1. Hexlord, When did you first started to pick up photography and how did you ended up being a cosplay photographer?
I started off taking pictures back in 2004 after knowing a few friends who are into the cosplaying hobby. I progressively started to learn photography on a more serious basis after getting my first DSLR at the end of 2007.
I became a cosplay photographer because I was interested in helping my friends when they are in costumes. Because I have been attending cosplay events for quite a while now, taking photographs became second nature to me.
2. Who was the first subject that you take for cosplay?
For a private photoshoot, it would be Inuran Inuran who was cosplaying as Rosette from the series Chrono Crusade.
3. You have been covering much cosplaying event overseas right? Which are the countries and what motivate you to go through such length?
So far I have only been to the events in my home country (Malaysia), although I will be going to the Philipines and maybe Australia this year.
I guess I am motivated because there are cosplayers from all over the world, and I love to make new friends.Combined with my love for traveling, why not?
4. Taken from your description in The Banzai! Effect about you
"... this gentleman have seen everything from ninjas to robots within the local cosplay community as a photographer/cosplayer... "
It suggested to me that you have cosplayed before. What character you cosplay before? Got any picture to share? :P
Yes, I cosplayed before but that was in ages past so I rather not share anything. :P
5. How do you normally conduct a photoshoot for cosplayers?
Usually I will ask the cosplayers if they are interested in a photoshoot, and do the necessary logistical/storyboard planning with them. I would also do some research into the particular series (and get hooked to them as well).
Of course there are also shoots where the cosplayers do the whole planning so I just meet up with them at the arranged time and location, and begin shooting almost immediately.
6. What is the biggest challenge you face when you are taking cosplayers?
The biggest challenge is probably getting the poses and expression right, as well as ensuring that the lighting and exposure suit the feel of the series.
7. Are there any favorite cosplayers you often work with?
I do enjoy working with all the cosplayers I know, and I have way too many favourites to mention. :P
I would be happy to work with any of the cosplayers as long as I have the time to do so. I believe that everyone deserves at least a few good photos of themselves while cosplaying.
8. As photography maybe misused by third party. Is copyrights ever a issue in your years of photography? How did you deal with this??
Well, so far there were some cases of misuse but I consider them to be minor issues as the watermarks are still intact and that the users apologized to me for their mistakes.
Of course, over time there might be incidents where greater cases of misuse might happen, so I hope to be better prepared in such situations.
9. You have created a Cosplay 100 from the list of archive photographs you taken through the years. Among the 100, which is your most favorite or most memorial shots?
My favorites shots will be the following
1. The Shana shoots where we went to pretty epic locations.
2. The Gundam 00 shoot which took me to the heart of Malaysia's Putrajaya
3. The Soul Calibur IV shoot which was my first time working with Indonesia's Endiru cosplay group.
4. The Macross 7 shoot, a collaboration between Malaysian and Singapore cosplayers.
5. The Blood+ shoots, all of which took place in the same year (2007).
6. Any of the shoots involving the "Final Frontier", a vast area located in the western part of Singapore. Some parts of that place are truly breathless.
10. You doesn't seems to take much on Toys. Is there a reason why toys doesn't interest you?
Most of my toys are in Malaysia, and there wasn't really much room to store toys or figurines in my Singapore home. That being said, I do not mind taking photos of my friends' toys if I am able to.
11. So what is your plan and direction you are going in 2 years time?
I hope to work with more cosplayers both local and overseas, as well as to continue promoting cosplay photography as a viable and respectful genre of photography. And of course, to do better in photography on a personal level.
12. Since you have quite a pool of good photographs under your portfolio, did it crossed your mind to come out a book? If yes when will it be?
I actually have a plan a while back to produce a book featuring my works. However due to my current busy work/study schedule, I have to put it on hold for the time being. Of course, I don't mind a helping hand here and there if there are people who are willing to assist me. :P
13. Will you be considering to have a studio and to embark on photography as a full-time career some day?
I am a bit half-hearted on this because doing it as a full-time career can be a double-edged sword. You can be either at the top of the game, or be stuck in a rut due to the demanding clientele. Having said that, I don't mind having a studio to work on some of my future conceptual plans.
14. Last question for you. I heard that you have been invited to a Philippines cosplay event as a judge. Wow! How did the invitation comes about?
I was told that the organizers of the event like my shots, so they sent me an invitation letter. It was a pleasant surprise to be honest, haha.
Well we certainly hope to see more of your cosplay photography from the Philippines when you return. Thank you for having this interview with us.
You can get to see more of Hexlord works over at http://hexlord.multiply.com/