“For me, I started cosplaying about 5 years ago. I started with pretty easy costumes. I’ve progressed to a little more elaborate ones, but nothing that costs a fortune. After I did my first cosplay, which I think was Elektra from Daredevil, it was just so much fun bringing a character you love to life. I was hooked after that. My favorite cosplays were The Bride from Kill Bill and Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter. It’s cool when people want to take your picture because they love the character. For me, In some ways it’s like being a kid again and “playing dress up”, and getting to nerd out at the same time. It’s more fun than I thought it would be.”
Which characters show up often depends on what’s popular. I used to think cosplayers choose a character because they have similar looks and build to a character, but I quickly learned that was not always the case. I ran into and photographed “Jessica Jones” and thought how lucky the cosplayer was to look just like her. But the next day, she was someone else and pulled that off without a hitch. Ghostbusters, and the usual superheroes are always represented, and the last few years Game of Thrones and Guardians of the Galaxy have been super popular. Cosplayers often form into groups that will become the whole cast of a show, such as Northeast Watch, when the group does Game of Thrones.
Robyn: Yes. My favorite shoot with you was in the woods because we did four different photo shoots in one. I felt free to be whatever it was I was feeling in the moment. I brought several costume changes that were easy where I could just throw something on over what I was wearing and it totally transformed it. Not only was I free to express myself through movement ’cause I do dance and art modeling and I’ll work that into it.
One of the greatest things I can receive as an artist is freedom to express myself. It’s always easy to work with you because you’re always open to my ideas and I could just emote. When I saw the photographs afterward, I looked at what you saw and you captured the angles, the moments when it felt very intense and expressive for me, and you captured these beautifully. Sometimes you would give minimal guidance, like what we got from the fairy shot that turned that into such magic.
I didn’t know what you were seeing and when I saw the finished work …
you did Photoshop to it, the green one where I’m reaching out… I could not have done that work on my own. I can be on my end and do my part, but I that collaboration is necessary in order for me to gain something much greater than myself that I couldn’t have done on my own.
Alex: If you look at the different photos that we’ve got, they’re very, very different they don’t even look like they’re from the same shoot or same session. It’s almost like you changed costume then the whole world changed around you. You used the term transformation before and it was just an amazing thing for me to capture. Then there are limitations when you’re in nature about what’s there, so there has to be in my eyes a capture process and for me, the capture starts with capturing who you are at peak moments of emotion and then trying to enhance that to tell the story. So the collaboration is ongoing and it continues from the time we decided we’re going to do a shoot.
We surround people with talent and vision but are often unable to see or experience for ourselves because it is buried in basements, towns and cities, churches and vfw halls, and even on street corners. I believe he is back in school in Virginia, but singer and performing artist Finnbar Mac (Finn MacDevitt) can be seen busking around Huntington with his guitar case open for donations. I want to see him on stage at The Paramount and hear his music on Spotify.
Our first cover is graced with local artist Robyn Bellospirito. Robyn, all by herself represents painters and dancers and photographers, models, costume designers and character creators. We have collaborated on several projects and she shares the collaborative effort, joint art design. I forgot to mention she also sings and creates music. I would love to help get her story and work in front of a greater audience and help her sell her work. Wouldn’t you? She is so creative, imagine she could devote her time to her artistic expression and not her day job (which is also creative, as she is a writer)
So I have not photographed weddings for some time as my body was just not up to the unexpected weather, long days, and physical demands a wedding puts on a person. When I found out that Genine was getting married, I knew right away that I had rebuilt my body well enough that I could do a wedding if I wanted to, and well I wanted to. So I gave Genine and Ralph the movie star treatments starting with incredible engagement photographs on Robert Moses Beach at sunset. The light was perfect and the sunset just seemed to last forever giving us ample opportunities for fresh looks and varying color temperatures to choose from. From the beginning of the shoot with cooler blue skies to the latter part of the sunset when the light was truly golden. Jackpot! We struck gold with that sunset and as a collaborative group creating art together we were all quite satisfied More importantly as always Genine the bride was thrilled.