ByJay Vergara, writer at Creators.co
Movies, games, and cosplay. Let's freak out together. Follow me on Instagram.com/Mediumblast, Twitter @robot406
Jay Vergara

There's just something about the way The Last Of Us plays — from the menu down to the music — that's absolutely engrossing. When you pick up that controller to follow Ellie and Joel around, you just can't put it down. And fans are more excited than ever with the announcement of the the second installment.

While we don't have a release date quite yet, I've got something that will tide you over.

As a tribute to and a way to show his excitement about the upcoming game, photographer Topher Oriel postponed his backlog of work and devoted his time to a cosplay project that pays homage to the beloved series. Judging from the photos that he came up with, I'd say that blowing off his backlog was completely worth it.

Check out the photos and our interview below.

Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayer: ashleighweasley
Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayer: ashleighweasley

Movie Pilot: What inspired you to do this set?

Topher Oriel: I was flipping through my portfolio one day and I felt something was missing overall. I realized I was doing more quick convention shoots instead of shoots focusing on one subject/storyline. So I decided to cut back shooting at cons (for now) and focus on shooting more elaborate sets based on stories or concepts I find interesting.

Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley & nerdbobomb
Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley & nerdbobomb

Are you a fan of The Last of Us? What drew you to the world of TLOS?

I’ve been a fan of Naughty Dog for awhile now since Jak and Daxter. So when The Last of Us came around, I was really excited to grab my hands on it and it didn’t disappoint. I even found the multiplayer just as enjoyable as the main gameplay itself. Other than the visuals and storyline, the color palettes from the game, concept art, and sequel announcement gave that extra nudge to love it even more.

Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley & nerdbobomb
Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley & nerdbobomb

From concept to completion, how long did this project take?

Not that long, maybe a little over a week? Ashleigh and I started talking about this around the 6th/7th, grabbed a bunch of reference photos, shot it a few days later, pushed my backlog to the side a bit because I was really excited to edit the set and spent the week doing so, and then released it on the 18th.

Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayer: ashleighweasley
Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayer: ashleighweasley

I saw you took a lot of queues from the game in terms of mood and color grade but kind of added your own touch to it as well.

I initially was going to go with cooler tones for this shoot to match the game a bit more, but it was golden hour and the trees were dying and losing its color, so I decided to take some creative liberties and mess around with it.

Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley
Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley

An Example of An Evolving Community

My favorite part about Oriel's project is that it perfectly encapsulates what cosplay and cosplay photography have become, as well as where it's going. The community at large has seen a major shift as the hobby becomes more popular — with some cosplayers even becoming household names. Some cosplayers and photographers actually make a living out of this hobby.

Aside from the general changes in the industry, the art of cosplay and subsequently the art of capturing cosplay have both evolved side by side. As cosplayers step up their game in bringing their characters to life, a handful of photographers have responded by elevating their art.

It's not just about showing off a dope cosplay anymore. Somewhere down the line, it's also become about telling a compelling visual story. I'm excited to see what the community comes up with next.

Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley & nerdbobomb
Photo: Topher Oriel | Cosplayers: ashleighweasley & nerdbobomb

For more of Topher's work, check out his Instagram. Make sure to give the two amazing cosplayers ashleighweasley and nerdbobomb a follow as well!

Are you excited for The Last of Us, Part II? Sound off in the comments below!

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