions, which are my favorites, Anime Boston and Otakon.
Anime Boston holds a very special place as it is my “hometown” convention. My fellow staffers are a very tightly knit group who I am proud to serve with every year.
Otakon was one of the first conventions I attended. I had also attended it for 10 consecutive years, until I decided to scale back to just AB at first, but then realized I missed Otakon, and all of the friends I had made there, and chose to return in 2012.
Thanks for the interview, David Ng! To check out his work and contact him for a shoot, you can check out his website!