Bashar Abdullah. is a 38 years old computer software engineer from Kuwait. married and have two kids,
I started my professional career working in the private sector, and later decided to branch and work on my own as an entrepreneur. I’ve been working from home running my own online business for about 10 years now. Started working on travel related site, then built a football tickets price comparison search engine. Later launched a site called Skirmish.io that helps talents in the game industry show their talent and find jobs. I was at London for long period of time with my father for treatment when I decided to use the chance to visit my first con ever. It was LSCC 2014 as I recall. The experience was so liberating to say the least, and next year I came in with my DSLR camera. This allowed me to get closer to cosplayers, talk to and engage more with them.
It filled me with joy to be a part of this lovely community, and I felt I want to give more to it. This inspired the idea of a spin off from Skirmish site that would later become CosplayWon. CosplayWon (short for Cosplay Wonders) is a social platform we built from the ground up to help people in the cosplay industry have a permanent home to show their work, and bring structure to their content, instead of relying on hashtags only, and then searching online to find their photos after the con. We also made it easy to credit each person who worked on the photo, so that people get the credit they deserve. This has been going since 2016 now and have been my main focus since then. I have more plans I’d like to bring to the site, and I hope it will help serve the community better.
How long have you been a photographer?
Let’s see. I first got my DSLR back in 2014. I got it mainly so I can take better family pictures. But I didn’t know anything about photography nor editing. Then in 2015 I think, I took the camera to an MCM London event and enjoyed taking lots of photos. I still didn’t know what I was doing though. Mostly on Auto, and no editing. Later on that year, I began to explore proper photography, learn the craft of it, and began editing.
Are you a professional Photographer that does it for a living or someone that does it for fun?
For fun. I have no plans of doing it for a living. Though it would be good if photography can generate some side income. This way it can help cover part of this expensive hobby, my travels, and also, it’s a sort of achievement to see your work being appreciated and paid for.
If doing it for fun what makes it fun for you
That’s a good question. To me, it’s about trying to tell a story of what you see through your photos. It’s a very creative medium. And with cosplay photography, I am learning to work with others, direct different shots, and come out with something different each time. The biggest joy for me when working on cosplay photography in specific is trying to bring the best of the cosplayers who have worked for months and spent money on the work to bring the characters we like to life. There is extremely satisfying feeling when you bring some joy back to the cosplayer’s face as their get back their photos and be delighted with them
What’s your Favourite lens and why?
Granted I don’t own many lenses. But my favourite has to be the 50mm prime lens. Despite its lack of zoom, and while it makes me sometimes look like a fool moving back huge steps to take a photo, the quality it brings back, and the bokeh affects you can create with are always superior
Natural light or strobe lighting what do you prefer?
Natural light whenever possible. But Strobe lighting can open up so many possibilities, so I’d like to experiment more with it in the future.
What is your favourite subject to shoot People Wildlife landscape event other?
This may not be well known about me, but my favourite is actually natural landscapes, and abandoned ruins. Second to that comes cosplay photography. If I can combine the two, then that would be an awesome experience. I’d love to plan on location photoshoots that brings cosplayers to my favourite landscapes.
Do you have any funny stories relating to shoots?
Well, there are many funny moments, but my all-time favourite has to be at Stockholm Comiccon. Swedish people are really nice and sweet, but they are not as open to photos at cons as in London. So, I was walking around, and I saw this girl with curly hair as I recall. She was wearing this gorgeous dress that looked like it’s a twist on the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. I didn’t know what it was, but the thought that it might be Alice twist made me jump with joy, as I live anything Alice related. So, I tried to walk after her, but I could not catch up and lost her. “DAMN” I thought. Later, I saw her again. Tried chasing after her, but she walked into the women’s restroom. Apparently, they don’t like it in Sweden if a guy walks into women’s restroom. Anyways. I lost her again. But later, I saw her inside one more time. I walked fast after her. She seemed like a teenage girl. She was with her friend. I complimented her costume and asked if I can take few shots. She looked embarrassed and reluctant. But her friend told her “COME ON!”. She agreed, and I took few quick shots. Went to show her and asked, “So what’s this character?” Her: It’s not a character! Me: So, it’s your own creation? Her: No, that’s just my dress!
What was the last shoot you did?
Last shoot I did was for lightning in Kuwait last week. I’ve dreamed of photoshooting lightning for years, before I even owned a camera. So while the result was not spectacular, I was quite thrilled to finally have something to show.
What camera do you use?
Canon 70D. And when weather is good, I fly my Mavic Air for some aerial photos
Dream Location to shoot?
Do you do studio work or location only or both?
Location only. Right now I don’t have a studio, so no for that. I do hope to make one in the future
If you could give one tip to other photographers what would it be?
One Tip: Make sure you have your lighting right! Otherwise hardly anything else will matter
Do you like to collaborate with other photographers or only work alone?
Shame to admit, I’ve never had chance to work with other photographers. I guess it would be great fun experience and helps each one learn from the other. So, if ever a chance comes, I’m up for it.
How do you think the photographer community can help each other more?
Each photographer has his/her own style. Things they do differently. Things they know well and focus on. Working with others lets them see things from different perspective. Get different ideas and tricks on how to handle the shoots, and how to handle some tricky situations. You learn a lot more than if you work in isolation.
If you could give new models one bit of advice what would it be?
Share your thoughts with the photographer. Let them know if you have anything specific in mind, and what you are and aren’t comfortable about. I’ve had many shoots turn out a lot better once I learned what the cosplayer would like, and if she had any concerns.
Who is your favourite photographer and why?
Well I don’t feel it’s fair to name just one, as many are great in their own different ways. But one I always look up to is Tobias Schmelzer
How can people get to work with you?
Well, since I’m not based in London and only visit when I can, the best way is to follow my Instagram and see my announcements. If I’m coming to London (or any other place that I know cosplayers), I’ll announce it. We can either meet at cons or arrange for on location photo shoot. I only tried on location photo shoot ones, and I loved the experience. So definitely looking to do more of these
you can contact Cosplaywon
Cover picture: Little Sister by Emski_Cosplays