Pugoffka: Before/Behind the Lens

Pugoffka is well known in the cosplay community for her beautiful cosplays and dramatic photos. This STGCC, our writer had the chance to talk to her and gather some insights on how she can navigate the dual identity of a cosplayer and a photographer, and keep herself out of trouble.

STGCC 2016 Cosplay Guest Pugoffka Interview 01

You once mentioned in an online interview that you really want to come to events here in Singapore. Now that you are finally here, what do you look forward to most?

I am looking forward to try more food, different food. I also want to see more cosplayers in Singapore. Different cosplayers from different parts of the world are different. They cosplay different fandoms, and they use different materials. So I’m interested to know the cosplayers more. And food.

I heard in Singapore there are a lot of seafood. I’ve already tried lobsters, I want to try more.

How different the creative process like, both in front and behind the camera?

I like to be a photographer. I can control everything. I also like to be a model, I like to feel how models feel in front of the camera. Cosplayers often wear uncomfortable clothes, heavy craft, and have to be in uncomfortable poses. So, I try to make photos very fast. Casual photographers make photos very slow. I understand how the cosplayers feel, so I try to make it very fast.

What’s the most interesting combination of special effects you have used in your photography? Any tricks that you will like to share with us?

I try to make all my photoshoots different. In one year, I have about 150 photoshoots, so I need to combine different special effects to create something new. Mostly I like to use smoke. And sometimes you cannot use smoke because of safety, because of different reasons. One time I used smoke bombs. Cosplayers and I run away from the place of the photoshoot, very fast.

You have travelled all over the world and worked with many cosplayers. Some of them already famous, others made famous by their partnership with you. What are the qualities you look for, when looking for a cosplayer to work with?

Of course, I look for cosplayers who make their costumes accurately. Though I can edit it, so not a problem. The main thing I don’t like to edit is wigs, so I try to have someone with me who can make wigs accurately. It’s really difficult to edit that in photos. The costume for me is not so important. What is important for me is if I’m interested in the character and in the fandom. If I have the idea, I look for the cosplayer.

If you have to choose between staying a photographer, or staying a cosplayer, for the next 5 years, which will you choose and why?

Of course, photography! I prefer photography more. For example, in one year, I make 150 photoshoots and only 5 cosplays. I like to talk with people, to communicate on the photoshoot, to have fun. When you do cosplays, you often have deadlines. It’s not so fun. Though, sometimes after I’ve had a lot of photoshoots, I need another hobby, to change. Because I’m really tired sometimes after a lot of editing, so I need to do something new. That’s when I make a new cosplay.

It’s not everyday that we get to see somebody who creates such brilliant works both in front and behind the camera lens, even if it means being picky about the people (or wigs) you work with, or skirting the edges of being naughty, all in the name of art. We wish her all the best, and we look forward to seeing her back in Singapore!!

Photos by Ken Koh

By Tessie Tan

© POPCulture Online 2016

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