This week we chat to the Canadian based StarLeighCos who is both a cosplayer and an amazing photographer. We chat about both this topic and more, including things about Critical Role.
What got you into cosplay?
I was always quite interested in japanese animation as a young kid, rushing home to watch Sailor Moon during lunch break or Card Captors after school but I never knew about cosplay until my sister went to her first convention in High School. She came back with all these incredible photos and great stories and I just knew I had to try it out!
How do you explain cosplay to friends/family member who don’t know this hobby?
I usually mention comic con as that usually helps a large portion of people understand a little bit of this world but for those unfamiliar with even comic con, I try to explain it as taking a character you love from a show or movie or video game and bringing it to life. Like a cooler version of Halloween that’s more than just one day a year!
Looking at the past cosplays you have done a lot are Anime based characters. Which has been your favourite and why?
Kagome from Inuyasha hits me right in the nostalgia so it will always have a special place in my heart! But I also adored being JJ from Yuri!! On Ice! It’s not often that you find a somewhat irritating fully Canadian character in an anime series and there was just something about him that screamed “cosplay me!”.
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Release Inuyasha now!! Kagome Higurashi – Inuyasha Kagome: @amaleighcp Bow: @dreamcherub Photo: @sonofhermescos Costume: @vileveronica <3 #kagome #kagomehigurashi #kagomecosplay #inuyasha #inuyashacosplay #cosplay #cosplaygirl #cosplayer #cosplayersofinstagram #cosplayphotography #anime
Also I see you’re a fan of Critical Role. What draw you into this fandom?
Since before I born, my dad has been running D&D campaigns with his friends and my mother! So the love of D&D has always been there! I got into Critical Role when the first campaign was nearing its end because my partner kept talking about this Percy character and my twitter feed was filled with all things Vox Machina. And then I fell deep down the Critical Role hole.
Also which character do you enjoy cosplaying or like to cosplay?
Critical Role wise, I really love being Vex’ahlia! She’s just so fun and empowering!
As well as being an accomplished Cosplayer, you’re also a photographer. Which do you think you are know more for?
I think it depends on the group you ask! My photography gets a lot more traction on a larger scale based on the cosplayers I work with whereas I have a decent community built up through my cosplaying as well! I like to consider it a nice 50/50!
Has being a photographer has helped you when being in cosplay?
Aside from being able to utilize both sides and just cosplay Peter Parker, absolutely! Being behind the camera has helped me get better at posing and knowing what angles suit me best!
Which do you enjoy more, being a cosplayer or photographer and why?
Both for very different things! I love being a photographer and making people’s costumes come alive in photos, making them feel beautiful or badass or just plain amazing! I love cosplaying because I can show my love for a character in a very physical sense and I love goofing around with my friends in costume!
What advice would you give as a photographer to a cosplayer when being photographed?
If you have something that shifts on a costume that needs to be watched, let the photographer know so they can keep an eye out for it. And don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for posing help if you are not sure what will look good! I always recommend coming armed with some posing in mind too! Communication is key! Also, I think it’s always a good idea to ask to see previews from the back of the camera during the shoot so you can make sure you look as awesome as you feel! Some photographers have different views on this though so it’s good to ask!
Have you had a situation where you’ve had to help out a fellow photographer when being shot as a cosplayer and how did that go down?
I often work with my photographers from a creative standpoint so it doesn’t feel overly different from being behind the camera for me! I love being able to collaborate with my photographer and bring our ideas together for awesome results! I also have my friends act as my photographer very often and I communicate with them what kind of framing I might like in the photo or what angle as a starting point! I find it’s really good to have a good balance of photographer and cosplayer input!
Which would you like to be known for most between the two?
Ultimately, I’d like to say both as I’m passionate for both sides of cosplay. I adore taking photos and I love encompassing my favourite characters!
Money is no object, which cosplay and location you love to shoot at?
Belle from Beauty and the Beast in her ballgown inside a castle ballroom. Dream cosplay right there!
You can follow StarLeighCos on the following.
Photography – Instagram
Featured Photo, Photographed by shibuyadead