Disclaimer: I just want to start off that I have cosplay once before many years ago, but I have forgotten a lot of that experience (or chosen to forget), so I’m treating my recent experience as my first.
It’s strange how actually this can be broken down into three sections my experience as a cosplayer, “Getting suited”, “During a Con” and “…the waiting”
So I best start by saying that the choice of cosplay I wore was Glenn from The Walking Dead. I got “roped” into this by my friends, which after thinking about it, I accepted as I want to (re)experience what being a cosplayer was like. The reason for agreeing was after seeing some still photos of Glenn, it was nice and simple, street clothes, no real work really needed, just buying from clothing store, (oh how wrong I was).
So after being invited into the group and deciding which version of Glenn to wear, it was off to online sites to purchase. In my head having about 2 months/8 weeks to buy a tee shirt, baseball cap and a gun, seemed a long enough time to me to get enough thing sorted but that soon disappeared as I didn’t consider all the other I do in life would take priority or neglectful thinking. Luckily I had Nieke who help me buy and paint the gun which took a load off my mind as I have no experience of where to buy a gun or the know how to paint a gun, I am eternally grateful for Nieke for helping. I have no idea how long I spent looking for the correct baseball cap, I just know I’ll never get that time back (I can see why cosplayers lose their patience). Luckily I got everything I needed with a week to spare, tried is all on and it looked ok, I even posted a progress photo into the group which got a universal approval.
Talk about the group I was in, they were so supportive and helpful. I knew could ask those who knew more about the show than I do if the costume pieces I picked looked authentic enough. The support I got was so good.
During a Con
Now, I am going say something which I bet not many people will believe. I don’t handle attention well. I don’t mind talking to people one on one/small groups, I don’t mind taking selfies and posting those as I am in control of it, being a silly fool that I am, etc. But being on stage talking to a large crowd, standing in front of the camera, etc, all of that is very nerve wrecking to me.
I think the real nerves kicked in when taken to a photo shoot. I totally forgot my own advice about knowing your poses, but our photographer of the day, took command of what I should be doing throughout the session. Part of me during the shoot, panicked thinking, “am I holding the gun right?” or “Glenn wouldn’t wear a watch”, things like that. I eventually laughed off those thoughts.
It’s really weird being in front of the camera instead of being behind it where I feel most comfortable. It’s has made me realised more how active you have to be, getting into poses, moving from spot to another. Also, this maybe my brain working over time, but I was observing what our photographer was doing, seeing if I can learn anything he was doing that I wasn’t.
I also found the waiting a bit frustrating from waiting from one photographer to another but I guess that at a comic con, I use to always being busy, doing something, never stopping from one activity to another.
I really did find being in a group for my first experience such a good one, I could move in within a group, chat to people I both knew and didn’t know. I don’t know if I would really move around the comic con as confidently if I was on my own.
What I mean by this is waiting for all the photos/videos to come out. Now, like probably most people, I cringe at the sight of myself so knowing there are photos of me waiting to be release, doesn’t sit well with me. But when I see them I am torn between loving them and hoping no one else sees them. Its a strange condition I have, that I know about myself. I know some of this may not be the person you see at comic con who is super confident, great with people and does camera work but those are the things which I am comfortable with.
I’ve now seen a few photos now and I really can’t keep still or stay in character which I need to learn and get better at. I keep derping everywhere, breaking out of character between shots. I think I need a more active character next time.
So like a science report, here is my conclusion.
I did really enjoy myself being a cosplayer for a day, despite all the anxiety I went through personally. The difference from being behind the camera and in front was fun. Was amazing to see fellow TWD fans recognise my “cheap” and easy costume of Glenn and asked either photo of me or with me, something I thought no one would ask from me. Seeing others people dress as other characters of TWD and wanting a group photo with, pleased me, felt accepted that I got something right.
Have I thought about how I’d improve my costume…..of course. I think these type of thought creep in early on. I feel lucky that I was invited into this amazing group of people, couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people.
I feel like I understand cosplayers a lot more now, which I will take into my photography at comic con and beyond.
So maybe a question you all asking is “Would I do it again?”. The simple answer is yes, I would do it again. I’d probably end up doing cosplay which is more street clothes based or that funny to me. So watch this space.
Also, please visit these lovely people’s pages.
Outlaw Cosplay (Rick)
Xanthe Flora Cosplay (Maggie)
The Reluctant Cosplayer (Glenn)
Jules Nimmo (Carl)
Songbird Cosplay (Carol)
James Wheatley (Hershel)
So Say We All (Governer)
Neroli Cosplay (Lori)
Beyond Believing Cosplay (Rosita)
Jade Sayers (Dale)
Torn Pages Cosplay (Beth)