Lilith (Borderlands) Cosplay

After Interviews with both professional artists and hobbyists, one of the most popular cosplayers and a game director i thought it could be interesting to interview a photographer whose cosplay photos made the round through  more or less all game related  communities worldwide, happy 4th advent everyone and have fun reading the following interview!

Benjamin Koelewijn who is also known as Beethy is an Australian photographer and works with cosplayers since a while to create often extraordinary cosplay shootings which result in worldwide known photos which were more than one time featured on international cosplay, photography and video game websites like Kotaku.com etc.

Hello Benjamin, in addition to my little intro, can you introduce yourself a bit and describe how you discovered photography in general and especially working on cosplay related projects lately

“Hey Reinhold.
I discovered photography due to my playfulness and curiosity with anything digital. When I played around with my first digital camera I fell in love with it. The ease of taking photos and editing them on your PC was just amazing. At the time I was already a little creative in general as I was drawing on Oekaki boards a lot at the time. So getting creative with photos just felt very natural.

As time went on I started taking it a little more seriously. I wanted to convey how I felt through images. I wanted people to understand me just by looking at my photos.”

 

Beethy and dat Ass meme

Beethy made a small series of funny photos with himself about the “Dat ASS” Meme, check them out at his Gallery on dA!

Beethy old days

Photos by Beethy made back in 2007

I saw that you covered all kinds of photography in 2006-2009 including landscape, a bit macro, people, urban places, and with the time more and more portrays and a few act/ artistic nude shoots as well. You covered quite a lot different photography styles in those years. Were that all just steps for you to learn more about photography and its many aspects or were you not sure “whats your thing” ?

 

“I guess you could say that. And I’m glad you looked that far back, a lot of people just look at my cosplay work and that’s it. Those times were kind of like a journey for me. It’s not that I was looking at what I was good at.. I was exploring the area around me. The nudes happened to be of a girl who was the love of my life at the time. I was simply taking photos of things I loved. Eventually I discovered I really enjoyed taking photos of people. I liked the creative connection I felt.”

Siegfried-Soul-Calibur-IV-Cosplay by BeethySiegfried from SoulCalibur IV Cosplay Photo by Beethy

I also saw that you were on cosplay events years ago, and guess the fans who create costumes to look like their favourite video game, anime, comic, etc stars impressed or fascinated you, and you had the idea to organize a real shooting with some of them instead of just making photos at these events?

“I just went to a convention with a camera because my girlfriend at the time told me to. I was reluctant at first since I thought cosplayers would make bad models, but I was proven wrong. Cosplayers are fantastic subjects!! A whole new world opened up for me.”

Lilith from Borderlands by Beethy

You created some amazing photos in the past but your cosplay shoots made the round worldwide, and are a stable part of just every big cosplay thread in video game or manga forums as well as on websites. What do you think about your shoots and that your photos are known worldwide?

“When the website Tineye (The first reverse image search system) first launched its beta phase, I did some searches on some of my most popular photos. My mind was blown. Nearly every photo came back with lots of results. My photos were on websites all over the world. Brazilian blogs, French forums, Chinese websites.. They were everywhere. It was such a humbling feeling. Some of my photos are even used in advertisements without my permission. I don’t really mind since I’m not that possessive of my photos. I take photos for people to enjoy. Right now I’m quite used to the feeling that millions of people have seen my photos.”

Will cosplay shoots be the focus of your career next year as well?

“I’m not sure what the future holds for me.”

Speaking about your career, is photography still only a hobby or maybe a side income for you or did you make the jump and you can life through your art now?

It will most likely always be a hobby. Money isn’t my primary focus in life.”

How do you organize a shooting with a cosplayer in general? How do you meet the cosplayers these days?

“Either I contact them or they contact me. Lots of shoots happen on the spot, completely unplanned. Right now my name is known well enough which makes the introduction phase with new people easy and comfortable.”

This is a question i ask more or less everyone i am interviewing artists:
Can you give people who want to step into your steps and discovered photography as their hobby or profession some hints how to start or whats damn important?

“Take photos from the heart. Never do it for any other reasons. That way you will find your path.”

 

beethys-favourites

Last but not least, since this is Game Art HQ, are you a gamer and what are your favourite games currently? + have you played Borderlands / Borderlands 2 to know more about the background of Lillith?

“I have played Borderlands 1 and 2 several times through. But I play lots of other games too. Anything ranging from Galaga, Gunstar Heroes, King of Fighters all the way to Far Cry 3 or Dishonored is what I occupy my time with. I have a very high end gaming PC so I can run PS2, Gamecube, Wii, DS and anything before it quite well. I would say I’m more a gamer than a photographer.”

Thanks for the Interview Benjamin, it was interesting to know a bit more about you and your background as well!

If you want to see more of Benjamin’s / Beethy’s works, don’t hesitate and visit his gallery on DeviantART

 

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The one and only! Plays video games since 1987, loves video game related art and is responsible for Game-Art-HQ. Among his favourite games are Tekken, Tetris and Twisted Metal 2. You can contact me about any not working links etc. via Twitter, Facebook or directly via a comment here