Over the past weekend we were invited down to a pretty special event by the awesome guys at the Neo Tokyo Project; a 1-day exhibit and some time with cosplay photographer Jay Tablante. Seeing as we aren’t exactly cosplay experts, we weren’t exactly sure as to what we’d be seeing, but it turned out to be a pretty awesome weekend for all involved.
First up; Jay’s a great person. Talented, personable and extremely hard working, it’s inspiring to know that one can succeed in a relatively niche/geeky field with sufficient work, out of the box thinking, and friends. His session with the audience was especially enlightening, and when he stated that he usually takes 1 month for each shot (iirc it was 1-week brainstorm, 2-week prep and shoot, 1-week post production)you can truly appreciate the amount of work he puts into every shot.
Even more exciting is his creative method on how to throw together a cosplay shoot. Equal parts creativity, friends and being thick-skinned enough to ask any question to anyone, it makes one realise that getting the perfect shot is a lot more work than just stumbling upon it. And probably is a lot cheaper than you’d think (if you know where to look and who to ask). I think more than half of the props from Jay Tablante’s shots are borrowed items, found items, or a favour from a friend. Well, that and a LOT of outside the box thinking. Interesting anecdotes involved more baby powder than would be needed by a small country, and how borrowing a muscle bike for a shoot from a friend led to that friend being a faceless heavy in the same shoot.
However, I think the thing that I most admire about Jay and that really resonated in me during that few hours we spent with him was that he believes in both old school as well as digital techniques. I for one don’t think that digital effects or post production should be the be all and end all, and I’m glad that Jay treats it merely as another tool in his box. It’s nice to know that most things still end up being made through practical effects, like the afore-mentioned tons of baby powder.
Unfortunately we were unable to be there for his walkthrough of how he takes photos later in the day, but it looked like it would be just as informative as the Geekology 101 talk Jay did.
If you’re interested in seeing more of his work, he’s got a great set in his deviantart page, and we hope we can inform you the next time he’s in town!