I love cosplay that’s really well done. I’m drawn to the dramatic and when you start bringing in weapons, smoke, fire etc. then things start getting really interesting for me because you have a chance to create a new world and a new reality.

One year when I was the Wild Wild West Steampunk Conference at Old Tucson Studios, I met a group of cosplayers who called themselves Brose Brothers Productions. I loved their costumes because they reeked of authenticity.  They used lots of aged leather, metal and textures. I also liked that they had a somewhat romantic take on the whole steampunk world as well. Their gear reminded me of explorers at the height of the British Empire – when the sun never set on it and the possibilities for exploration and discovery were endless. They had a lot of jaunty caps, cool suspenders, googles, maps, flags and more. It was clear that they were not only good at what they did but they were passionate about it.

Every time I would bump into these guys, I would take their photo but I was always a little frustrated because it’s really hard to get the kind of photo I wanted (and that their costumes deserved) during a conference like that. Time was always an issue because these guys were busy.  In the few precious moments we did have, there were always people around who wanted to talk to them about their costumes or  who walking into the background of the shots. Clearly none of those things are their fault – in fact I was the one interfering in their process – not the other people.

With that in mind, I invited the Brose Brothers team down to my studio in Tucson to do a photo shoot. The goal was to get them to bring their costumes and let us shoot a variety of them in a relaxed environment, where we had the time to get the lighting right and work on the posing the some.

Back in May it finally all came together and we had a great time shooting together. The Brose Brothers brought four people down and a ton of costumes and gear. Ben Brose, his wife Shelby, and his brother Casey were accompanied by Justin Klauss. This crew rolled in to the studio not only with some incredible costumes but a fun attitude that made working with them great. It’s a always a little hard in the studio for people to settle in. It’s hard not to be self-conscious when you are being asked to act in front a gray background with a lot of lights pointed at you and people staring.

We shot a lot of different looks just because I had not completely settled on the backgrounds I would use for the final shots but these guys were super patient with me and worked hard to give me everything I asked for.

Once we got the shots, I poured over the final photos looking for the ones that I thought would best fit some of the pictures I saw of them in my mind.

I knew that I wanted to do one movie with poster with their Steam Heroes costumes. I think of this as their “Steampunk Avengers” costumes.  They are amazing costumes but they are more on fringe of what I would consider the traditional steampunk aesthetic.

Then I wanted to a few shots with their more traditional Steampunk costumes. For some reason I’ve always been drawn to Casey’s navigator costume  of Brixhby Sandpiper, Chief Navigator. I love the little windsock and the leather map and brass telescope he carries. Last but not least, I wanted to get a shot of  Ben and wife Shelby together. Since they had just recently gotten married I thought this might be a fun wedding portrait.

In the end this was another great collaboration with a team of very talented artists and I look forward to working with them again in the future.

Crew Credits:
Models, Costumes, & Props
by @Brose Brother’s Productions featuring Casey Brose along with Shelby Brose, Ben Brose and Justin Klauss
MUAH: Kristopher Osuna of Perfection Artistry
Photo Assist: Daniel Ford
Assisting: @Riley Gallman and @Abby Jardel