Exclusive: Becoming a self-taught master of cosplay photography is entirely possible, proves Shunsuke

“Imagination is the beginning of creation.”

Cosplay king Shunsuke is a man of many talents. He is a cosplayer, model, craftsman, artist, entrepreneur and influencer.

But perhaps most notably, Shun is also a self-taught professional cosplay photographer – the one and the same person in front of and behind the camera.

Cosplay photography expertise is something that many cosplayers seek. After all, they spent many hours crafting their costumes, armor, and weapons, while perfecting their makeup, and high-quality photography is the best way to showcase their work to the world.

They usually tag and credit the talented photographers behind their photo shoots, but Shunsuke never needs to. It turns out that he had developed these two complementary skills when he was much younger, and had actually learned photography before cosplay even came into the picture, he told ONE Esports in a exclusive interview.

How Shunsuke got into photography in the first place

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Shunsuke started photography when he was very young, just 11 years old. Although he can’t remember exactly what sparked his interest, he remembers practicing taking photos of his friends and sister using a “very old, small screen, tiny camera”.

Around the age of 13 or 14, he got his hands on a reflex camera, a Canon EOS 600D, the cheapest semi-professional camera he could find at that time.

It wasn’t until he was 15 that he started cosplaying with his childhood friend to bond. Coming from a small village in Switzerland, no one had even heard of the term “cosplay” before, so out of necessity he took their cosplay photos.

“When I was younger and just started cosplaying, I had so much motivation, so I created a lot,” Shunsuke told ONE Esports. “It was convenient to be able to take my own photos rather than planning with someone else.”

This year he started asking fellow Level 1 cosplayer Knite for occasional help while they were in London, but much of his work is still self-taken.

“At the end of the day, I always end up taking my own pictures because that’s how I’m most comfortable,” he said.

How Shunsuke’s Positive Attitude Helped Him Master Cosplay Photography

Original Renaissance-themed Shunsuke photo shoot
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“I think my cosplay becomes more recognizable because of my style of photography,” shared Shun, who had learned everything he knew about photography.

He also believes his brand is further accentuated by “accurate yet still very realistic” cosplays, as he strives to transform these characters from 2D to 3D. All of her wigs, for example, are made from human hair and are not synthetic.

Shunsuke is particularly proud of his Giorno Giovanna cosplay from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which showcases his distinct cosplay and photography style. “The overall shape is really accurate, the hair color, the fabrics have all the details, which looks more realistic and less cartoonish,” he said.

Inspired by nude sculptures in classical art, he also paid special attention to the lighting in this shoot, which bears similarities to his Renaissance-themed shoot, his second favorite set.

Despite achieving such high standards in cosplay and photography, Shunsuke believes there is always more to learn. He can see how much he has improved just by looking at pictures taken three or four years ago.

Original Renaissance-themed Shunsuke photo shoot
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“I can still improve and I try to do so. The way I edited my skin was terrible and I really learned how to make it look more natural,” he shared. “I improved and kept things professional and polished.”

Yet the personal journey of being a professional cosplayer and photographer isn’t always smooth sailing, despite their accomplishments. While the countless photoshoots over the years have certainly helped him improve his craft, it’s also hard to “try to be creative and do something different every time.”

“Trying to find new and interesting lighting, angles and poses, trying not to replicate what I can already do and getting out of my comfort zone…my lighting and photography skills in general , I’m very satisfied. The technique I struggle with is more on the creative side of things,” he said.

Follow Shunsuke on Twitter (@Shunsukecos) and Instagram (@shuncoser) to support his work.

READ MORE: Exclusive: Even after a decade in the industry, Knite still lives by those cosplay ideals

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