Early in AFK On Air season 1, we talked about cosplay as hobby, creative expression, and art form. But while co-hosts Lindsay Johnson and Lauren Panepinto discussed what it’s like to make costumes and get photographed, what about hearing from the other side of the lens?
Lindsay and Natalie Zutter met up with cosplay photographer Ejen Chuang at Kinokuniya, a fun Japanese bookstore in Manhattan’s Bryant Park. Ejen was in town for a photo exhibition sponsored by the Otaku Anime Society at Kean University promoting his book Cosplay In America. Hours before a meet-up with new friends who would show him around NYC for the day, Ejen met up with us to chat about the long road to the book.
He started the Cosplay In America project in 2009, after he had rejoined the cosplay scene as a photographer. The photographs are compiled over the course of several years and countless conventions, big to small, all across America. Ejen was gracious and funny, answering a bevy of cosplay questions including…
What was it about photographing cosplay that inspired you to self-publish your book?
Do you have a preference for bigger, flashier cons or smaller, more intimate ones?
Do you run into the same cosplayers at multiple cons?
What makes an unforgettable cosplay photo?
Links from the interview:
- Ejen Chuang’s personal website
- Cosplay In America: the book, tour, and exhibitions
- Professional cosplay Yaya Han
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Thanks for listening.