As a Tokyo-based professional photographer, it was time to shoot my first Disney character, Briar Rose, in a beautiful cosplay photo session. Although I keep an eye on the world of cosplay from a photographer’s point of view, I never had the chance to do any cosplay photography before this photoshoot.
I believe I first came in contact with the cosplay phenomenon right after moving to Asia, sometimes almost seven years ago. As mentioned above, this time, I had the chance to be a cosplay photographer for the Disney character Briar Rose, also known as Sleeping Beauty.
Table of contents:
- Disney Briar Rose Cosplay Photo Session? Yes, with pleasure!
- Cosplay Photography in Tokyo
- Why is cosplay so popular?
Disney Briar Rose Cosplay Photo Session? Yes, with pleasure!
I will continue writing a confession: before the shoot, I had no idea about the existence of the Disney character Briar Rose. With the fantastic cosplayer @tokyodisneymel, I found out the name, and then I started online research to learn about this cosplay character and outfit.
Princess Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty or Briar Rose, is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Productions’ 16th animated feature film Sleeping Beauty (1959). Originally voiced by singer Mary Costa, Aurora is the only child of King Stefan and Queen Leah. An evil fairy named Maleficent seeks revenge for not being invited to Aurora’s christening and curses the newborn princess, foretelling that she will die before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. Determined to prevent this, three good fairies raise Aurora as a peasant in order to protect her, patiently awaiting her sixteenth birthday — the day the spell can only be broken by a kiss from her true love, Prince Phillip.According to Wikipedia
As you can see, there is a lot more going on behind these Briar Rose themed cosplay photos. The story has been started by a writer, staged by a costume player, and captured by me, a portrait photographer living in Tokyo’s outskirts. You may wonder what cosplay is, and for a good reason. Using my own not so sophisticated words, I define cosplay as a complex game played by people passionate about a character. They dress very similarly, respecting even the smallest details. According to Wikipedia, read below:
Cosplay (コスプレ, kosupure), a portmanteau of the words costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture, and a broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. Any entity that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject and it is not unusual to see genders switched. Favorite sources include anime, cartoons, comic books, manga, television series, and video games.Source: Wikipedia
As you may have understood already, cosplay photography is only a small but essential part of this costume play. People spend a lot of money on cosplay costumes, wigs, and accessories to create a full cosplay outfit to represent as detailed as possible their favorite character.
The cosplay photo session for the Disney character Briar Rose took place in Yokohama, in my neighborhood in Tsuzuki-Ku. If I tell you that I was shooting in between a farmer’s land, you’ll think I am joking, but no. The park near my house was crowded with children, the reason why I decided to go in the opposite direction and I’m thrilled we did so.
Cosplay Photography in Tokyo
As a professional portrait photographer in Tokyo, I trained my eyes to be sneaky: I always scan people around me to see what they wear, how they walk, how they behave. Being a foreigner might also have helped. Ever since I moved to the Land of the Rising Sun, I could see that cosplay in Japan is significant, and people go all the way in to reproduce their favorite characters respecting even the smallest detail.
@tokyodisneymel is a beautiful and passionate person who has prepared in detail for this cosplay photo session. She was proudly wearing Briar Rose’s cosplay dress, being a perfect model posing carefully respecting the character’s features. She says that she isn’t a cosplayer, but you can see the photos and easily understand she is very talented at “not being” a cosplayer.
Doing some research revealed that Tokyo’s underground cosplay scene consists of thousands of people doing cosplay. If one takes the time to wander around Nihon’s most fantastic city, it will be very likely to see at least one person dressed up in a fabulous cosplay outfit. Here in Japan is even a name for the cosplay photographers who are shooting cosplay photography: cameko, which means camera boy (what if the camera boy is a girl?).
Obviously, in Japan, Manga has a significant impact on the world of cosplay. From college students to regular people, cosplayers attempt to recreate the scenes they liked the most.
Why is cosplay so popular?
There are different reasons why cosplaying has increased its popularity. From the vast array of possible reasons, I think the number one is to have fun. Along with the fun comes the perks of being a part of a community. Identifying with a character, using your imagination, or even monetizing are good reasons for starting cosplaying.
One other reason why cosplay is very popular is that people identify it to showcase their not so understood personality. The desire to identify with a specific character that represents one’s inner thoughts has a deep meaning, portraying and expressing to a certain extent, what otherwise may have been misunderstood by family and friends.
Cosplay involves a lot of social activity. Building a character like Disney’s Briar Rose, getting in contact with many people, learning the makeup and hair, poses to getting the final images from a cosplay photographer.
In the comments below, I would love it if you’d let me know if you enjoyed the images I created with Briar Rose, a beautiful Disney character.
If you need an English speaking cosplay photographer in Tokyo, I would love to hear from you. Just press the button down below, and we can prepare the best photography session you ever experienced.