Cosplay Photographer Jamie Flack Reveals His Camera and Essentials

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Jamie Flack is an extremely talented illustrator, graphic designer, photographer and designer who also goes by the name of Cat & Crown Artwork. With nearly a decade of professional experience under his belt, Jamie started out as a creative manager at digital marketing firm Trailblazers which was featured in the 2015 edition of The apprentice.

As an illustrator and photographer, Jamie has earned a large online following and growing reputation among his clients through commissioning, collaborations, mentorship at conventions, and most importantly, for the imaginative design work and composite images. fantastic that it produces. “I know where the dragons and heroes are, and I know how to make them look most majestic,” he says.

Capture cosplay with the best lenses for portraits

We had the chance to speak with Jamie during this year CosXPo, a weekend designed solely around the sharing of knowledge and skills through a series of panels, tutorials and workshops. One of them, a guided outdoor cosplay photography session, was hosted by Jamie, sharing his top tips on composition, symmetry and collaboration. He even created a handy cheat sheet (below) for an overview of cosplay photography best practices.

Cosplay Photography Cheat Sheet (Image credit: Jamie Flack)

“I started photography in college and took it for an A-Level when I was there. I really enjoyed it, but the technical side was always a bit overwhelming, so once the course finished, I put my camera down for a while.

“I was more focused on digital painting and decided to push my photography towards a more artistic style, and it just wasn’t necessary in my job at the time. When I went to my first Comic -con, however, I started getting into it again as a hobby, and that was about seven years ago now, and here we are!

“I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered the craft yet, because I still feel very amateurish when it comes to the physical aspect of photography. There’s so much to learn and technology to study to get the best results, but I see my work improving year after year, and that’s what counts.”

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Cosplay photographer shares what's in his camera bag

Jamie’s Gear Bag (Image credit: Beth Nicholls/DCW)
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Cosplay photographer shares what's in his camera bag

Jamie’s Kit Bag (Image credit: Beth Nicholls/DCW)
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Cosplay photographer shares what's in his camera bag

Jamie Flack Himself (Image credit: Beth Nicholls/DCW)

“My main kit includes a Fujifilm X-T3 as my main body. Two lenses, the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2R and 55mm f/2.8, although I mostly stick to the 1.2. I have two Yongnuo Ice Lights, which Provide me with colors and LED light, if I need an extra boost, but I prefer to use flashes with gels for this as it’s much stronger in terms of colors.

“I also have a Yongnuo radio main controller, which mounts on my camera body, and I control two flashes with it. One goes into a standard Neewer softbox for the main lights, then I have the ‘other located elsewhere, sometimes with gels, to provide rim lighting or background lighting. I also have a standard tripod, three batteries, two SD cards and about four AA battery packs for the flashes.

Jamie’s main camera is a Fujifilm X-T3 (Image credit: Beth Nicholls/DCW)

“As for bags, I carry two: a camera for my most expensive kit, then my large shoulder bag for longer, bulkier things. I also have a compression brace for my back , because cosplay photography is playing hell with your back. .

“I would say the best thing I could recommend to anyone new to cosplay photography would be a solid prime lens, something that will give you good bokeh. They improved my game tremendously when I started because, If you’re at a convention, chances are you’ll have a lot of people walking past you while you’re trying to take pictures.Having a lens that blurs them and focuses only on your subject makes all the difference. difference.

(Image credit: Jamie Flack)

“As for the lens for me, my 56mm f/1.2 R is the one I’ve photographed the most with, and it gives wonderful results. The only downside is that I have to be around 70 yards from someone if I want to. full frame.

“The funny thing about my job is that I tend to prefer a studio setup, where I can then have the lighting properly controlled, ready for editing afterwards, so a lot of my shots lean more towards finding a place I can do it in. I’m also a bit of a homebody so this is preferred for me!

Jamie’s latest edit, captured at CosXPo 2022 (Image credit: Jamie Flack)

“When it comes to editing, I do a lot of post-production work with my photography in Photoshop. I’m primarily a digital painter and illustrator and came to photography as a secondary hobby.

“I like to do my photography, especially cosplay, a solid mix of the two if I can, as it’s something that’s not always seen in the community in the UK. Adding special effects, intricate backgrounds, that kind of thing will always be something I really enjoy, and it pushes my photography to look more like scenes from movies, which is always a huge inspiration to me.”

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

“I use the Fujifilm X-T3 for its simplicity. I have always used Fujifilm because the person who brought me back to photography used it primarily, and I liked the results he got with it, so I bought the same to learn the basics again with it.”

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

“The main lens I use is the 56mm f/1.2. I love the results it gives, and it separates the characters from the background so cleanly with bokeh that it’s ideal. Another times, super effective and simple to use which is what I like about my products I will admit that I haven’t had much experience with other brands so I’m not sure I can too advise you on why this one is the best, but I really like it and find it gives great results.”

(Image credit: SanDisk)

When creating composite images, it is important to capture multiple shots so that you can select the right angle shot to blend into the image and background. That’s why Jamie always carries around several high-speed SD cards to make sure he never runs out of storage.

We asked Jamie if he had any final advice for anyone looking to get into cosplay photography.

“Above all, I would say make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. It can be a really fun hobby, but if you think it can be a job, I’d say it’s not the right field of photography for people. .

“I personally treat it as a hobby that I enjoy from time to time and since the pandemic I’ve taken a lot of a step back from how many people I shoot at conventions because I saw myself having a hard time. hard to keep up with the amount of editing I do, when it’s not always paid work. but don’t put too much pressure on yourself either.

Check out Jamie’s phenomenal work at his official site and instagram page.

(Image credit: Jamie Flack)

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