If you’re on the Internet, chances are you’ve seen the incredible Disney / Star Wars mashup cosplay photoshoot making the rounds. It features talented female cosplayers dressing up as some of their favorite animated characters – but with a twist. Keeping the characters’ colors and original costumes in mind, they decided to turn these characters into Disney Princess Mandalorian mercenaries, with armor and helmets based on the one-and-only Boba Fett!
I was lucky enough to talk to the equally talented photographer behind this shoot, York In A Box.
A well-known photographer in the cosplay community, he knows his ways around lighting, composition, and featuring these costumes and characters in shining ways.
This shoot combined two of my favorite things – Disney and Star Wars – and as soon as I saw these awesome and fun pictures, I knew I wanted to write about and showcase them. Fortunately, York In A Box was eager to share his work and let me have a behind-the-scenes look with an exclusive interview.
Check it out!
1. How did this cosplay shoot/idea first come about?
The idea for both the shoot and cosplay mashup came together because of the amazing Amber Arden, who originally did the first Mando/Princess mashup in 2014. She was the one who formed the group this year after getting many requests from other Disney cosplayers wanting to do something similar to her Snowba Fett cosplay. So, Amber got the group together, helped everyone work on their costumes, and even set up the shoot!
2. Why Boba Fett? Is it his costume, his character, or both?
Well, here’s a direct answer from Amber herself!
“I went to a few cons a year and a half ago and walked by the mandalorianmercs.org booth many times, and I fell in love with their handmade armor and helmets that derived from Boba Fett’s armor. They dedicated their lives to making Mandalorian armor!
Also, in Star Wars Rebels, they have a female Mandalorian named Sabine, so I took what I love – Snow White / Boba Fett – and I wanted to make a princess-like figure with the Mando style.”
3. How did the cosplayers choose which Disney characters to cosplay?
With most of the group, it was the cosplayer who approached Amber wanting to do Mando versions of Disney princesses as they saw Amber’s Snowba Fett and wanted to do something similar, as the new Star Wars movie is coming out. Most of the people in the group each have a Disney character they are known for cosplaying very well, such as Ashlynne Dae as Elsa, Panda Cat as Aurora, and Traci Hines as Ariel. So, each person basically went with their favorite character. Some people changed it up if there were doubles, but in general, everyone got to do the character they wanted.
4. How and why did you become a cosplay photographer?
Originally, I became a cosplayer photographer as I wanted to do it to help out my friends. I have been going to conventions since 2000 and had basically seen cons of all shapes and sizes over the years. A few years ago, I started getting bored with them and stopped going. But back in 2012, I made friends with some local anime cosplayers who convinced me to start going back to cons to see how the con scene had changed.
While going to these cons, I noticed that my friends who weren’t doing sexy cosplays, famous characters, or weren’t well known in the community were finding it difficult to get photos taken of them. Since I was having fun going back to cons and hanging with my cosplay friends, I decided to pick up some high-end point-and-shoot cameras so I could take photos of my friends. After about a year of doing that, I decided in 2013 that I wanted to get into the whole cosplay photography thing for real. I bought my first DSLR and started to attend every con in the SoCal area, as well as read and research as much as I could in order to become a better photographer.
5. What are your favorite things about being a cosplay photographer?
There are many awesome and fun things about being a cosplay photographer.
One I would say is the ability to capture moments for people who can then relive and share them with other people. At many cons and photoshoots I go to, there will be random things that may happen or fun photos we put together on the fly which are awesome to capture and later see again in photo form. Taking fun photos or coming up with quirky photos like mashups is something I love to do.
Another is being able to take photos of cosplayers’ amazing work and help them show it off. People were cosplaying way before there were cosplay photographers, but now thanks to photographers and the Internet, people from around the world can see the awesome work cosplayers pour all their time and effort into. It feels great being able to help cosplayers show their cosplays off.
Along with showing off their amazing work, it also allows me to show off my own personal work. All cosplay photographers have their own style and look. For me, I find it very fun to continue to improve my look, as well as to try and evolve my style.
Lastly, I would say the social aspect of being a cosplay photographer is really great. When I used to attend cons years ago, I would go with a small group of friends and basically stick with them the entire time. But as a cosplay photographer, I am forced to interact with dozens upon dozens of people in order to get photos. This lets me meet lots of cool people and become friends with many of them. Because of that, more and more people know who I am, which helps me get involved with projects such as this photoshoot!
6. As a photographer, what were the rewards of this shoot?
I would say getting to not only shoot some amazing cosplays but to also get to shoot in a brand-new location that had dozens of interesting environments to shoot in. Of course, getting to work with my friends and help show off their amazing work is one of the biggest rewards from this shoot!
7. People have been overwhelmingly positive and excited about this shoot – what would you like to say to them?
I would like to say thanks to all the people out there who really enjoyed the photos and cosplays from this shoot! All the positive responses have been amazing to see. I know many of the cosplayers involved were worried about how the outfits would be received, but all the kind words and praise have really been humbling for all of us involved in the shoot! Plus, it goes to show that thinking outside the box cosplay-wise can really pay off!
Snow White: Amber Arden
Ariel: Traci Hines
Pocahontas: Hendo Art
Elsa: Ashlynne Dae
Hans: Eberle Cosplay
Rapunzel: Maid of Might Cosplay
Mulan: Rian Synnth Cosplay
Tinker Bell: Miley TinyThunder
Peter Pan: Chris Villain
Aurora: PandaCat Cosplay
What do you think of this amazing cosplay shoot? Which characters would you like to see get the Disney Princess Mandalorian mashup treatment?