Ian Tessler is a cosplay and fashion photographer from the Netherlands. In his own words, he says ‘ “I am a passionate photographer loving alternative art, cosplay and fantasy photography”. I got to speak to Ian a little about his work.
DIYP: Tell us a little about how you got into photography, and who your influences are.
IT: As a farewell gift my boss gave me a private workshop with, his friend, Dutch Playboy photographer Rene de Haan. Rene was kind enough to teach me the basics and since then I am hooked, although in a completely different style ? My influences are comics from my youth and fantasy movies, tv shows, series, and books.
DIYP: Your body of work has a lot of cosplay, is this a genre you are passionate about?
IT: I have a great respect for the amount of time, effort and money people put in their cosplay costumes. Their skill is often mind-blowing. Most of the time they also know what that character is about, and that story is important to me when I photograph them. Cosplay is a way to make “movie-like” photo’s, which is what I like most.
DIYP: You recently visited Elfia, are events like these the best places to go to make cosplay contacts?
IT: Sure, and it’s really simple; just tell them their costume is nice, ask them if they want to pose for a photo and tell your name afterward. Just make sure you can contact them later. If they like your photo, they will tell you enthusiastically, and maybe you can arrange a photo shoot with them later.
DIYP: For anyone starting out with the desire to create cosplay imagery what advice would you give them?
IT: Be respectful, be kind, have patience. Making those costumes takes a lot of time and putting yourself out there in costume takes some balls to do so. Also, make sure you know how to edit photos. Without some Photoshop you won’t get the same style as where the original characters are from. Make something better than their selfies ?
DIYP: How important is Photoshop in your workflow, would you be able to create your images without it?
IT: I love Photoshop and Lightroom and what you can do with it. For me, it is part of taking a picture. I always know what kind of editing I will do with a picture before I shoot it. Without Photoshop I would not be able to create the images I like to create.
DIYP: You also shoot fashion…tell us a little more about that.
IT: A friend of mine is a famous glamour and fashion model, and she introduced me to that world. I absolutely love to work with her. She is super fun and it’s always a blast. And it’s nice to do something different now and then!
DIYP: Out of all your projects, which had the most impact on your life?
IT: Having kids ? Haha, but seriously; there is no single project that changed me, it’s the people you meet, the fun you have and the adventures on location. I try to grow, become better, be critical towards my own work, and enjoy it as much as I can.
DIYP: If you were only allowed to give one essential piece of advice to a beginner, what would it be?
IT: Have fun! The world of photography changes all the time, you never stop learning and evolving. Don’t pay attention to nay-sayers, don’t be insecure, don’t listen to negativity. Just. Have. Fun. And everything will come naturally!
DIYP: What cool projects do you have lined up for 2018.
IT: I am organizing a long weekend of shooting in an amazing forest in Germany with 5 awesome models and 5 great photographers together with Ilse from Maskarada Masks and More. This is the first time we do this and I am really looking forward to it!
DIYP: Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years time?
IT: I have been doing this for 10 years, and I hope I will do this for 10 years more. I like the way I do it now: having fun, laughs and great times with good friends.