Sometimes it's a smile...sometimes it's a look.
When I look at HJ Steele's portfolio of incredible pictures I get a special feeling, a sense of joy. You feel a love for the character.
It makes me realize that wearing a costume isn’t enough.
Being a Cosplayer involves love, not only for the art, but becoming what you’ve created.
Here is my NERDBOT interview with the beautiful Cosplayer HJ Steele:
NERDBOT: I loved going through your picture portfolio. How long have you been
HJ: Thank you very much! I've been modeling on and off for a few years now - since 2012, I want to say. I've been doing fashion work for quite a while and then recently started moving into cosplay territory.
NERDBOT: Do you remember your first photo shoot and how did you feel being in that environment for the first time?
HJ: My first "photo shoot" was with a friend of mine who wanted to get me some headshots so I could start reaching out to photographers - we went to a park and she used a point and shoot and I had no idea what I was doing! Looking back at the pictures now I just have to laugh. It keeps me humble when I'm getting too big a head. I was a very nerdy, bottom-of-the-totem-pole person in grade school, so I'm still kind of baffled that I get to model.
NERDBOT: I meet a large variety of Cosplayers, Models, and just straight and honest fans that love to dress as their favorite characters. What is your absolute favorite character that you want or already have dressed as?
HJ: Poison Ivy has always been my favorite character of any series ever, and she was the first character I cosplayed. I'm really into characters that are nostalgic for me, so I try to stay in that area when selecting characters to dress as.
NERDBOT: I think you made a perfect Poison Ivy. How did that photo shoot come together?
HJ: Thank you! I've done so many Poison Ivy photo shoots at this point - I can tell you that each had their challenges. My first Ivy, Fall Ivy, was my first costume ever made and it was really poorly constructed since I hadn't hit my Ivy stride yet and bending over and posing was extremely difficult. For Winter Ivy, we shot in 0 degree Fahrenheit weather for about 20 minutes before I said, "Nope, let's go!" Spring Ivy was pretty easy as far as my Ivy's went - and Summer Ivy had the most skin showing, so I got a TON of mosquito bites! Lastly, my other original design Ivy attracted lots of wasps and bugs. Very interesting challenges for each shoot. Despite all the challenges, she's still the most fun to shoot! Most of my shoots come together from me sending a photographer a "Heeeey I've got this crazy idea" and then finding photographers willing to do stuff that's out there and interesting. I've been blessed enough to work with some really awesome, talented, and nerdy people.
NERDBOT: Here at Nerdbot we love going to Conventions and meeting new people. Where was your favorite Con experience and why?
HJ: My favorite con experience was my first con in costume - Springcon 2015 in Minneapolis. I was wearing my Spring Ivy and was overwhelmed by the positive reception. At one point, a guy even asked me to pose with his baby - I thought that was going to mean "stand by my kid" but he ended up handing me his infant who was dressed up as Batman and snapped some pictures! Later on that day I ended up winning a couple of awards at the masquerade and overall the day was just amazing and filled with cool experiences.
NERDBOT: Nerd question time! Which movies are you more excited to see...Suicide Squad, Batman vs Super: Dawn of Justice, or Captain America: Civil War?
HJ: SUICIDE SQUAD. My girl Harley is gonna kill it.
NERDBOT: What is your next Cosplay project?
HJ: I always have at least 10 costumes in my head - but I like to keep things a mystery so you'll just have to stay tuned to find out :)
NERDBOT: Do you have any advice for our Nerdbot Cosplayers or aspiring Models?
HJ: Anyone can be a model. Your ethnicity, your body type, your orientation, your gender - all of these things do not matter. YOU can model or cosplay, and you don't have to entertain someone who doesn't agree with that.
For more information or to follow HJ please visit the links below.
Below are the photograper credits
Harley Quinn (original design)
Photography: Eye of a Panda
Poison Ivy (original design)
Photography: Infinityspiral Photography
Spring Poison Ivy (original design)
Photography: Nicholas Santrizos
Summer Poison Ivy (original design)
Photography: Infinityspiral Photography
Nerdbot Original Article