If there’s one thing I enjoy about being creative, it’s getting the chance to meet like-minded people. Collaboration is a great way to make new connections and produce something new, whether it’s a story or a piece of art. Working with someone else helps you elevate each other, which is useful when it comes to cosplaying. The cosplay world is built on collaboration, with people making costumes, selling costumes, taking pictures and having fun together. It’s why I was excited to do a new cosplay photo shoot with fellow creatives and embody my favourite comic character.
As I’m going to a few comic cons this year, I wanted to get into the mood by doing a photo shoot in my home city of Manchester. I chose to dress up as Red Hood for the session because of how I connect to the character. I’ve cosplayed as Jason Todd before, but decided to try out a different version of the costume. The costume consisted of an updated helmet, courtesy of specialist mask maker, God Of Props, a brown jacket, black gloves, black body armour with a red bat symbol, combat trousers and boots.
To bring Red Hood to life, I teamed up with an awesome Romanian photographer called George. I saw he was looking to collaborate with bloggers through a Facebook group and decided to contact him. It’s that easy to set up a collaboration project with someone you’ve never met before. The location of the shoot was in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which is one of the city’s most fashionable areas. There’s a lot of quirky graffiti and artsy buildings, so I’d recommend it if you’re ever in Manchester and want to do a photo shoot.
During the photography session, I was reminded of how beneficial collaboration can be. Although I picked the location, George gave me his opinion on the kind of stances that would make for the best photos. For example, he noticed a poster of a police officer hanging by puppet strings and suggested I put my hand above it. He also pointed out an anti-social behaviour poster, with both photos turning out to be my favourites of the session.
I was able to see things that I hadn’t considered before, which is one of the advantages of collaboration. By throwing around different ideas, you become aware of something you might not have noticed before. You’re able to gain an appreciation for another creative field. I came away with high-quality photos for The Comic Vault, while George added to his portfolio for a win-win situation.
Collaborating with a photographer is something all cosplayers should do because it’s a good way to build up a collection for yourself. Although I cosplay as a hobby, there are some cosplayers who can make a living out of it and combining photography with Instagram is an effective way of building up an audience. The photos could also be sold through Patreon.
Another advantage of doing a collaborative project is that it builds a level of trust and makes you more likely to work with someone in the future. It was great working with George and you should definitely check out his work through his Instagram and Facebook page.
To see more of my cosplay photos and nerd-related content, be sure to follow The Comic Vault on Instagram.