Alien Cosplay
Now some people might think that taking a photograph is an easy thing to do. And that all you have to really think about is pointing and clicking. Well, this may be the case for those amateur photographers out there. But to a cosplay photographer, you have to do something else as well. You have to ask for permission beforehand. If you don't believe me, why don't you check out this interview I did with a great cosplay photographer, Davann Srey.

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Captain America Sexy Lady Cosplay1) What are your own origins, Davann? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today?   I was born in the mid-80s and grew up in the 90s. After school, and on Saturday mornings, my TV habits evolved around 'Fox Kids' and 'Kids WB' a lot. I also have two older brothers who read and collected comic books.

I didn't really do much before going to cons. I would see and read stuff about San Diego Comic-Con and just think that I'd like to go to a convention one of these days.

It finally happened in 2009. It wasn't SDCC, but it was the first annual Long Beach Comic Con. After attending it, I was hooked and I searched for the next So Cal con. It was Wizard World's Anaheim Comic Con.

2) In your own words how would you describe your style of photography?   Well, I can clearly see that my main style of photography is portrait after going through some of my recent con photos. I prefer shooting cosplayers on the spot when I see them whether it's outside the convention center or inside on the exhibit floor. It gives the picture a photo-journalistic feel when there's background activity. It let's people know that cosplayers are approachable and they're regular people who enjoy the same stuff as you and me. I'm taking photos at a con so I want people who have never been there before to see the con environment as well as "experience" the con through my photos.

Even though I have partaken in them and sometimes I still do, I'm not too big on doing photo shoots at cons. For one, I'm not good at them. It's mostly me saying "uh" and "um" in between requests for poses. Secondly, while photo shoots can be fun do to, I feel that they don't do my M.O. justice of documenting the con. I want to take photos of everybody in cosplay, not just the really good ones which many times end up being the same group of cosplayers con after con.

3) If your attitude towards taking pictures was an actual song, what song would it be and why?   It would probably be 'California Girls' by The Beach Boys. At big conventions you meet cosplayers from all over, and sometimes you just wish they all could be California girls.

Fantasy Cosplay
4) What have you learnt about yourself via this endeavour? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to content with along the way?   It's almost as if I'm learning something new with my camera and gear at each con. I have an external flash for my camera, but I've never used it because my pictures would come out overexposed and washed out. I'd attach a bounce card or diffuser and the light coming out of it would still be tense. It wasn't until BlizzCon 2013 when I found out about using my camera flash in manual mode where you choose the power output. I've owned the thing for 4 years and I just barely found out how about it. But in my defense, I bought it used and there was no manual. Yeah, that's a good argument.

On a personal level, I've learned that cons are really the only reasons for me to take time off from work. SDCC is the only vacation I take all year. If I had a job where I was off on the weekend, I'd probably never ask for time off.

There was one time where I had to give up my time off to a coworker. It was for Comikaze. He needed that weekend off for a school workshop. I did what a superhero would've done and gave my weekend off to him.

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your snaps, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Christopher Walken. Having him say "wow" and pausing between every other word would probably make it the funniest promo ever.

Knight Cosplay
6) What was the best convention you were a part of?   Best convention to me was probably Long Beach Comic Con. It was my first con, it's my hometown con, and it was the con that opened me up to this world. 

7) Same question as above, but worst convention you were a part of?   My first time at SDCC. It was crowded. It was hard to take pictures. I couldn't find my friends. All the things that were negative about it was happening right before me. But that all changed when I decided to give it a second try.

8) During your time in this field, what piece of advice would you want to impart on a fellow photographer?   It's all about asking. If you want to photograph a cosplayer, just ask. Don't be shy. I have never had a cosplayer tell me no. But also, know when to ask. If they're eating or on their phone, that's not the right time.

So there you have it, dear reader. My pal Davann Srey and his life as a photographer. When you have the time please feel free to click on over to his facebook and twitter pages. As he honestly has a great eye for snapping those cosplayers. 

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