BTS: Superhero Photography With Adam Jay

Cosplay photography has been gaining momentum in the professional portrait photographer's market recently and with the abundance of superhero comic movies being released it's no wonder why. Meet Adam Jay, a photographer who specializes in Superhero photography. He  takes cosplay enthusiasts and transforms them from their everyday aliases to the superhero or villain that is lurking underneath. In this behind the scenes video he shoots cosplayer, Jenn Croft, as the iconic video game heroine, Lara Croft.


You can view the rest of his photography at his Facebook page:

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IMO... lighting doesnt match the background very well... this seems like pretty basic stuff...?

Agreed. Nice concept, but needs to match ambient and strobe a little better. It looks too much like "Lara croft standing in front of some flashes". No in-shot explanation for the lighting, which is a bit of a pet peeve :)

Ett Venter's picture

Agreed as well. The light is also SUPER hard. Looks like it must've been a bare speedlight or something.

It's a cool concept, though, and I hope that Adam keeps it up. You're on the right track, Adam, keep practicing :)

Thijs Bosma's picture

Wow, I really do not like the look of the bare speedlights. He could at least have tried to use some modifiers. Outfit is cool though.

pauly9999's picture

The harsh lighting helps to portray her as an animated character, and in that sense I think it's been done well.

Malcolm Debono's picture

Would have been nice to have some eye contact in one of the shots. Other than that, I think the lighting et al. supplement the Lara Croft theme pretty well.

John Godwin's picture

This is a joke, surely?

John Godwin's picture

These shots are really quite poor. Both artistically and technically. As a photographer, I look at them, and nothing really makes any sense. Everything seems unjustified and arbitary.

Hopefully this comment won't get deleted.

Kyle Sanders's picture

Honest question, what would you do differently? There seems to have been quite some effort put into location and setup, so I think the photographer would merit the benefit of a more in depth response.

John Godwin's picture

There seems to have been quite some effort put into location and setup? As far as I can see, it's a single unmodified speedlight and the location is a beach.. 

I don't really know what to tell you, Kyle, perhaps we have very different ideas of what is considered a lot of effort? I just completed a campaign for an interior company that began with lorries delivering about £50k of furnishings and interior products to an abandoned house, which was then furnished by dressers and set designers and a carpenter. I then spent the next 10 hours photographing five scenes, using up to 10 light sources at a time. I then took the shots home and spent another 50+ hours retouching all of the images into the final product. You can see the shots on my Behance profile. 

All told, with meetings, discussions, shooting, retouching, the whole job probably took close to 80 hours to complete. 

That's not me boasting, anyone else who shoots things like this will know that's a pretty average job. But I do hope that goes some way to explain why I might not see this quite the same way you do when you say that it took a lot of effort.

I look at these pictures and see nothing more than "This is what happened when I put this person here and fired a light from this direction".

There's nothing wrong with the images themselves, but I'm questioning their presence on a blog that is supposed to be about learning the tricks behind higher-end styles of photography. This is the kind of work you'd complete in the first 6 months of experimenting with off-camera flash. 

John Godwin's picture

Comments keep disappearing and reappearing. 

Chris Helton's picture

Cliff hanger one looks great. It looked to me like the other shots in the video were much nicer. The ones posted in the write up are a bit of a hard light and not balanced, but the ones in the video, like at the river looked good. 4:16 mark looks like a great shot, bit of edit to clean it up, needs to be warmed so maybe not as blue, but all in all they look great compared to the ones above

Syman St's picture

These images look like my very first pictures I took when I just learned how to shoot with off camera flash a long time ago, in my opinion they are rather lackluster. Still better than on camera pop-up flash though :)

THE GREAT ZEEE's picture

the best thing here is that he's shooting and practicing. im sure for his next shoots he will take what he has learned and improve on it.

Adam Jay's picture

Wow just come across this  !  I'm all for some honest feedback so thanks for taking the time out to do so :) Haven't used speedlights that much before (as some of you can tell!) so it was good to try and give it a go (would rather try and fail?!, then not), so will take on all your thoughts and apply for next time.  Majority of the stuff I do is in the studio so it was nice to step out of the comfort zone.  Would I do things differently ?  Sure !  

I don't mind people saying (thinking) they are a superior photographer to me because they most probably are :) but it's the comments of those they I appreciate.  

That's why we love photography, some love our work, some don't :) and I'm sure people could look at the photographers work on her and say likewise but that's what makes it so interesting !

So again, thank you :) I really do appreciate everyones comments and I hope I can push forward with trying new things and conquering them !!