A DALMUIR-BASED photographer has opened up on how the exciting world of cosplay became the focus of his work.

Gary Knox, 39, is a favourite in the local cosplay world – a performance art in which participants wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent their favourite fictional character – after his photography skills were spotted at industry conventions.

Gary told the Post: “I’m not a cosplayer myself, but I have known of the community for many years before I got into photography from attending conventions since my teens.

“I realised I wanted to photograph cosplayers while at a convention, I found a lot of the costumes amazing and just started asking some of them if I could get a photo.

“I did this at a lot of conventions and posted the photos on my photography Facebook page which lead to cosplayers contacting me to ask if I was attending a specific event convention and if they could steal me away for a few photos. From there it kind of grew.”

The global cosplay industry is said to be worth around £50 billion, with a large proportion of that spent on wigs and costumes alone.

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The characters come from a variety of different of areas such as video games, anime, tv shows, comics and film.

“Cosplay, for many people, is a way of expressing their love for a particular character or film or show,” Gary continued. “And I very much get that.

“What they do with costumes is similar to what I do with photography – we celebrate that love and enthusiasm.”

Due to coronavirus lockdown measures, the world of traditional cosplay has halted for the time being.

Gary said: “I haven’t even taken my camera with me when out on my daily exercise either. I am missing it, but it has given me time to come up with some new ideas for the future.”

And Gary has a few tips for any budding photographers looking to further their skills: “You don’t need the fanciest, most expensive camera to get started.

“Just grab a camera and go out and take photos – that’s pretty much what I did.

“Check out YouTube videos and read a few books or join a club.

“Don’t be afraid to experiment, just have fun with it and try new things.

“Not all of it will work but you might find a lot of cool stuff that does.”