jester’s forge: sean thompson
At our last convention we ran into some truly amazing Spider-Verse cosplayers. We were amazed at how well they portrayed the web-slinger and started following them immediately on Instagram. We noticed some pretty incredible, jaw-dropping cosplay images and asked them about the photographer. Introducing Sean Thompson - Jester’s Forge
Is photography your passion? These are truly some amazing images!
Absolutely. For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated with photography and imagery. Images that convey powerful emotions or tell fascinating stories have always appealed to me.
How long have you been photographing superheros? How did you come about photographing cosplayers?
I had been producing superhero images, sparsely, for a little over 5 years but began to focus my efforts on cosplayers about 2 years ago when I met Dr. Jason Kiss. We both attended a private photo shoot and when I saw the passion he had for Cosplay, I knew I wanted to work with him on future projects. He has been a cosplayer many years and he, along with our mutual friends, has facilitated the evolution of my work.
Along with Cosplay, Cosplay Photography seems to really be taking off. Where do you see both in 5 years?
They are both truly wonderful forms of creative expression. Emulating the characters that we identify with most is one of the things that drives us to be better people. As with all other forms of art, I hope to see them gain greater audience and notoriety.
Do you cosplay? If so, which characters have you cosplayed? If not, why not?
I have never formerly cosplayed, no. However, I intend to at some point. I genuinely draw immense enjoyment from the cosplay of others.
How did you meet your cosplayer subjects?
Many of them have been friends for years. I met some in college, others are customers in private photo shoots, and some even through social media.
How often to do you attend conventions?
I try to attend them as frequently as possible but I must confess far less frequently than I would like. That is definitely something I hope to change in the near future.
There is a theatrical element to your images, is this brought by you, more so the cosplayer or both?
Thank you. The style of my photography has been a natural evolution. I have been very fortunate to find great mentors and inspiration. When I shoot, I always encourage the subjects to offer their input in terms of aesthetic, style, and composition. In that respect, you can easily say that my images are a combination of efforts.
Are the concepts behind the images solely yours or are the cosplayers coming to you with what they have in mind for the final image?
Definitely both. Often times they will come to me with an idea and then we'll work together to expand on it.
What other kinds of subjects do you photograph?
I try to keep a wide spectrum of subjects and themes in my photography. I used to shoot traditional portraits and weddings. Then I moved on to alternative and abstract. As of right now, I tend to favor cosplay and macabre themes.
Do you travel to your cosplayers or do they come to your studio?
Yes. (Within reason)
Tell us a little more about yourself. Where are you originally from? Did you grow up with photography in your home? Do you photograph other subjects or is it mostly cosplayers?
I was born in Daytona Beach, FL. and grew up in Cromwell, CT. Photography was always a presence growing up. My father had been a Navy Journalist and has a natural talent for 35mm film photography. My mother is, to this day, a tremendous 2D artist and they both supported my artistic development. At this stage of my life, I see myself less as a photographer, and try to be more of an artist with a camera. I try to keep my work fresh and interesting. I always have multiple projects on the horizon and they are not all cosplay. However, generating cosplay imagery has proven to be one of the most fun aspects of my photography career. I have met and continue to meet some fascinating and truly wonderful people. I will Never Stop Creating.
Where can anyone find more of your images? How can someone reach you to schedule a cosplay photo session?
The Jester's Forge Digital Arts and its gallery can be found on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also visit my current website: jestersforge.jimdo.com
The easiest way to book a photo shoot with me is via email:
Sean "Jester" Thompson