Meet with Calssara

Passion for photography

Cosplayer : Anshie (IG : @anshie_shinohara) – Pictures : Calssara

I saw that you started photography, in this context, I would like to know what launched you in this field? What aspects did you want to develop in photography that you couldn’t have on the other side of the camera? 

I actually already take photos since many many years! Back in the day when we started to cosplay, there were not many photographers out there. So we just used our small digi cams to take pics of each other. Then at some point, I bought my first (very cheap) DSLR camera. We used that a TON. Many times, taking our own photos was the only way to actually have photos of our cosplay at all. As a pupil or student, you do not have much money, so our equipment was always tiny. With “us” I usually mean me and my friends at the time.

We often split costs or one of us bought this lens and the other one bought that lens and we used them together to save costs. Things like using a reflector or even a flash came a bit later.
Then after a while there was a rise of having more photographers with good equipment in the cosplay scene in Germany.

So we started to collab with those people and take les pics by ourselves. When I finally were at the point where I do have disposable income to spend in photography, I could finally buy the “better equipment” which helped me to improve photo quality a lot.I love going out with my friend and taking our own pics. First of all, you have all the control about the pics yourself. Usually we made it the way that the model got all pics we took and they edited them by themselves. So, I got my own pics and could edit them the way I wanted. No waiting for others (only waiting that I am not lazy myself lol).

Cosplay photography is mostly a hobby for people, so it happened a lot that people took pics and then life got busy and they never came around editing the pics or giving you any photos at all from a photo shoot. So having the power in my own hands to take photos of my friends and they take some of me is very valuable for me.

After cosplaying for such a long time, you start to have your own eye for aesthetics and your own imagination on how the photo shall turn out. It is a ton of fun to try to make a photo happen that is in your mind. And even more exciting when a cosplay friend of mine has an idea and I can help them making this reality! You start to see “Oh this is a great spot” or “This light here is amazing”-situations all the time even in daily life and that is super fun and inspiring! I do not need to have my own face on a photo to enjoy it a lot. So when my friends look amazing on photos I take, I am super happy, inspired and proud.

What do you like about creating images and what dream-shoot would you like to realize one day? 

When I take photos, it is not about me, It is all about the model. I am very not-self-centered when I am the photographer. Does my model NOT  have an exact vision and just wants to have something nice? No problem, we can work together on making something cool and I will help you with my ideas, creativity and experience to get the photos you like! Does my model have a vision and wants me to do what they imagined? Also no problem, I will try to use my technical skills to get them the result they were looking for.
At the end, my model is the one on the photo that gets posted everywhere online. They have to be happy with it.
I do not have a dream project as far as thinking about a certain character or show. But I would really enjoy to work with animals at a set some day â˜ș.

Do you think it is necessary to have a professional camera today for photos or not ? 

We do have now a lot of phones that can make amazing shots.

The difficulty I see is that you have a lot more variety to play with when you got different lenses and lighting options. What I brutally hate about most of my phone cameras.

I had was that they are kinda all wide angle lenses. They often distort the body. That can be super cool on some shots. Specially the ones that show a lot of my nice photo location around me. But I am just usually not a fan of the “close ups” or portraits with smart phone cameras. Very few smart phone cameras have a good lens for those types of photos. I think many of us already faced this problem when you “looked so good in the mirror”, but “the selfies just did not turn out so well”. It is mostly because of the camera lens being too wide angles for a portrait.
You also have more options for flash with a DSLR camera. Specially outdoors the permanent light equipment can be not strong enough to have an impact.

An LED stick indoors can make super cool light, but then outdoors the light of it can get lost. So for short, there are many great ways to take nice photos with a smart phone, but you might be a bit more limited in some ways.

Which photo you made has marked you the most (you’re favorite picture) and tell us, why? 

I actually am a person who thinks more in “photo sets” than just in single photos. Costumes can be a lot of work, as well as getting into cosplay and taking photos. So having a nice photo SET with different ways of showing the cosplay is something that I personally see as a “goal”.
There are photos that can look “not super exciting”, but when you see them in a full photo set with the same cosplay, they are a great addition and suddenly have much more appeal. F.e. many times back-side shots, shots where you see a lot of location and just the model small in the frame and others like that are not shots that are popular as a single posted photo. But they are awesome to have in your photo set.
So, many times I edit a lot of photos from a photoshoot because even if they might not be the ones that “get the most attention / likes” they can be artistic and beautiful and my model has more variety in their portfolio.
(I will send you some photos I have taken from cosplayers :D!)

For this end of the interview, give me three cosplayer accounts that you would like us to discover and follow and why! 

OHH I have more than enough people who are absolutely amazing and you should check out!

Please check out Downpourin“.  She is an amazing cosplayer and photographer as well. She was a very unique and beautiful aesthetic on her photos that is very inspiring.


Photo : Steeve Li Photography

Then next is Xaigue-Marinex. She is an awesome costume maker who makes the most stunning gowns. She often makes her own designs for characters from books. Her craftsmanship is stunning.

Photo : Reflektierte Wahrheit

And then there is my fiancée Elffi. He is not super duper active in cosplay all the time, but when he starts making costumes, he works on them with so much passion and love for details.

A big thank you to Calssara for taking the time to grant us this great interview! You can follow her on Instagram here!

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